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'Create Early Bliss' through pumpkins

Posted On: 10/25/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

'Create Early Bliss' through pumpkins BERLIN — With Halloween approaching, local artist Kenny Bliss of Create Early Bliss has been busy constructing his custom-made pumpkins for businesses and private homes alike. “I have always kept that motto in my art and work,” Bliss said of his company’s name, which that is meant to conjure thoughts of euphoria and peacefulness. “Those kind of feelings can also come from my art.” While Bliss is a multi-medium artist, he has spent a lot of time recently working on his pumpkin products that take a little more effort and skill to design than the typical, run of the mill Jack-o-lanterns. When a design is submitted to Bliss, he photocopies it and enlarges the layout to an appropriate size. A straight blade is then used to cut through the pumpkin, but not to create holes. The lines make indents into the pumpkin, and gives the image a unique texture. When all indents are made, Bliss lets the pumpkin dry overnight. The next day, he uses a variety of co...
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Local artist exemplifies 'pure' photography

Posted On: 10/18/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet. staff writer

Local artist exemplifies 'pure' photography  BERLIN – The Worcester County Arts Council's latest resident artist, Ron Michaels, prides himself on his photos that capture scenes in their purest form, while adding an extra element to the image. That is, as long as his viewers look beyond the actual subject of the picture. "It's amazing what you can see when you look closely," said Michaels, who began taking photography seriously when he moved down to the area five years ago from Pennsylvania with his wife, Priscilla. Most of his photos display scenes of nature or local architecture, and each picture is meant to emphasize an extra, yet subtle, feature. Looking at a piece Michaels calls "Morning Angel," he described how an Assateague Island pony grazing in the picture is illuminated by the sunlight, thus giving the photo a heavenly feel. One of his favorite works, "Therapy," features a similar pony that happened to look at the camera at the exact moment it was being taken, and even seemin...
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Ayers Creek ‘Pink Paddle’ outdoor fundraising event

Posted On: 9/20/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

Ayers Creek ‘Pink Paddle’ outdoor fundraising event BERLIN -- In support of breast cancer awareness, Ayers Creek Adventures off Grey Fox Lane will hold its third annual Pink Paddle fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 29. "I use the event as an opportunity to remind all women, and men, to practice preventative measures by leading a healthy lifestyle and to ensure they are regularly screened," said Suzy Taylor, who owns Ayers Creek Adventures with her husband, Steven. Those who wish to participate in a day of creek paddling, games and music must make a donation. All proceeds will be split between nonprofit breast cancer organizations Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Women Supporting Women. For a single kayak, a $50 donation is required. Two-person kayaks and canoes are each available through an $80 donation. Supporters of breast cancer awareness who already have their own kayak or canoe are allowed to bring their vessel, but must pay a $40 donation. All kayaks and canoes being used on that day have to be registered with Ayers Cre...
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Dew Tour athletes take time to view local artwork

Posted On: 8/23/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

BERLIN — While the past weekend’s Dew Tour in Ocean City allowed residents to watch their favorite world-class athletes compete in person, it also gave those same athletes an opportunity to meld with the local life. On Saturday, Matt Dove, a local retired professional skateboarder and artist, held an art show and reception at his newly relocated gallery, Punk Rock Fish Studio in Berlin that brought visits from many of the athletes who competed in the Dew Tour. Among those who stopped in to visit, eat and drink with residents were skateboarders Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi. “There’s a lot of people from out of town that have never eaten a blue crab and we just wanted to embrace the Eastern Shore lifestyle,” Dove said of the decision to stock his reception with local fare. “I have known a lot of these athletes for 20 years,” he said. “It’s awesome because they are people I never thought I would meet when I was young.”...
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Local artists cover town this weekend to ‘Paint Berlin’

Posted On: 8/9/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

Local artists cover town this weekend to ‘Paint Berlin’ BERLIN — Local artists will be scattered this weekend throughout downtown Berlin, where they’ll capture historic old-town sights on their easels for Paint Berlin, a celebration of local painters. The public is welcome to observe these artists perform their work on any of the event’s days, Aug. 10-12. Painters may choose any scene on which to base their work, as long as it is within the town limits, according to Anna Mullis, executive director of the Worcester County Arts Council, organizer of the third annual event. “It’s an experience for our artists to network and for people to come out on the streets,” she said. “It is our mission to promote the local arts around Worcester County and we’re really proud of our artists.” About 20 artists participate yearly and spread out in town to paint on Friday and Saturday, the first two days of Paint Berlin. The final day, Sunday, is a gathering in front of the Atlantic Hotel, where the ...
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Businesses can buy ‘Berlinopoly’ spots

