D.C. native Ben Ferry has fond memories of leaving the city and heading to the Eastern Shore, driving past Maryland’s Freeway Airport en route to an adventure.
“Everyone drives the same road to the Bay Bridge,” Ferry says. “Some of my fondest memories in life began with the journey passing this airport on the way to the shore. When I saw the airfield, it always marked the beginning of the journey.”
The Upper School Painting and Drawing teacher captures this classic sense of Americana in his newest art exhibition, “Eastward and Onward,” highlighting the airport and its everyday scenes. The exhibit of oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings opens at Gallery Neptune & Brown in D.C. on April 15.
Ferry used several familiar faces in the Holton community as actors to help tell the story of Freeway Airport in the way that he envisioned it. A drawing titled “How Men Speak,” depicts Ferry alongside Ken Moreland, Holton’s lead carpenter, inside a hangar. Ricky Sears, Ferry’s counterpart at Landon, is also featured in multiple scenes.
US Photography teacher Donna Maclean took photos of the Ferry and Moreland at the track to assist with Ferry’s vision, and on more than one occasion students helped Ferry pose other scenes for initial pictures.
“I am forever grateful to Ken to allow me to plug him into scenes, because he fit my idea of how I wanted to portray the place perfectly,” Ferry said.
Ferry worked on the show over the past three years and likens its themes of community and Americana to how we leaned on one another throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to persevere and maintain a semblance of ourselves.
“I choose to depict small moments in time that represent a bigger picture if the viewer is willing to look through a different lens,” he says.
The gallery will host an opening reception Saturday, April 15, from 5-7 p.m. The show will remain on exhibition through May 13. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; for more information visit galleryneptunebrown.com.