Annual ‘Artists Paint OC’ Event Underway

OCEAN CITY — The Art League of Ocean City’s annual plein air painting event, “Artists Paint OC,” gives the public the opportunity to see the painting process and also collect the art created in the resort. The public is invited to attend two Wet Paint Sales on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 5-8 p.m. and on Sunday, Aug. 15, from 1-3 p.m.

Through Saturday, 50 skilled plein air painters will paint in locations around the area, including Assateague Island. On Saturday evening, they will bring the best of their work to the Arts Center for the Wet Paint Sale from 5-8 p.m. The sale offers art lovers the opportunity to purchase an original piece of art fresh off the canvas and meet the artist who painted it. The Art League will provide light refreshments and a cash bar.

Sunday’s Wet Paint Sale from 1-3 p.m. features art created that morning during the Quick Paint on the Boardwalk, with $500 in prizes sponsored by the Ocean City Development Corp. with a special award from Trimper’s. Artists paint near South Division St. from 9-11 a.m. and race against the clock to complete a painting featuring iconic sites nearby. The painters then transport their masterpieces to the Arts Center on 94th St. for judging and awards. These new plein air paintings will be for sale to the public from 1-3 p.m., along with the paintings hanging in The Galleria from Saturday night.

“En plein air” is a French phrase that translates to “in the open air,” describing outdoor painting in inspiring settings. Plein air is an admired and well-known approach to art, encouraging painting wherever artists can find a creative spark. First launched in 2006, “Artists Paint OC” is celebrating its 16th year of bringing artistic expression to Ocean City and the surrounding area. The event rallies around one common idea – the natural beauty of the town and area.

Alison Leigh Menke of Silver Spring, Md. will judge the work and select the winning artists, who will be awarded cash prizes. The paintings will hang in The Galleria at the Arts Center until Sept. 25 and be available for purchase.

The Artists Paint OC competition offers $5,500 in overall cash prizes to the artists, with sponsorships coming from the Peter Glenville Foundation and the Worcester County Arts Council as well as individuals and businesses.

Veteran participant David Simpson of Parsonsburg, Md. chooses meaningful locations to paint.

“For plein air, I always like to go to places where I spent meaningful time in my life and have intrinsic value,” he said. “I grew up in Ocean City, so whether it’s places like Stinky Beach or the Inlet, I like my paintings to be special to me. I love when people pass by when I’m painting and have a conversation, and then come back to buy my work at the sale. Then you know what you’re doing is real and successful.”