4th Chesapeake Heritage Oyster Tin is announced

Submitted photo
Ricky Fitzhugh, at left, and Chris Wyer displayed oyster tins. This year’s Limited edition collectible features a Great Blue Heron by artist Mona Pennypacker.

FISHING CREEK — Hoopers Island Oyster Co. unveiled the 4th Edition Chesapeake Heritage Oyster Tin design last week. The vintage-style oyster can features an image of the region’s iconic great blue heron based on an original lino-cut titled “Blue Heron at Low Tide.” Managing Partner Ricky Fitzhugh commissioned artist Mona Pennypacker to create the signature work.

“We were excited to collaborate with Mona to create this unique design,” said Fitzhugh. “Whether you love oysters, art or the Chesapeake, it’s a great expression of Eastern Shore culture and environment.”

A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art (B.A. Fine Art, 1994), Mona’s parents hail from Dorchester County. Both were artists.
Her late father also worked as a waterman and commercial fishing captain. Her mother Vicki Hill, an acclaimed illustrator with a love of printmaking, now lives in Texas.
“It has been a joy helping Hoopers Island develop their website and marketing campaigns,” she said. “Working with Hoopers has been a way to connect with my family history as Dorchester’s waterways and fishing industries sustained our family’s livelihoods.”

The great blue heron is perhaps the most iconic and widespread aquatic bird species of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They can be seen year-round throughout the County wading in marsh grasses, standing on piers and gliding across the sky.

Senior Manager Chris Wyer explained that the first three heritage tins featured designs by Dorchester artists Michael Rosato, Kevin Davidson and Lesley Giles respectively. They were very popular with oyster lovers, Eastern Shore residents and collectors alike; the first two editions sold out and a limited number of Series 3 tins remain.
“We’re proud to again partner with local artists to promote oystering and support our community,” said Wyer. “Proceeds from the pandemic edition will also benefit first responders in Dorchester County.”

Fitzhugh noted that for the first time since the Heritage Series was launched in 2017, a limited number of hand-colored, numbered and signed prints by the artist will also be available. Ms. Pennypacker is currently studying for a graduate degree in Rome. Signed and numbered prints will be available in early December.

“I am honored to have been asked to create an original work of art for this year’s Heritage Tin. I chose to focus on the heron and landscape because that is where I have always found my inspiration, said Pennypacker. “Being on the Eastern Shore evokes strong memories of family that is only enhanced by the sense of a place and time inherent in the expansive waterways, rich farm land and aging buildings. I am always struck by the soft beauty that is punctuated by the silhouette of a heron perched on the end of a pier or silently gliding above still waters.”

For information, call (410) 397-3664 or email info@hoopersisland.com.