On April 2, The Palette & The Page gallery will continue their First Friday tradition as part of the Elkton Art Loop. The “Showers of Silver” show features artist Janet Kofoed, who turns pieces of lichen and twigs she finds on nature walks into fine silver jewelry.
“I have a whole box of interesting twigs and seed pods, and I’ll go through there and pick things out that look interesting to me,” said Kofoed.
Kofoed was originally going to present at the Main Street gallery in March, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She said COVID put all her usual shows and commissions on hold. Later in the year, her work will be on display at the Winterthur in Delaware, the Wheaton Art Center in New Jersey, and the Hagley Museum in Wilmington.
She began creating jewelry while she was living in Washington. She started with a class at the Smithsonian in the early 2000’s.
“By training, I’m a psychologist, but I’d much rather be making jewelry,” said Kofoed. “I never run out of ideas. If I ever get bored, I just try something new.”
The pandemic created a six-month creative slump for Kofoed that she had to work herself out of before the exhibit. Several of the pieces Kofoed is presenting on Friday will be from her return to art.
“It’s always hard to get back after a slump,” said Kofoed. “There’s two or three days where I don’t like anything I do. I make it, throw it out, make it, throw it out. But once the hand of the brain gets in sync, and everything starts working again, my ideas start coming faster and faster.”
The Page restarted their First Friday monthly event in November after having to cancel their spring and summer shows, but attendance was low, and they didn’t have the usual amenities. Before COVID-19, they would have around 75 people come to the event. Now they can have a maximum of 10 customers at a time. However, this first Friday marks a significant change to the event, as harpist Deb Mackie is the first musician, outside of owner Patti Paulus’s husband, to play at The Page since March.
The company, founded by Paulus with Lynn Whitt and Janet Youse, celebrated its 11th anniversary in November. Along with their rotating gallery, The Page sells work from 27 local artists and 31 local authors.
The gallery also partners with five small businesses, North East Chocolates, Little Goat Coffee in Newark, Elkton’s Corinthian Olive Oil Company, Fair Weather Farms Honey, and Soap from Second Spring Naturals. Soon the company plans to create its line of teas to go along with it’s essential oils line.
“Artists like to drink tea or coffee, so for me, it was a natural fit,” said Paulus. “And it’s another way to expand what we’re doing and who we are reaching, we’re always trying to reach new people.”
The business also recently celebrated the endowment of a scholarship to benefit arts students at Cecil College after reaching $10,000 in funding in Jan.
“That’s what we consider our legacy since it will never go away,” said Paulus.
The “Showers of Silver” exhibit is open from April 1 to April 30. The First Friday featuring music from Mackie is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m on April 2. The event is free.