Lisbon artists will each get a chance to shine in Bethesda

She paints. He makes things out of metal.

At their home in Woodbine, Ed and Brenda Kidera each have their own studio – hers is in the house; his in a building he built himself a short distance from the main house.

“From the beginning, we’ve always worked at home,” Brenda said. “It’s nice.”

While they both work at home, they don’t work together.

“We both do very different things,” Ed said. “We don’t really collaborate on anything.”

“We tend to meet for lunch,” Brenda added.

The artists will be doing a show together as both Brenda and Ed were selected to be part of the Bethesda Row Arts Festival on Oct. 14 and 15. They are the only two from Maryland of the 190 artists selected, to be in the show.

“It is high-end art,” said Brenda, who attended the show with a friend five years ago. “I saw a lot of artists I knew.”

“It’s pretty competitive,” Ed said.”Thousands apply and there are only a couple 100 (ccepted).

The Kideras are no strangers to art shows. Both travel to numerous shows on their own, and occasionally, together. Their two daughters, now adults, were raised at art shows, Brenda joked.

“We do different types of shows,” Ed explained. “Some are only crafts, some are fine arts, some art. Bethesda is a mix of fine art and fine crafts.”

While Brenda’s paintings – whether in oil, water or acryclics — are typically classified as fine art, Ed’s metal pieces are harder to classify. Some shows see his metal bells and air ships as crafts, other as metal fine art.

Ed tends to travel more and further for shows, going to the Mid-West as well as the East Coast. Brenda does shows closer to home. She also teaches painting classes.

When they are able to do a show together, they request booths next to each other. They pack up their vans with their work, tables, tents -whatever they need to create their booths at a show. Some shows require them to set up at 3:30 a.m.

“It’s a lot of work,” Brenda admitted.

At the end of the day on weekend events, they just close their tent flaps.

“You hope nothing happens,” Ed said. “Both of us have stuff that you can’t put in a pocket and walk away with.”

Both also have pieces in local galleries, including HorseSpirit Arts Gallery on Main Street in historic Ellicott City, where each had pieces affected by the flood in July 2016.

“Her use of light and detail is just magnificent,” said Robin Holliday, owner of HorseSpirt. “People just love her work. She has a following here.”

Ed’s pieces, Holliday said, reflect his background in engineering with their moving parts.

“He is just so creative,” Holliday said. “I can’t believe what he comes up with.”

Brenda finds inspiration for her work looking out her studio’s windows or walking through the gardens she and Ed created — one thing they do together.

“We’re both avid gardeners,” Brenda said, though not of vegetables.

“We’re just terrible at growing anything to eat,” Ed said. “We have lots of flowers and plants.”

While Brenda has no intention of ever retiring, Ed realizes he may not always be able to physically do his work.

“When I started making pieces, I said that after I made 10,000 pieces that I would quit,” he said. “I have made 8,150 and I started in 1991.”

For now, both plan to continue working from their home studios in Woodbine.

“It is wonderful to know someone else appreciates your work,” Ed said. “I lke making the stuff.”

“There are pieces I hold on to a long, long time,” Brenda admitted. “But I’ll basically sell anything unless ther girls are in it. It’s a living.”

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