The Art League of Ocean City, located in the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th street bayside, is one of Ocean City’s hidden jems. The art center’s five galleries display new exhibits of regional and local artists which rotate monthly, so whenever you stop in, you can expect to see something different and exciting.
Exhibits kick off with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. The receptions, as with all of the Art League’s activities, are open to the public.
Here’s what you’ll find when you take a look around the galleries this November.
“Reimagined” Theme Group Show
Thaler Gallery—One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This month the Art League brings that phrase to life with a “reimagined” group show in the Thaler Gallery, inspired by an effort to clean our beaches and use art as a way to solve problems creatively and improve the world around us. All artwork on display will have been created in part or totally with reclaimed, recycled and/or repurposed materials.
The exhibit will include a moveable but permanent art installation comprised of trash gathered from Assateague and Ocean City’s beaches, created collaboratively by The Art League of Ocean City, Alex Otterstein and other local artists. The goal of the exhibit, which will be officially unveiled at the Art League’s First Friday opening reception, is to raise public awareness about beach trash via a visually impactful art installation.
Kathy Gibson, “A Caregiving Journey”
Galleria—In the Galleria will be work of artist Kathy Gibson’s from “A Caregiving Journey: Through the Eyes of Huntington’s.” Gibson’s journey as a painter began over a decade ago as she sought to shed light on her role as caregiver, as her father, brother and sister all suffered from Huntington’s Disease. She says in her statement on “A Caregiving Journey,”
As my sister’s sole caregiver, I cared for her from the moment she moved into our home with my husband and I in 1997, until her death in 2014. I did everything possible to give voice to her story but when she was gone, my story was the one that was left, my legacy.I have been channeling my story into the only voice I know – painting. Since my sister’s death, I have been creating a visual dialogue of our journey together, tapping into those deep, intense moments when we stood together trying to battle this monster – Huntington’s Disease. My series of paintings pays tribute to my family’s journey and to all of those who have suffered through Huntington’s Disease.
While Gibson’s paintings will not be for sale, prints of her artwork will be available for purchase at the Art League. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these prints will be donated to The Huntington’s Society of America in support of caregiving programs.
Spotlight Gallery—In the Spotlight Gallery will be photography by Barbara Siskind, a lifelong Maryland resident with a primary residence in Columbia, MD and a vacation home in Ocean City. In 2011, Siskind retired from a 35-year career in pediatrics and has since had more time to devote to family, travel and photography. Siskind’s artist statement is as follows:
Having enjoyed film photography for over 50 years, I reluctantly switched to digital photography in 2008. This has allowed me unimaginable freedom to grow artistically, spiritually and professionally. I find joy in trying to capture a unique scene: a painterly and peaceful moment, an energetic split second, a sharp detail or a semi -abstraction of the seemingly ordinary. The words of Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Peace of Wild Things”, embody the feelings I experience when pursuing my nature oriented works. It is my desire to create photographic images which are engaging and are capable of generating emotional experiences for the viewer.
Eva Fox, Rina Thaler, Chelsea Thaler, “From Realism to Abstraction”
Studio E— “From Realism to Abstraction” reflects the generational differences in artistic approach, from a family with three generations of artists. Eva loves to paint people and thinks of her paintings as storytelling. Rina’s work ranges from traditional watercolors and acrylics to more complex collage and mixed media painting. Chelsea works from an abstract perspective, often incorporating elements of pop art into her work.
Eva Fox has been painting for over 80 years. She received her early training at the Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side of New York in the 1930’s and 40’s, developing a love for painting figure which still intrigue her at the age of 89. Her love of art was passed down to her son Richard and daughter Rina who are both working artists.
Rina has always been fascinated by color. Her mother Eva taught oil painting to the neighborhood kids and she was an eager pupil, but never considered it as a career. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she started studying watercolors. Her work has evolved over the years to incorporate mixed media, collage and acrylics. She paints in a vibrant expressive yet somewhat representational manner. Her favorite subjects are landscapes, abstracts and florals.
Rina is the Executive Director of the Art League of Ocean City and serves on the Ocean City Arts Advisory Board. She is also a partner artist at Gallery One on Rt 26 in Ocean View Delaware, a cooperative art gallery.
Chelsea Thaler graduated with a degree in theater from American University in Washington DC. She is an actor, director, artist and yoga teacher currently based out of Washington DC.
Artisan Showcase—In the Artisan Showcase this November is the work of Debbi Dean-Colley, a Mom, artist and instructor who creates art (and messes) in her Berlin home. She knows the power of creativity, and that the gift of being able to make art brings people back to the center of their innate creativity and helps them live more authentically in the world. She loves learning for learning’s sake and sharing what she knows with others.
Dean-Colley attended Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and loves painting surfaces while building up texture in her work in unconventional ways. Her art medium at the time was pottery, wheel throwing, jewelry making and metal work. This was the start of her creative movement, which has since evolved into the mixed media world. Largely self-taught, she loves experimenting and working with different mediums. She was employed as an Art Educator Assistant at a Montessori school located in Stuart, Florida and she continues to teach mixed media classes as an educator at the Art League of Ocean City, Zenna Wellness Studio and Urban Nectar in Berlin. The majority of her classes are considered art therapy, with a continuation of series at the Art League of Ocean City titled “Seek the Soul” workshops. In her workshops, she strives to create experiences and art that encourage connection, validate emotion and nourish the sou