It’s coming…at the lovely Northside Park, located bayside in Ocean City MD for the tenth consecutive year, a most perfect and natural setting for the ever anticipated event, ‘ARTS ALIVE‘. The weather forecast bodes well for this exciting annual event…beginning at 9 am this Saturday and Sunday – June 19th & 20th. Developed and sponsored by the Town of Ocean City partnered with the Art League of Ocean City this special gathering of more than 100 juried, fine artists and artisans show and sell original works in various categories. The Town awards $5,000 and ribbons in merit awards here annually. Many of the artists/artisans featured return each year from far away to this very special activity…finding a discriminating and appreciative audience here at the beach for their unique talents. The waterside park complex showcase adds to the occasion…from the tree shaded walk paths surrounding the lagoon, along which the artists’ tents are comfortably placed, including bridges and bay views, one feels that art is everywhere even in the tranquil music played throughout the grounds. There are free children’s workshops offered on both days thanks to a grant from the Worcester County Arts Council. Lunch is available on site. After visiting this weekend, please remember to mark your calendar for next June for this most joyful celebration of the Arts, here along the beautiful coastal bays in Ocean City Maryland.
A program sponsored by the JOSHUA M. FREEMAN FOUNDATION, the FREEMAN STAGE at BAYSIDE offers a myriad of enjoyable summertime events for anyone looking to spend a pleasant evening outdoors here in the Ocean City Maryland area. Located just a skip and hop over the Maryland (north Ocean City)-Delaware line at the intersection of Route 54 and Rt. 20 in the new Bayside Community. The performance packed calendar, running from Memorial Day through October, makes available to the general public such things as live concerts, plays, lectures, art shows, camps and activities for kids, etc. The majority of the performances at The Freeman Stage are FREE to the public and do not require a ticket for entry. Convenient parking is available. At present the lovely stage is situated in a pastoral setting beside a lake. Lawn seating, even for the few-ticketed events is still first come, first served. It is recommended that you arrive early and bring a lawn chair or blanket!
Last Thursday evening we visited the Freeman Stage during the staging of ‘Raggedy Ann & Andy’, a story which captures the imagination of young and old alike. It was terrific! On Saturday evening, personally unable to attend, our friends gave rave reviews to a live performance of the famed Delaware Symphony Orchestra. And, we see by the calendar that an Art & Jazz Festival is in the offing. Can’t wait!
Speaking of calendars – a quick visit to the Freeman Stage website at www.freemanstage.org will surly assist anyone looking for a dose of enjoyable summertime culture set in the glorious outdoors here at the beach!
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Each spring, along with the big Ocean City Maryland, four-day, “resort season opener” SPRINGFEST event, other nearby area towns and villages on Maryland’s famed Eastern Shore schedule concurrent crowd-pleasing, fun activities. In the village of Historic Berlin, a short seven-mile jaunt west of the beach, the feature on Friday evening was the annual celebration of Spring ARTS NIGHT with musicians, visual artists and artisans and their works overflowing from shop doors and jamming the streets! The event, along with a “Fall ARTS NIGHT” allows this tiny jewel of a town to exhibit why it has earned the title of a Maryland designated “Arts & Entertainment Community”. From 6 pm until sometimes the wee hours visitors may enjoy strolling, shopping, dining, listening to performances and meeting friends – new and old. And, it’s FREE!
For a double whammy weekend – on Saturday, Berlin followed with the Second Annual JAZZ & BLUES BASH. Again, offering that air of fun – this time with added street side vendors and continuous musical performances set on two stages placed at either end of Main Street in the downtown District. Begging to be mentioned were the giant, hot, smoked turkey drumsticks served up that day by the towns’ own GLOBE restaurant. Certainly adding to the enjoyment of a true festival air on this fine spring day was this most tasty ‘fist’ food!
It goes to show that any time you find yourself here at the beach, take a minute to peruse a local tabloid (available anywhere) or jump online and learn about ALL the fun events and activities we have to offer ALL year round!
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For the past six years the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Area III has performed a Spring Festival Concert allowing Ocean City Maryland area visitors and locals alike to enjoy their special sounds. This year was no different. On Saturday, members from Area III (MD, DE, VA, DC, NC) converged in the large hall on the second level of the Convention Center to perform eight classically inspired pieces especially arranged for this unique instrument – the English handbell.
These are not garden variety bells – the clanging kind, but special solid brass bells particularly tuned to the notes on a piano keyboard – in fact many of the bells have colored handles (straps)– black or white, depending on the key! Of course inside there is a clapper, however upon inspection it was noted that these too could be further tuned to make the sound hard, medium or soft.
Imagine now your favorite music being played by a multitude of bells – most melodiously! There were over 500 well-trained, ringers in attendance this year. The audience surrounding the large hall listened intently and judging by the rapt expressions, enjoy it immensely!
For further information and a list of special performances performed on this unique but ancient instrument, you may visit the website at http://areaiii.org. And, be sure to mark your calendars for this special spring event in Ocean City Maryland next year!
