Artists Paint OC Event This Weekend

OCEAN CITY — The Art League of Ocean City’s annual outdoor painting festival, “Artists Paint OC,” began this week in the resort, giving the public the opportunity to select from hundreds of just-created original landscape paintings of iconic coastal scenes.

The “Artists Paint OC” festival is an annual art competition now in its 17th year. For five days, 50 artists compete for the top prizes of cash and prestige as they spread out across the area to paint famous vistas. These “plein air” artists are professionals; many are award winners in multiple competitions.

There are two opportunities to buy the original art. The public is invited to the “Wet Paint Sales” on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 5-8 p.m. and on Sunday, Aug. 14, from 1-3 p.m. Both sales are held at the waterfront Ocean City Center for the Arts, 502 94th Street bayside, and both are free to attend. Every painting is one-of-a-kind, framed and ready to hang.

“If you’re looking for a permanent and unique memory of your time in Ocean City, this is an opportunity to find a treasure no one else but you will have,” Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League, said. “This event only happens once a year, and our Arts Center is the only place you’ll find literally hundreds of original paintings to choose from.”

The “Wet Paint Sales” at the Arts Center are a chance to mix and mingle with the artists, and enjoy light refreshments, live music, and a cash bar. The juror for this year’s Artists Paint OC event is Crystal Moll, Baltimore gallery owner and an award-winning plein air painter. Moll will jury the artwork and award the cash prizes to the winning artists. She has donated one of her original paintings for a raffle to benefit the nonprofit Art League. Raffle tickets are available at the Arts Center anytime as well as during the Wet Paint Sales.

The easiest time and place to watch the artists paint is on the Boardwalk on Sunday morning, when they’re concentrated in the immediate area near South Division St. Many will be wearing bright yellow hats to make them easy to spot. In two hours, from 9-11 a.m., the artists race to complete a painting of an iconic Boardwalk scene, frame it, and run it to the Arts Center on 94th St.  Moll will judge the paintings, with cash prizes awarded by the Ocean City Development Corporation. The art goes up for sale to the public at 1 p.m., while the paint is still wet.

The Artists Paint OC competition offers $5,500 in overall cash prizes to the artists, with sponsorships coming from Emily and Paul Schwab, Peter Glenville Foundation, Laura Jenkins, Blue Water Development, Mapleton Farm/Mechelle and Charles Nichols, Shore United Bank, Reese Cropper, Barbara Frankfort-Kollander Patrick, Maryland’s Coast, the Town of Ocean City, and the OCDC, as well in-kind sponsors, The Atlantic Hotel of Berlin, Thrashers, and J&M Meat Market of Berlin.