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Photos: Craft Beer, Handmade Art and The Original Wailers Rocked “Art X”

The skies were clear, the temperatures capped in the mid-80s and a light breeze made the trees sway all day in Northside Park. When you’re throwing an outdoor event, the biggest and scariest unknown is always the weather, even if it’s a first-time event where anything could go wrong. That the forecast for the weekend of Aug. 25 was so perfect was already a good sign, and turned out to be an omen of sorts that everything would be just fine for OC’s first Art X festival.

I spent the weekend working at the Shore Craft Beer tent handing out 16 oz. glasses of local craft beer, occasionally popping over to the Recreation & Parks center’s gym where the Ocean City Film Festival held screenings throughout the weekend. Needless to say, not a whole lot of people wanted to sit in a dark gym while the most beautiful summer day ever was happening outside (though we appreciate those who did!). Many people did, however, want to drink a cold beer while they wandered through the park, so the beer tent was the center of all the action and where I ended up spending most of my time.

If you weren’t able to make it out to Art X this year, I highly recommend you stop by and check it out in the years to come. And not just because I’m involved with the Art League, the Film Fest and Shore Craft Beer, though I do understand if that makes me sound a little biased. Seriously, though — handmade arts and crafts and their artists, local musicians and a group all the way from Jamaica (see below), films and food, beer and wine, all upon the beautiful landscape of Ocean City’s Northside Park — What more could you ask for? 

Photos by BL Strang-Moya

Towards the festival entrance, local artist John Iampieri worked on his painted screens and showed them off to passersby. 
Saturday and Sunday were both mid-80 degree days, but artists worked under the shade of their tents and sold original works to customers all at once.
The Art League of Ocean City set up a pop-up art gallery in their tent, so festival-goers could see the new oil and watercolor paintings made at Artists Paint OC: A Plein Air Event just two weeks prior, and get information about the Art League’s upcoming events.
Volunteers passed beer pack and forth at the Shore Craft Beer tent, which featured local brews from Evo, 3rd Wave, Mispillion River, Fin City, Big Oyster and Tall Tales. Yuengling was available too, but most people wanted to at least try a local craft they’d never had before. It was the first time craft beer had been featured at an Ocean City arts festival, and it was definitely a success! 
It’s one thing to be surrounded by original paintings at a festival like Art X, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to feel like you’re in one. Walking around Northside Park at sunset, you definitely feel like you’ve been painted into one of the framed landscapes you’d find in an artists’ tent. 
There were lots of cute dogs out too, which is always a plus.
Next year, one of the plein air artists will have to come and paint the Northside Park pier at sunset — there’s hardly anything more beautiful in all of Ocean City.
A perfect first day of the festival on Saturday was capped off with a performance by The Original Wailers, who performed a handful of their greatest hits and then some. The lawn was covered in beach blankets and folding chairs, and the crowd went wild for songs like “No Woman No Cry” and “Is This Love.” Definitely not a bad way to end the day. 


Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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