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Imagine listening and watching a most stirring musical presentation while seated in a hall with amazing acoustics on a bright Sunday afternoon in February here in the Ocean City Maryland area! It’s more than possible – it’s probable if you follow the calendar for the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra! This past Sunday, it was standing room only (purchase a season subscription or phone for tickets early) at the third in a series of five annual performances by this most professional group. This particular concert was entitled, Echoes of Love, “A Sentimental Journey Through the Ages” and featured vocal and instrumental pieces from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century. It was terrific!
The MSO began more than a decade ago and has become an important part of the three area communities where it performs. During the past two years under the guidance of the dynamic Maestro Julien Benichou, Music Director and Conductor, this regional orchestra has not only maintained the high quality experience of the past but has been imbued with a sense of even further excitement. Often the performances are given in collaboration with other art organizations increasing the total experience. Each of the five themed season productions are performed in three locations – Ocean View DE, Ocean Pines, MD and Easton, Maryland, over a period of four days. Prior to each performance a Pre-concert talk is offered explaining the musical selections to give even more understanding and enjoyment to the listener.
To learn more about the MSO be sure to visit the colorful and comprehensive website at www.midatlanticsymphony.org.
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‘Walking’ side by side during the regularly scheduled, Second Friday “Arts Stroll” in nearby Berlin Maryland the beginning of a two-week long, special gallery reception was held last evening at the Water’s Edge Gallery. This unique “second” annual activity features the works, including etchings, prints and original paintings of renowned local artists, Kevin Fitzgerald and Berlin native son, Patrick Henry. The exhibit activities include a silent auction, raffle and sales with proceeds benefiting the Berlin Fine Arts Scholarship. This is a $1,000 per year renewable scholarship, which will be awarded to one deserving student from Stephen Decatur High School who intends to pursue an arts career! It is to be hoped that the success of this event will help to grow the number of scholarships granted in the future.
The Water’s Edge Gallery is owned by Gail Lewis and sits atop the Berlin retail location of the well-known M.R. Ducks at the corner of Main Street and Jefferson beside the Atlantic Hotel in the historic Odd Fellows building. The lovely Crystal Viens, who pulled out all of the stops to host this excellent event, manages the gallery. There were fine nibbles…and sips available. The artists were present along with a delighted crowd…but best of all – there were many, many fine paintings! For anyone who loves art, especially fine art of and from our own Maryland’s Eastern Shore – this is a “must see”. The closing reception will be held on Saturday, February 28th from 3 -5 pm – with auction ending at 5 pm.
Phone 410-629-1784 for more information. Gallery open daily. Note: The little town of Berlin is but a brief 7 mile drive west from the mid-Atlantic resort of Ocean City Maryland.
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Ocean City Maryland celebrates the beginning of the holiday shopping season in style – with a bargain “two for one” show at the Convention Center located at 42nd Street and the bay. Each year fine artists and craftsmen gather to offer the fruits of their labors to discriminating area shoppers. Colorful backdrops, decorated holiday trees and balloons divide the great hall in half, with one side for fine art and the other for holiday crafts. Any and all items displayed being perfectly suited for the gift-giving season ahead. Paintings and unique sculptures, some in wood, and all reasonably priced vie for attention with lovely hand stitched, embroidered pieces including aprons, and holiday linens. There are also bright centerpieces and lovingly made tree ornaments. And, there are the vendors of fine handmade edible treats including fudge, jams and savory mixes – again, all geared to holiday entertaining. This is a nice two-day show – always celebrated on a weekend in early November. A visit to this cheer filled marketplace is a grand way to kick off the season. For more information visit our Fall/Holiday Event calendar on this page above.
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One of the more traditional culture-oriented, year-round attractions located on our island is the art gallery sponsored by The ART LEAGUE of OCEAN CITY MD. Currently located in a small building on the north side of 94th Street # 502, towards the bay this gallery is open to the public certain hours every day except Monday. Within you will find an ever-changing exhibit of original artworks created by folks who have made Ocean City Maryland their home. It is here where, watercolor to oil to mixed media and pastels, including three-dimensional items and photography, all manner of visual arts are displayed. It is said that you may purchase a “piece of Ocean City” as many items displayed are for sale as gifts or for your personal collection. The LEAGUE is an independent organization made up of artists and artisans of all levels of skill including collectors, business people and supporters of the arts. Their mission is to bring the visual arts to the community through education, exhibits, scholarship programs and public service projects. Classes and workshops are offered continuously throughout the year for those people who are lucky to find themselves on an extended stay. Several of the best known endeavors of this group include the ART at the BEACH program that offers free summer classes for kids and assistance with the ever-anticipated, ARTS ALIVE, Ocean City’s fine art show. Also, not to be missed is the SAND CASTLE HOME TOUR, this year held on September 18 & 19 where 10 unique Ocean City homes are open to the public. Get your tickets early!
For more information on the classes offered and an exhibit schedule you may phone 410.524.9433 or visit the website at www.artleagueofoceancity.org.
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