(June 14, 2013) Around 80 artists will gather at Northside Park on 125th Street this Saturday and Sunday for the 13th annual Arts Alive event, an outdoor fine arts festival that is free to the public.
Artwork, including drawing, sculpture, jewelry, glass, photography, mixed-media and fiber, from local and non-local artists will be on sale. Visitors can also see the artists at work in their booths.
“It’s a great family event,” said Brenda Moore, special events coordinator for the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department, which puts the show on with the Art League of Ocean City each year.
Arts Alive takes place at Northside Park, a 58-acre complex hugged by a lagoon on Ocean City’s bayside.
“The beautiful location kind of speaks for itself, and it allows the artists to spread out,” said Heather Wiles, who also is a special events coordinator for the Rec Department.
Residents join visitors in the yearly event, often seeking pieces for their businesses or to decorate a home. In addition to artwork for sale, they can find live music, free crafts for children and food at the Artist’ Café.
Arts Alive began in 2001, several years after changes in zoning ordinances shut down the Boardwalk-based Arts Atlantica in 1998.
“The Art League of Ocean City and the community decided they really wanted another art show, and an uptown, upscale art show was born,” Moore said.
Arts Alive has grown from just 25 artists its first year to close to 100. Around 7,000 visitors stroll the event each year, Moore said.
Metal Sculptor Randy Pardue of Hawthorne, Fla., will return for his fifth year at the festival with C & R Studios.
“The people seem to respond to our artwork, and it’s a nice venue,” he said. In addition to business, the event coordinators keep him coming back.
“They go out of their way to supply us with a little get-together at the end of the show on Saturday. That means a lot,” he said.
Arts Alive newcomer Valerie Lynch-Beaudin from Panama City, Fla., also came on board this year thanks to a good relationship with staff at the Rec Department.
She began crafting Celtic treasure boxes with her husband, Gary, when she retired about five years ago, hoping to reconnect with her Irish roots.
The “camaraderie of being together with a bunch of artists” draws her to events like Arts Alive, Beaudin said.
As for what patrons can expect, “there are going to be really high quality, unique items that they’re going to see,” she said.
Artists at the show will vie for $5,250 of prizes, including six Judge’s Choice Awards, a Mayor’s Choice award, a People’s Choice award and a $2,000 prize for Best of Show.
Arts Alive will take place outdoors rain or shine. The show is free to the public and open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department at 410-250-0125 or visit http://www.ococean.com/events/arts-alive.