Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co. | “Eastern Shore art for the rest of us”™
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GRACIAS, MERCI, DANKE, GRAZI AND THANKS TO …
‘ERICK SAHLER MAKES THE EASTERN SHORE POP’
Thank you to writer Kate Livie and creative director Jill BeVier Allen for shepherding a feature story about my work into the March edition of Chesapeake Bay Magazine.
SILKSCREEN EDITION SALUTES OLD USCG STATION
On the southern tip of Virginia’s Assateague Island stands an abandoned U.S. Coast Guard station. It is the subject of a new silkscreen edition that debuted in April.
It was an absolute delight to discover the stately old Assateague Beach Station. Getting there required a 4-mile roundtrip hike across the windswept sand between the Atlantic Ocean and Tom’s Cove. I later learned it was built in 1922, and was one of eight life-saving stations between Cape Charles and Cape Henlopen. In 1967 it was decommissioned and abandoned, yet it still stands more than half a century later.
Called the print shows the station house warmed in the late afternoon sun against a dark winter sky, along with the base of the watchtower and the boathouse in the distance. Grasses and a sandy dune set the scene in the foreground. It is a more natural color palette than I typically use and I find it quite symbolic in representing the heroic mission of the Coast Guard against the endless fury of Mother Nature.
There are 90 10-color hand-pulled 16x20 silkscreen prints in the edition. Prices are $125 unframed and $195 framed. Digitally printed 8x10 Legacy Reproductions are $35 unframed and $75 framed.
LEWES ICON FEATURED IN SILKSCREEN EDITION
I had been looking for an iconic image of Lewes, Delaware, to commit to silkscreen when my friend Randy Reynolds suggested the Lightship Overfalls.
I was familiar with the old lightships and their bright red hulls with large white letters spelling out their location to passing mariners. My wife, Tracy, shot archival photos of Baltimore’s Lightship Chesapeake for the Danbury Mint in the 1990s.
The Lightship Overfalls has drawn folks to the canal in downtown Lewes for nearly 50 years. Officially the LV-118, it was the last ship built for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and served four decades in the waters off Connecticut and Massachusetts. In 1973, it docked in Lewes and was repainted as the Overfalls in honor of the lightship that was stationed at the mouth of Delaware Bay.
In shooting reference photos, I purposely avoided the more traditional “side-on” view. Art aficionados of Lewes already knew “OVERFALLS” was painted on the side, I assumed, and did not require it to be reinforced. From the parking lot of Irish Eyes, I discovered the “bow-on” view that included a healthy assortment of on-board marine equipment and heavy lines securing the vessel to the shore. In the background was one of those cute cedar-shake cottages that abound in Lewes. The composition gets added energy from competing reds and greens, punctuated by the pink door of the cottage and the pink reflection trickling into the type at the bottom.
There are 85 12-color hand-pulled 16x20 silkscreen prints in the edition. Prices are $125 unframed and $195 framed. Digitally printed 8x10 Legacy Reproductions are $35 unframed and $75 framed.
“In the world of Erick Sahler’s silkscreen serigraphs, Delmarva’s destinations and local cultural touchstones are elevated to the iconic with a signature style that’s 60 percent WPA travel poster, 30 percent Madison Avenue marketing pitch, and 10 percent native son nostalgia. The result is a larger-than-life celebration of the Chesapeake’s unique landscape and culture.”
— Kate Livie
Kate’s article, “Celebrating the Delmarvelous: Erick Sahler makes the Eastern Shore pop,” tells the story of my journey from apprentice graphic artist with a growing appreciation for his Eastern Shore roots to the rise of Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co. and its mission to celebrate everything Delmarva. It is accompanied by nine of my silkscreen illustrations.
depicting the commercial fleet in Chincoteague, Virginia, appears on the cover. According to Livie, it is the first time a photograph has not graced the cover since 2017, when the artwork of legendary Chesapeake Bay painter John Barber was featured.
Dr. Hook may have dreamed of getting his picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone, but for an Eastern Shore feller this is about as thrilling as it gets. Chesapeake Bay Magazine, I am grateful.
You can read the full story .
“Dockside” and nine of my other silkscreen illustrations are featured in the March edition of Chesapeake Bay Magazine.
In March Salisbury Independent Editor Greg Bassett interviewed Erick Sahler on PAC14’s weekly talk show “One on One.”
MAKING NEWS AND ART: ERICK SAHLER LOOKS BACK
On a show broadcast March 18, Erick Sahler was the sole guest on a half-hour episode of Greg Bassett’s “One on One” talk show on PAC14 in Salisbury, Md.
