Eclectic Artistry: Abstractions, Sisters, Seascapes, Synthesis

~Michele Green- chincoteague path-1

One artist has her Delaware nature-scapes represented in the home of the Vice President of the United States. Another works emotion into her abstract realism. Two sisters work in symbiosis to both create and critique. An artisan stretches her horizons to fuse glass into synthesized works of art.  

All in all a perfect storm of creativity as our area itself makes its annual transition into the volatile mix of weather and atmosphere that is October.

The work of these artists and others will be on display this month at the Ocean City Center for the Arts, home of the Art League of Ocean City.

This month’s featured show in the Thaler Gallery is “Symbiosis: Sisters, Muses, Mentors,” an exhibition featuring the work of sisters Deborah Rolig of Snow Hill and Diane (Dee) Gray of Lewes, Delaware.  Rolig and Gray are joining forces to share their familial artistic sensibilities – the ties and talent that bind them together.

The event is the first shared exhibition for the sisters, although both have been working artists for more than 20 years. Rolig’s fine art work is familiar to many on the Eastern Shore, while Gray is a nationally distributed graphic design artist. While each has a distinctive style, an undeniably reflective thread runs through their paintings, as the two closely collaborate while conceptualizing and creating.

“We are both inspired by each other’s work,” said Gray. “We always have collaborated and encouraged each other through almost every painting. We both ‘get’ each other when it comes to our art and  . . . without our mutual support, creatively and psychologically, we might not still be at it.”

Rolig graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing. Her work is represented by several Shore galleries including Bishop’s Stock in Snow Hill, Nest in Berlin, and two Rehoboth Galleries – Philip Morton Gallery and Gallery 50.

Gray is a graduate of the former Maryland College of Art and Design. She is founder and president of Boomerang Studios, a graphic design and illustration firm, and has designed many award-winning projects for high-profile clients. Her licensing venture, Green Street Garden Party, introduces sustainable living to children through vividly illustrated characters.

Gray and Rolig are also partners in ShaDeeLa Creative Workshops, periodic classes that provide participants with meaningful personal explorations through art. They are the daughters of Severna Park artist Richard H. Harryman, whose own work is known for its evocative scenes of the Chesapeake Bay region.

As part of October’s eclectic mix at the Center, the Galleria will feature “Abstract,” an all-media 2D competitive show, judged by Salisbury University’s Jess Cross Davis, a contemporary realist painter and teacher. Davis received her Master’s in Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2007. Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions throughout the mid-Atlantic region and has sold internationally.

The Fall Artist in Residence is Michele Green who has many exhibits and awards to her credit. For two years, she focused on painting historic Route 9 from Wilmington to Dover, resulting in one of the largest bodies of artwork ever to record Delaware. Green’s work is in the collection of Vice President Biden and Delaware’s Governor Markel. Her work has also been featured in Delaware Today magazine, several issues of Outdoor Delaware, and one of her paintings will grace the October cover of Beach to Bay Times magazine.

Much of Green’s work is done en plein air – by foot, boat or canoe. As a result, she has an intimate and personal relationship with the landscape. “Too often we fail to see the value in simple vistas. I like to paint what people forget to look at.”

In the Members Spotlight Gallery, Jeanne Mueller will display her paintings that capture abstract ideas, taking form and shape through her brush, expressing the emotion she feels when a subject demands to be set to canvas. She paints landscapes and still life subjects in a variety of mediums. With no formal training, Mueller has become one of this area’s prominent self-taught artists. She is represented in many private collections on the East Coast and her work has won awards in numerous local shows, as well as at the Biggs Museum in Dover, DE.  

Featured Artisan in Residence with a separate showcase in the Center’s retail area is Fay Kempton. As a designer for more than 20 years for Stained Glass Designs in Silver Spring, MD, she understands the design, cutting and manufacturing process and has thus ventured seamlessly into the world of fused glass. Her inspirations for jewelry and home décor items come from the depths of the ocean, to dragon flies flitting across the marsh, to the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.   

The Arts Center is also home to several well-known regional artists who have exhibition and studio space there, includingMyrna McGrathErik HertzDorothy Harrison-Braun,Tinsel Hughes and David Simpson. Beginning this month, Simpson will be a year-round artist in residence for the Art League.

The opening reception is Friday, Oct. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street and is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. This exhibit runs through the month of October.

For more information about the offerings at the OC Center for the Arts, contact the Art League at 410-524-9433 or visitwww.ArtLeagueofOceanCity.org

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