OCEAN CITY — New landscapes from Kevin Fitzgerald, a local painter whose credentials include artwork for the new Washington D.C. home of former President Barack Obama, are featured during August at the Ocean City Center for the Arts.
The public is invited to the free opening reception at the arts center on First Friday, Aug. 3, from 5-7 p.m. to meet Fitzgerald and the other opening artists and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The shows will run until Sept. 1.
Fitzgerald has been painting for over 30 years. Born in Washington, D.C., he received his BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1977, where he studied with Raoul Middleman, and a MFA from the George Washington University in 1982.
During his college years, he worked under Korczak Ziolkowski on the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota, the largest sculptural project ever attempted.
Fitzgerald’s interest in landscape painting is rooted in the works of masters from the 15th to the 20th century and their relationships to current forms.
“The landscape, both cultivated and wild, can serve as a reminder of the beauty and power that exists beyond our grasp,” Fitzgerald said. “There is always something happening in the landscape before us, and something is always about to happen.”
Fitzgerald’s work hangs in private galleries and collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Deborah McLeod, director of the Chroma Projects in Charlottsville, Va., said, “Fitzgerald’s paintings take the time that we don’t allow ourselves. They do the hard work of patience, stillness and quietude for us.”
Also opening on Aug. 3 are works from Petra Bernstein in Studio E. Bernstein, who was born in Bavaria, Germany and currently lives in Salisbury, uses both digital photography and oil painting to capture the delicacy of nature on the Eastern Shore.
Joanne Guilfoil of Selbyville, Del. occupies the Spotlight Gallery during August. Guilfoil taught art in all grades including university and retired as Professor Emeritus. Her publications include textbooks on environmental design and field-guide paintings of mid-Atlantic fish and reptiles in gouache.
Helen Prah of Ocean City is the artisan in residence during August. Prah wire-wraps gemstones in sterling silver and also creates wax-coated pine needle baskets inspired by her time in Arizona.
Author Fred Sponseller of Laurel, Del. will be signing his new book, Les Legumes from Space, during the First Friday reception. Local artists created the illustrations for the book, and their artwork will be on display and available for purchase at the Arts Center during the event.
The Beverly Bassford Memorial Art Show will continue in The Galleria for the Aug. 3 opening. The Galleria will be rehung for the Saturday, Aug. 11 Wet Paint Party & Sale at the Arts Center, the culmination of the week’s “Artists Paint OC” event.
Admission is always free to the Ocean City Center for the Arts at 502 94th Street, home of the Art League of Ocean City, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the visual arts to the community through education, exhibits, scholarship, programs and community art projects.
Financial support comes primarily through membership dues from individuals and corporate sponsors. Funding for exhibits is also provided by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, the Worcester County Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, organizations dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.