Bassett and Sahler have been friends and colleagues for more than 30 years, including more than a decade managing the newsroom of Salisbury’s daily newspaper. Their shared history made for a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from producing a newspaper on deadline to the stories and ideas behind some of Sahler’s most recent silkscreen and digital prints.
“Greg and I have pontificated on every topic imaginable over the last three decades,” Sahler said, “but I believe this is the most open and honest discussion we’ve ever had.”
The show is archived on YouTube and can be watched .
ORDER EARLY FOR A SMOOTHER HOLIDAY SEASON
NEW PRINT EDITION HONORS DOWNTOWN EASTON
The long-awaited a new silkscreen print edition celebrating one of the liveliest communities on the Eastern Shore, is available now.
“Colonial brick architecture and stately old trees combine to make downtown Easton the prettiest city on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. From small boutiques to the fortress-like Tidewater Inn, Easton bustles with life,” Sahler said. “This illustration includes the historic Avalon Theatre, an Art Deco gem that hosts musical acts from around the globe, and the old Hill’s Drugs sign, a local icon that was removed this past summer.”
Reference photos were shot in 2016 and 2018, and the illustration was created in 2019.
“Scheduling changes due to the pandemic forced us to postpone the printing of this piece for two years,” Sahler said. “In hindsight, I’m so glad it did. That old Hill’s Drug sign was the visual centerpiece of Dover Street. Of course, I had no idea it would be taken down but I’m delighted it is memorialized in this print.”
There are 85 13-color hand-pulled 16x20 silkscreen prints in the edition. Prices are $125 unframed and $195 framed. Digitally printed 8x10 Legacy Reproductions are $35 unframed and $75 framed.
It is available at Vintage in Easton, Sunnyside Shop in Cambridge, The Treasure Chest in Oxford and on our website.
PACKING HOUSE SALUTES HISTORIC INDUSTRIAL SITE
If you’ve driven through Cambridge on Route 50, you can’t miss them: the twin smokestacks announcing “PPCo” in opposite directions. They mark the site of the once-sprawling Phillips Packing Co.
Today, the Phillips name is synonymous with seafood, available in its restaurants from Ocean City to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as well as grocery stores around the world. But the Phillips company got its start in Dorchester County, selling blue crabs from the family home on Hoopers Island. The business expanded to Cambridge during World War II, packaging rations for U.S. troops. After the war it continued to grow, packaging tomatoes and other Shore-grown produce for commercial markets.
Now the Phillips site in Cambridge is being redeveloped by the same visionaries who created Harborplace and Brewers Hill in Baltimore.
That history and rebirth is celebrated in a new Legacy Reproduction print edition by Erick Sahler, which is available now.
“The iconic brick stacks near Route 50 in Cambridge stand guard over the last remaining building of the once-vast Phillips Packing Company,” Sahler said. “Factory F, which employed thousands as a vegetable and seafood packing house in the mid-1900s, is being redeveloped for food service, retail and tourism. It’s an exciting next step for a site with deep roots on the Eastern Shore.”
“Packing House” depicts the west-facing façade of the building, its bricks glowing in the late-afternoon sunshine as seagulls from the nearby Choptank swirl overhead.
Digitally printed 16x20 Legacy Reproductions are $95 unframed and $165 framed; 8x10 Legacy Reproductions are $35 unframed and $75 framed.
It is available at Sunnyside Shop in Cambridge and on our website.
James M. Bennett football, circa 1980s. We recently had the pleasure to reunite with former players Craig Morton and Troy Milbourne to recreate the iconic jacket awarded to the Clippers after the 1982 Maryland State Championship. Working with the Neff Co., Erick Sahler designed the replica as an exact copy of the highly coveted original, including the screen-printed “Undefeated State Champions” football patch stitched across the back of the jacket. It is available to anyone who supported any of Bennett’s three championship teams. Call 1-800-232-6333 Ext. 45770.
You, for your continued support. I am grateful.
Remember to shop early this holiday season.
Peace + love,
Our “Patamokia” tees continue to be a runaway sensation. Thanks to Sunnyside Shop in Cambridge, Md., for keeping them available in a wide variety of colors.
Thank you to the readers of Coastal Style magazine, who voted Erick Sahler the 2021 “Best Artist.” The full list of winners was published in the September edition.
When we heard the Hill’s Drugs sign was coming down, we returned for more photos. Soon after, this image of the sign’s removal appeared on social media.
This areial shows the sprawling Phillips Packing Co. in its heyday. The two stacks in the Erick Sahler illustration can be seen in the top center of the photo.
