The Ocean City Center for the Arts is one place in town that’s always great about offering free events and activities to families all year round. The spring is an especially big time of year for free fun. As the weather warms up, the peninsula slowly becomes a hub for tourists taking a three-day weekend or families coming for the festivals and concerts in town — and when they’re looking for some free fun on a Saturday night or even during the week, the Art League always has them covered. Here’s all the free stuff that’s happening on 94th street bayside at the Ocean City Center for the Arts this spring.
Free Family Art Days
“Take flight and rock on!” Families come together to explore nature and the arts and take home a new treasure. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and adults must be accompanied by a child. This monthly event is limited to 30 people per session, so attending families should call the Art League at 410-524-9433 to pre-register.
Saturday, April 21, make a birdhouse from recycled materials to celebrate Earth Day; Saturday, May 19 is dedicated to finishing a public outdoor display and creating a mosaic planter; and Saturday, June 16 includes interactive art projects and the unveiling of public art bird mosaics. All Free Family Art Days take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
“Art & Soul” Healing Art Series
The Art League’s own Debbi Dean-Colley uses art and creative art technques to improve one’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. A $10 donation is suggested to cover materials, but not required. Space is limited and the Art League suggests calling ahead to reserve a spot.
Friday, April 27, paint on glass surfaces other than the canvas to help learn to adapt to the journeys lying before you; Friday, May 25, create a self-portrait with words and images and learn the technique of encaustic wax; Friday, June 29, color outside the lines to make an abstract painting.
First Friday Opening Receptions
Meet the artists, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and see the new exhibits featuring a variety of local artists. Complimentary refreshments will be served and admission is free. Upcoming receptions are on April 6, May 4 and June 1 at 5 p.m.
Free Live Music at Originals Only
An environment for the next generation of local artists and musicians to perform in a drug-free and art-focused space, a venue where they can safely jam and express themselves. Come enjoy live local music and coffee in the gallery after the First Friday receptions on the first Friday of every month — April 6, May 4 and June 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Free Comic Book Weekend
Ages 12 & up. Writers and artists of PLB Comics will guide attendees to create their own comic books on Saturday, April 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. Crafting riveting stories, page layout, drawing, inking, editing and lettering will all be touched on. All supplies will be provided and attendees will leave with an info packet, a list of resources and a free comic book.
On Sunday, April 8 from 1 to 3 p.m., Bradley Hudson will instruct a seminar in basic storytelling through comic illustrations. Participants will illustrate a simple story on one page. This seminar is a wonderful opportunity for teens and young adults to learn how to start and structure their short stories into comics.
Free Art Lecture Series
“The Art of Fragrance”: On Saturday, May 5 from 5 to 7 p.m., artist and synesthete Debra Howard reveals the fascinating world of fragrance while surrounded by more than 25 “fragrance” paintings and the aromas that inspired them.
“The Art of Screen Printing”: On Tuesday, June 19 from 4 to 6 p.m., Nina Mickelsen will speak on screenprinting as a work method, an excellent tool for standalone or mixed media work, whether creating unique pieces of multiple serigraphs.
Free “Claypalooza” Weekend
Join the Art League and the Clay Guild of the Eastern Shore for a weekend of free fun on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Events include throwing and handbuilding demonstrations, kids activities, a throwdown competition and bowl-making sessions.
See the Art League’s website for more information on classes, events, workshops and lectures this spring. And remember — walking around the gallery is always free, too! Also be sure to check out $5 Film Nights on the 3rd Saturday of each month if you’ve got $5 burning a hole in your pocket. See films made my local and international filmmakers, meet the artists and join the after-film discussion.