Jody Primoff and Emily Merenda Battcock are Gift Shop Artists of the Month
Jody Primoff has been painting since she was ten years old. Growing up in Utica New York she was lucky enough at that age to take part in classes at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute taught by fine professional artists. She graduated from Syracuse University, then moved to New York City, where she worked in publishing and also studied at the Art Students’ League with Reginald Marsh.
After marrying she raised three children and taught special education, while continuing to paint. For more than forty years her work was displayed in the Island Art Gallery in Manteo, North Carolina. Later, when she and her husband lived for a time in the Catskills she was connected with several regional galleries there.
In 2004 they moved to the Eastern Shore, and she began painting a new landscape – of horizontal fields, shorelines , and ever-changing skies. Although she now lives near Baltimore, her paintings continue to include these subjects, and are created using many mediums: acrylic, watercolor, pastel, collage, pen and ink, and combinations of all of these. Her basic subject is the natural world; in color she expresses her appreciation and joy in the beauty that surrounds us.
You can see Jody’s work in RiverArts and the Artists’ Gallery, both in Chestertown, MD.
Emily Merenda Battcock has lived on the eastern shore of Maryland for most of her life. She grew up about a mile from the Crumpton auction, where she and her family gathered much artistic inspiration.
Emily became interested in gems and beads at about age four or five, after buying a beaded bracelet and rhinestone pendant at a church bazaar down the street from her house (she still has the pendant). As a teenager, she was very interested in fashion and jewelry design and discovered that she could buy strands of beads and vintage pieces at yard sales or thrift stores and repurpose them to create pieces of her own to wear. She went to her first bead show at age seventeen and has been making jewelry ever since.
Emily started featuring her pieces in stores, doing private and a few select shows, including the Chestertown Tea Party Festival. She has been a vendor in the River Arts gift shop for over two years now.
She has worked as a bookkeeper for the last 10 years and decided to leave her job in December 2016 to work full-time with her husband Peter, local contractor and owner of Osprey Custom Carpentry, which specializes in cabinetry, custom built-ins, furniture and historic restoration windows. Emily is not only taking care of his books, but working alongside Peter on custom projects in his shop and restoration work on jobsites.
In addition to working with her husband and creating jewelry, she is helping raise her step-daughters Brenna and Millie and her three year old son, Elijah.