Artist creates fundraising poster for Sharpsburg Heritage Days

August 08, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

SHARPSBURG -- Someone once said timing is everything. No need to remind Joan Bontempo of that.

As part of the upcoming Sharpsburg Heritage Days observance Sept. 13-14, local artist Bontempo was commissioned in March to do a poster as a fundraiser for the event.

The timing part came in with her inclusion of the Ellis L. Keyfauver barn as part of the montage. "The barn was destroyed in a wind storm one week after the design was completed," Bontempo said.

Also featured in the poster are the images of Maryann and Joseph Chapline, the founders of the town. The battle is represented with the cannon and the monument, as well as the Lincoln script from the time. The plaque from the rebuilt St. Paul's Episcopal Church, magnolia flowers from a tree in Bontempo's yard and a photo of a neighbor's flowerpot with a small American flag are also included.


"I gave Ellis a poster," Bontempo said. They are on sale at Bontempo's B.L. Ink Arts gallery at 215 W. Main St., Sharpsburg -- $25 unmatted, $35 signed and matted, and $65 framed.

Proceeds from the poster sales and the house tours during Sharpsburg Heritage Days go to the Sharpsburg Historical Society.

Bontempo and her husband, J.P. Lynn, moved to Washington County in 2001. "Once our last child went off to college, we decided to explore and ended up in Sharpsburg," she said.

The parents of four children, they were originally from Wisconsin.

Bontempo is a ceramic artist who has been showing, lecturing and giving art classes since 1977. She also produces jewelry, original art and stoneware. Lynn is a woodworker and photographer.

Now settled in an historic Main Street home/studio, Bontempo is also head of the art department at Hagerstown Community College.

Two of her works will be on display this month at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

"The design opportunity for the poster was very exciting," Bontempo said, noting several are on display around town. "There has been a lot of buzz about it."

The artist may be contacted at 301-432-0445 or via e-mail The gallery is open on weekends until Labor Day and by appointment.

If you go

Sharpsburg Heritage Days

Sept. 13-14

Two tours offered this year with tickets for both tours available at the Convention and Visitor's Bureau Center on North Potomac Street in Hagerstown.

Donation to Sharpsburg Historical Society for each tour is $10.

  • Self-paced house tour both days, 11 houses open from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Included with $10 donation for the tour is packet of postcards depicting the houses. Postcards available without taking the tour.

  • Guided tour focusing on O.T. Reilly, noted guide and journalist following the Battle of Antietam. His biographer, Steven Recker, leads the tour at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

    There will be a host in each house to talk about the houses and answer questions.

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