Monday, February 4 – Area Artists Team Up To Create Scholarship

BERLIN – Artists Kevin Fitzgerald and Patrick Henry have joined together to create scholarship fund for students from Stephen Decatur High School who plan to pursue a fine art career.

“Patrick and I wanted to create something that would recognize and reward achievement in the arts, something to encourage students to pursue their passion, to take a non-traditional career path,” said Fitzgerald.

Henry added, “When Kevin and I began talking, we spoke of the many helping hands we had received along the way that had permitted us to continue on our chosen paths. We are both at a time in our careers when we are able to give back some to the community that nurtured and supported us. This scholarship is an ideal way to give back to the community.” 

Both artists agreed that the creation of this scholarship was particularly important not only because it underlined their belief in the impact of art in our society as well as gave recognition to the importance of the arts in public education.

“It is imperative that we do all we can to strengthen our schools, to strengthen the diversity of education within our schools, we are excited to be able to do our part in this,” stated Fitzgerald.

In addition to direct contributions, the artists agreed that a benefit art show would be most appropriate. Coordinating with the Water’s Edge Gallery in Berlin, they are preparing a benefit to open on Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. and run until the end of the month.

The show will feature new works by both artists. Included will be a silent auction as well as selected artist prints.

“We are very excited to have the work of two nationally recognized artists on display together for the first time,” said Gail Lewis, owner of the Water’s Edge Gallery.

Gallery manager Crystal Viens is working hard on show preparations.

“It seems as if there is quite a bit of time, but actually there is quite a bit to do,” Viens said. “We are dedicating the entire gallery to Kevin and Patrick’s work and we want to make sure that as many people as possible are able to come in and see the show.”

Fitzgerald has been painting for over 30 years. Exploring and painting the landscapes have become the focus of so much of his work. Fitzgerald’s work, rooted in the masters of the 15th to 20th centuries with his own poetic interpretation, is held in major collections throughout the United States and abroad. He moved to the Eastern Shore early in his career and has watched as each of his four children have attended and graduated from the Worcester County public school system. He is currently affiliated with Salisbury University. 

Henry was born and raised on the Eastern Shore and like Fitzgerald, has shown an interest in and talent for art from an early age. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, Henry returned home to teach art at Stephen Decatur High School as well as the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Henry’s work depicts the beauty of life on the Eastern Shore, from its people to its buildings to its wildlife to its landscape.

To read all the week’s news, see The Dispatch on Friday.