EASTON — Portrait artist Laura Era has painted, framed, and donated to the Talbot County Free Library an original work in oil of Talbot County’s most famous native son, Frederick Douglass. Though the portrait will be officially unveiled at the library during this year’s celebration of Frederick Douglass Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, it is now on view in the Troika Gallery, 9 S. Harrison Street, Easton.
“Laura Era has made an extraordinary gift to the people of Talbot County,” Childlene Brooks, vice president of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, said of the donation. “Now, thanks to her, in our Talbot County Free Library, the people of Talbot County can see a powerful image of the man who reflects the very best in all of us.”
“The Board, staff, and patrons of the library are delighted to be the beneficiaries of Laura Era’s generosity,” Talbot County Free Library Director Dana Newman said. “She is a talented, painstaking, and discerning artist who has captured the very essence and spirit of one of our country’s greatest men. This remarkable work of art will now hang in a place of honor in the library’s Frederick Douglass Room.”
Laura Era is an award-winning, portrait and landscape artist and teacher. Since turning professional in 1988, she has created innumerable portraits on commission, both formal and informal, in oil and pastel. Her work hangs in collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. Painting trips have taken her across America, as well as to England, France, Portugal, Germany, and Italy. Era and her husband, Richard, built their home and her studio on the Little Choptank River, near Cambridge, Maryland. She is the owner of the Troika Gallery.
Due to COVID-19, Frederick Douglass Day will be celebrated virtually this year. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, the public will be able to link to all the festival’s lectures, events, and activities using either Facebook or the Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s website. The official unveiling of Era’s Frederick Douglass portrait is scheduled for 11 a.m.
This year’s Frederick Douglass Day will include welcoming comments by guest speakers Mayor Robert Willey, County Council President Corey Pack, Talbot County Free Library Director Dana Newman, Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelly Griffith, Frederick Douglass reenactor Terron Quailes, musical performances by Easton High School students and the U.S. Navy band; a Children’s Village featuring learning, challenging, and fun activities with prizes and giveaways and a Frederick Douglass story time reading by St. Michaels Library Branch Manager Shauna Beulah; a virtual tour of Douglass’s home in Washington, D.C., by museum curator Ka’mal McClarin; “Around the World with Frederick Douglass,” highlighting Douglass scholars, curators, and dignitaries from Scotland, Ireland, England, and the United States; and a lecture by Harvard Professor John Stauffer, a leading authority on the antislavery movement, the Civil War, social protest movements, and photography.