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What's Up Magazine

Towne Salute: Linda Kramer

Sep 03, 2018 12:00AM ● Published by Brian Saucedo

By Cate Reynolds

Linda Kramer isn’t an artist, nor does she have a background in art, but her knowledge and appreciation for the arts makes that fact hard to believe. 

After a long career working in management for an insurance company, Linda Kramer and her husband made the decision to retire from their Manhattan-based jobs and relocate from New Jersey to Maryland. The couple had scoped out the Eastern Shore five years before retirement, and immediately fell in love with the area. They moved to the Chestertown area in 2000, and Kramer was anxious to get involved in her new community.

“One of the first things we did is we went on a studio tour,” Kramer says. “We went around to the different artist studios in the area and, believe it or not, it was the first time I had ever been in a studio.” 

Kramer made the decision to begin volunteering that same year with Chester River Artworks, where she spent two years running the same studio tour that initially got her involved with the organization. In 2012, Chester River Artworks merged with Chestertown Arts League to form Chestertown RiverArts. 

“RiverArts is all about the arts, community, and creativity,” Kramer explains. “We have wonderful artists, and I really love being around so many creative people.”

Two years ago, RiverArts asked Kramer if she would serve as the exhibitions committee chair. At the time, the exhibition chair essentially served as the whole committee, leaving Kramer with a mountain of responsibilities; however, she enthusiastically accepted the challenge. She didn’t have a co-chair until early spring 2018.

As chair, Kramer schedules approximately 18 gallery exhibits a year, meets with curators, and coordinates the logistics and details of each exhibit. Additionally, Kramer is tasked with planning a wide array of exhibit themes and exposing the community to excellent art in multiple mediums. 

“My personal goal is to have each show generate excitement when visitors enter the gallery,” Kramer says. “I want people to come in and see something they’ve never seen before.”

Aside from its two galleries, RiverArts also provides the community with various opportunities to explore art through creativity. KidSPOT is a hands-on creative learning center for children ages two to 12, which offers several events and workshops throughout the year. Last year, RiverArts opened the ArtsAlive! Education Center, which hosts a variety of art classes for all ages. RiverArts’ goal is to be the place where art and community come together, according to Kramer. 

“RiverArts is such a great organization because it really gives life to a small community,” Kramer says. “We want to create art opportunities and foster creativity at all ages and stages of life.” 

Though Kramer plays a considerably large role in fulfilling RiverArts’ mission and supporting its day-to-day success, the joy and sense of community she gets in return is what has kept her involved for over 18 years. 

“Volunteering with RiverArts has turned out to be a creative outlet for me,” Kramer says. “When you’re in the workforce, it’s hard to find time to follow your curiosity and try something new, but RiverArts has allowed me to do that.”

For more information about RiverArts, visit Chestertownriverarts.net