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Literary and Visual Art Collide at the Art League of Ocean City

Written by Elaine Bean

The upcoming First Friday at the Art League of Ocean City on 94th street celebrates a collaboration between visual artists and writers during the 10th annual “Shared Visions” exhibit! All are welcome to this free event on Jan. 6th, 2023 from 5-7 p.m. All exhibitions opening in January will be on display in the gallery through January 29th.

In the Thaler Gallery: “Shared Visions”

“Shared Visions” is the annual partnership between the artists of the Art League of Ocean City and the writers who meet monthly at the Arts Center for the Writers Group headed by Ruth Wanberg-Alcorn. The artists submitted artwork — paintings, photographs, fiber art, mosaics, and mixed media — they hoped would inspire the writers, and the writers selected their inspirations and created accompanying literary works. 

“This is the 10th year for the collaboration,” Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League, said. “It is an inspired coming-together of words and images and demonstrates the different forms of self-expression.”

On Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 6-8 p.m., the writers will read their work and discuss what inspired them about the art during a free event at the Arts Center, and the public is invited.

In the Sisson Galleria: “Force of Nature” Group Show

In January, the Galleria will feature an exhibit entitled “Force of Nature,” an all-media group show that explores the power and beauty of weather. With the rise in extreme weather events, this exhibit seeks to highlight the effects of climate change. The show judge is Raymond Ewing of Lewes, De., noted plein air artist and instructor.

In Studio E: Sarah Hancock

Sarah Hancock exhibits in Studio E in January. Born and raised in Ocean City, Md., she is a former Art League scholarship winner and is completing her BFA degree at Salisbury University with a focus in painting, new media, and ceramics.

“My limited exploration of art history, and philosophical beliefs of artists through the centuries, has sparked an aspiration to depict the presumably intangible,” Hancock said. “By bridging the influence and aesthetics of the past into today’s reality, I want the beholder to walk away from my work with a new sense that the physicality and materiality of the imagination is attainable, and hopefully view everyday reality with a new perception of whimsy, individuality, and curiosity.”

In the Spotlight Gallery: Cindy Strouse 

Cindy Strouse of Frankford, De. is the Spotlight Gallery artist for January. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers College of Pharmacy and worked in retail pharmacy where she designed artistic store windows. “I strive to capture emotion and serenity in my paintings and drawings of landscape, people and wildlife,” Strouse said. “Living by the ocean and on a lake, I focus my art on the subjects around where I live now.” Her recent interest is writing and illustrating children’s books.


In the Artisan Showcase: Staff of the Art League of OC

The staff of the Art League of Ocean City occupies the Artisan Showcase in January. The “Staff Selections”; include handmade pottery, locally-made miniature paintings, handcrafted jewelry, photography, and more. Featured artists include Elaine Bean, Katie Brown, Megan Burak Lowe, Kerry Doran, Katrin Huber, Robert Johnson, Kacie Neeb, Aubrey Sizemore, and Rina Thaler.



In Our Satellite Galleries: Dale Ashera-Davis & Don Hartman

The Art League’s satellite galleries also open new shows on First Friday, with the artists present to greet guests and talk about their work. Dale Ashera-Davis of Berlin, Md. opens at the Coffee Beanery on 94 th St. and Coastal Highway for a three-month show. A fiber artist who uses unusual materials in her work, she incorporates commercial cottons, silks, dryer lint, copper roofing sheets, and found items such as acorns and shells. “My studio is named Red Crow Studio,” Ashera-Davis said. “What would you do if you saw a red crow? You’d want to take a second look because that is not something usually seen in nature. Just like a red crow, my work is intended to invite the viewer to step closer and take a second look.”

Don Hartman of Ocean Pines opens a three-month show in the Princess Royale lobby, 9100 Coastal Hwy. Born in Baltimore, Md., Don studied fine arts and photography at The Maryland Institute College of Art, and a construction job led to a career developing affordable housing. His show at the Princess Royale is entitled “On Vacation with the Boys and Girls.”


More information is available at OCArt.org or by calling 410-524-9433. Open to the public and always free.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-4pm & Saturday-Sunday 11am-4pm

Location: 502 94th Street Bayside Ocean City, MD. 21842

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