Our Norman Rockwell tour took us to the artist’s studios in West Arlington, Vermont, left, and Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
LIVING THE FULL NORMAN ROCKWELL EXPERIENCE
Erick Sahler slept in Norman Rockwell’s studio, and you can too!
In 2018, we conducted an exhaustive personal study of Andrew Wyeth, reading multiple biographies, poring over countless coffee-table collections of paintings, and visiting studios, homes and galleries in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and Port Clyde, Maine.
In 2019, we turned our attention to Norman Rockwell, whose book “Illustrator” propelled a young Erick Sahler to pursue drawing and painting. In researching Rockwell, we kept a running list of the addresses of his numerous homes and studios, as well as those of other artists with whom he interacted. A trip was planned to visit the sites — and then the pandemic shut down the world.
But the list remained.
Earlier this year, on the day after Sahler received his second covid vaccination, he booked the tour.
It started with Rockwell’s birthplace in New York City (unmarked, shockingly); continued to New Rochelle, New York, where his career as a Saturday Evening Post illustrator took root; then to West Arlington, Vermont, where he painted “The Four Freedoms” and his career crested; and finally to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he lived out his golden years and is buried.
In West Arlington, we spent two nights in the loft above the studio, in the space where Rockwell stored his finished canvases. The home and studio are now open as “Rockwell’s Retreat,” a first-class bed-and-breakfast run by Kevin and Sue Harter. In addition to allowing full access to the property, the Harters shared stories and connected us with former Rockwell model Don Trachte Jr. It was a dream come true.
To learn more or book a room at Rockwell’s Retreat, go to
This is the view from our loft quarters in Rockwell’s West Arlington studio. Below, Rockwell looks over paintings once stored in the loft where we slept.
The front and back of the greatest jacket ever (re)created. It was originally awarded to the 1982 undefeated state champion James M. Bennett Clippers.
Delivery day oases. Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co. delivers orders weekly to shops across Delmarva. We are grateful for those merchants, but also the nearby food vendors and markets that have become part of our travel routine. Our favorites include Backyard Fire Pit and Island Creamery in Chincoteague, Virginia; Oxford Market and Highland Scottish Creamery in Oxford, Maryland; Mandala Pies in Vienna, Maryland; The Station on Kings in Lewes, Delaware; and Fresh Market in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Mandela Pies in Vienna, Maryland, and Island Creamery in Chincoteague, Virginia, offer some of the best desserts we’ve ever tasted.
Dorchester Center for the Arts, for hosting a retrospective of Erick Sahler’s work over the summer. The exhibit included Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co. silkscreen and digital prints from the past decade, as well as commissions, and print and textile commercial work. Thank you to all who worked behind the scenes to pull off an amazing exhibit that featured more than 200 pieces. And thanks to everyone who came out for the opening reception. Your support touched our heart.
Jay Fleming, the hardest-working photographer on Chesapeake Bay, for allowing us a small role in his beautiful new book “Island Life.” Erick Sahler created the full-page map of Smith and Tangier islands. You can preview and order Jay’s book .
Sunnyside Shop in Cambridge for its exclusive offering of Erick Sahler T-shirts. Owner Heidi Griebel continues to offer the highest quality and largest selection of Eastern Shore-themed apparel anywhere on Delmarva. And (hint) they make great gifts for the holidays.
Peninsula Printing. Best wishes and many thanks to Walt and Jeani Warren of Peninsula Printing, who retired this summer. For nearly a decade, Peninsula Printing produced our hugely popular postcards sold in shops across Delmarva. Finding a new printer has been a challenge, and we now recognize how generous Walt and Jeannie were in accommodating our small-batch orders and dozens of designs.
Rich Smoker, the veteran decoy artist who hosted a number of open house events at the Ward Brothers workshop in Crisfield. As recently documented in magazine, Rich has earned his place as heir to the Ward Brothers legacy. Touring the legendary old shop with him as our guide made for a fascinating afternoon.
everything we need to get orders out quickly, but that could change as we near the holidays.
All our retail shops are listed . Our silkscreen prints can be ordered and our digital prints can be ordered .
As you’ve likely heard, it’s going to be another crazy holiday shopping season.
Kinks in the supply chain continue to make it a challenge for us to get the paper, inks and packaging materials we need to produce and ship our products. In addition, rising costs have forced an increase in prices for our large prints and framed artwork.
If you are considering Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co. for the gift-giving season, we encourage you to please shop early. We are currently well-stocked with
Thank you to owner Tim Boyle of Vintage — “The Coolest Joint in Easton” — which now offers a seclection of our mid-Shore prints.