Another Smilow Daughter Enters The Fold–In Santa Fe

Pam Smilow, artist, sister of Judy Smilow and daughter of Mel Smilow joins the Smilow® Furniture fold by bringing Smilow® Furniture to New Mexico. Our newest retail location in Santa Fe—Smilow Mathiesen: A Lifestyle Collection—a gallery and shop named after and representing the art of Pam and her late husband Gert Mathiesen (among a few other select artists) will be our first retail location in the South West. If you’re in the area in late August, you can come see the furniture, check out the amazing artwork and meet the artist herself. We’d love to see you there!

Smilow Mathiesen: A Lifestyle Collection

780 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Meet the Artist, Pam Smilow

August 19-23 10am – 5pm

Feel the Pinch Copper Sculpture by Morgan Raimond

“Feel the Pinch” is a giant blue crab claw, clad in copper, created by metal artist Morgan Raimond. It was installed near Chestertown’s marina for RiverFest 2017.

The copper claw reaches out of the water and arches toward the pedestrian bridge along the Chester River. The sculpture morphs in the changing light of the day and is an iconic symbol for Chestertown and the Chester River. It is illuminated at night.

This sculpture represents many aspects of the region today. The strong, menacing claw of the blue crab is juxtaposed with the current fragile eco-system of its environment.






RiverFest 2017 – A champagne reception and sculpture “christening” was followed by a party and cruise on the Chester River Packet

Sculptures by Cindy Fulton, Rob Glebe and Morgan Raimond are situated along the waterfront footbridge between the foot of High Street and the marina, and will remain up through Downrigging Weekend October 27-29, 2017. Call RiverArts at 410 778 6300 if you are interested in purchasing the sculpture.

Sunrise photo by Areti Afentoulis


37% of high school grades are deficient in reading

WASHINGTON, DC – Here’s an alarming statistic: just 63% of high school graduates are proficient in reading. That’s the assessment from the U.S. Department of Education in its most recent Nation’s Report Card. And, thirty-seven percent lack sufficient reading comprehension.

“If a child can’t read, he or she cannot learn, and that can have serious consequences for the future of the country. What kind of citizens will these children be when they grow up? Will he or she be equipped to make responsible choices? Abraham Lincoln put it this way: “how can any man judge, unless his mind has been opened and enlarged by reading?” We need to push to influence the schools into focusing on the importance of the printed word,” says education advocate David Bruce Smith.

Smith’s conclusion is reinforced in a recent Intellectual Takeout article, which suggests that our schools get a failing grade when it comes to instilling a love—or interest in—what a student reads. Most are “taught” it is a chore they must endure.

But, not all teachers downplay its importance. Neme Alperstein is a teacher with an international reputation for excellence, and a member of Smith’s panel of judges for the Grateful American Book Prize. She believes “you can’t force unwanted reading materials on young children. It just doesn’t work if one hopes to develop a love of reading and learning.  Children must have the freedom to select what they read if they are to acquire a love of books in support of learning. That freedom can take a child’s interest in new and exciting directions.

“It is essential to recognize the limitations of prescribed reading lists and their impact on a child’s motivation.  Have you ever given a young child a book he or she didn’t want?  I’ve seen children hand the book back or simply leave it somewhere as they then look for what they really want to read, digitally or in print.  Children usually make better reading choices for themselves that they then actually read.  The key is to foster a joy and enthusiasm for reading, often what prescribed lists from programs in schools cannot achieve,” according to Alperstein.

The report from the Department of Education also revealed that the nation’s children are deficient in their knowledge of who they are, where they come from, and—most of the important lessons of history,” according to Smith.

Smith and Dr. Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, established the Grateful American Book Prize in 2015 to encourage authors and publishers to produce more works of fiction and nonfiction about American history—that appeal to young readers.

This year’s panel of judges is in the process of selecting the winner; he or she will receive a cash award of $13,000 commemorating the 13 original colonies, and a medallion created by the American artist, Clarice Smith. The October 12th reception will be at the National Archives in Washington, DC. 12th. Two writers will also receive “Honorable Mention” acknowledgments of $500 each.

Submissions for 2018 will be accepted January 1st through July 31st.