Sidney Beckstead Scholarship For The Arts Announced

Sidney Beckstead Scholarship For The Arts Announced
Sidney Beckstead

OCEAN CITY — The Art League of Ocean City announced a new scholarship funded by the recently-created Sidney M. Beckstead Scholarship for the Arts that will be awarded annually to a local art student.

For the inaugural year of 2021, the Beckstead scholarship will award $5,000 to one art student from Worcester County. In subsequent years, the fund has committed to a minimum of $2,500 each year for five years. Taylor Bank, where the fund is held, is contributing $500 toward the Beckstead scholarship fund, and additional donations are being accepted.

The deadline for students to apply for the $5,000 scholarship is May 8, 2021. Students must be graduating high school seniors who are residents of Worcester County, Md., including public and private school students and homeschoolers. The scholarship recipient must be pursuing a higher education in the creative arts from an accredited institution.

Applications are available at With the one application, the Art League will consider students for both the Beckstead and the annual $1,000 Katherine Ellen Brown art scholarships funded through the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

The Art League scholarship programs adhere to a nondiscrimination policy, in both principle and practice, and will not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or physical challenge.

Sidney Merrill Beckstead, who passed away on Dec. 26, 2020, was an entrepreneur and artist, painting in watercolors and oils and sketching in pen and ink.  He conceptualized jewelry designs for his clients at Liljenquist & Beckstead Jewelers and Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers, designing engagement rings, sketching a keepsake of a friend’s dog, or recreating a basket of zinnias that marked a special holiday.

“Not only did he paint a beautiful life full of love, laughter, compassion, and giving, he created exquisite artworks inspired by the simple wonders he saw around him,” said Sherrie Beckstead, Sidney Beckstead’s wife of 35 years. “Through his art, Sid captured the ordinary and important moments of life, so people could continue to find joy in those memories.”

She continued, “It is with great humility and honor that we want to celebrate Sid’s creative gifts by creating a scholarship in his name. We are honored to have the scholarship offered through The Art League of Ocean City.  Sid began his career in the jewelry industry in Ocean City, Md. We are grateful that the scholarship fund is held at Taylor Bank, one of the first banks to support Sid’s jewelry venture in Ocean City.  We know that Sid would have loved to give back to the community that nurtured him. Thank you for allowing us to honor our dear Sid through this art scholarship. To know that more beauty will be created, more special moments captured through art, brings us immense joy and solace.”

Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League, acknowledged Sidney Beckstead’s legacy and the impact it will have on future generations.

“On behalf of the Art League of Ocean City, we extend our condolences to the Beckstead family on Sid’s passing, and appreciate their desire to give back to the community through this scholarship,” she said. “It is a lasting legacy to Sid and how he lived his life, and will also be life changing to students setting out to get an art degree. The Art League is committed to stewarding this fund, as part of our mission to promote artistic appreciation of the creative arts, and growing the fund to make a degree in the arts accessible to more Worcester County youth.”

Donations to the Sidney M. Beckstead Scholarship for the Arts fund can be made on the Art League’s website,, by mailing a check to the Art League at PO Box 3503, Ocean City, Md. 21043, by calling 410-524-9433, or in person at the Ocean City Center for the Arts, 502 94th St. bayside, Ocean City.