Posted On: 8/9/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

BERLIN — Local businesses are encouraged to reserve a spot on Berlinopoly, a custom Berlin-themed Monopoly board to be sold in town this winter, before all sponsorship opportunities are claimed. Although the Berlin Chamber of Commerce is behind the board’s creation, its final design is dependent on the community. Nearly all parts of the game are available for sponsorship by a business, save for the die and player pieces. Other aspects, such as the individual properties, hotels, game cards and play money, can be sponsored to prominently display a business’ name. “We want to make it a collector’s item,” said Aaren Collins, executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, who came up with the idea to organize this community effort after remembering a similar Ocean City project done many years ago. Spaces on the board and other items cost between $50 and $700 to sponsor, with the more desirable areas of the game being the most expensive. Some ar...
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Buying local is good business

Posted On: 8/9/12
Written By: Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

Buying local is good business BERLIN — Thee Berlin businesses are banding together this month to promote the benefits of buying goods locally. The owners and operators of The Good Farm, Burley Oak Brewing Company and Baked Dessert Café created this Buy Local Challenge to encourage consumers to avoid traditional grocery stores and retailers in August and instead purchase goods from local businesses. “Localized community production satisfying localized community demand is what it’s all about,” said Ric Gresia, who operates The Good Farm on Route 611 with owner Christie McDowell. Its purpose is not only to support local business financially, but also to make the public more aware of the advantages buying locally offers consumers and businesses. “You see who is making your food and you know them,” McDowell said. McDowell and Gresia came up with the idea last year while building business relationships throughout town. When they began talking to Bryan Brushmiller, owner o...
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George’s Mixes starts in Berlin and goes regional

Posted On: 5/11/12
Written By: Tony Russo

George’s Mixes starts in Berlin and goes regional BERLIN — In 1996, while working at the Middleton Tavern in Annapolis, Greg David decided he wanted to make a distinctive Bloody Mary and began developing a formula that would set his apart. Although it was almost an immediate success, the concoction David was serving was only very good. He wanted it to be excellent. By the time he’d satisfied his goal of a singular Bloody Mary, five years had gone by and people began suggesting he bottle it. Unfortunately, making the drinks was one thing, digging in his heels and doing the grunt work involved in design, trademarking and developing a business plan was a little daunting. Bottling his recipe was one of the last things he was interested in. Instead he was content to get annual recognition for his efforts in various Bloody Mary contests. Within a month of the Globe’s opening, David had won the Best Spicy Bloody Mary award at Seacrets’ annual Bloody Mary event and the Globe was on the map as among the best places to...
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Johnny Cash tribute to play West Ocean City

Posted On: 5/11/12
Written By: Tony Russo

WEST OCEAN CITY —  Tom Cavanagh and his band threw in the occasional Johnny Cash song as part of their own original shows for years and their renditions were popular with the crowds because they were spot-on. Eventually they began to discuss doing a tribute show and tour. For his part, Cavanagh already had more than a little experience touring both with original acts as well as having participated in tribute shows. While he endorsed the notion, he let it be known how important it was that the show not be farcical or slap-dash. The group resolved to take the time and make the effort not only to get make sure they were authentic, but also to ensure that the show was worth people’s time. “It’s a Broadway-level show,” Cavanagh said. “The stage is always changing.” The first order of business, then, was to go and get some Carters. The group already had one woman singer and recruited two more to round out the team. The rest of the band, which...
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2nd Friday Art Stroll features wine and music

Posted On: 5/11/12
Written By: Tony Russo

2nd Friday Art Stroll features wine and music BERLIN — Over the next two months Berlin will begin its transformation into the unofficial wine capitol of the Eastern Shore. It is fitting then that on the occasion of the 2nd Friday Art Stroll, the first of several shops offering upscale wines will have its major coming out party. Robin Tomaselli and her sister Shelly Eppard who own the Baked Dessert Cafe and Gallery on Bay Street had always planned to sell wine and craft beer from their shop. Their original place on North Main Street was too small to accommodate the project, but once they moved to the larger place the shop now occupies, they began planning to do so. The bakery has been developing a clientele interested in purchases beyond desserts. Over the last year-or-so they’ve created a niche selling artisan bread and local cheeses. Regular customers stop in for these items as part of a nice dinner. The centerpiece of a nice dinner is a good bottle of wine, so the transition made complete sense. “This just l...
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