If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced (Vincent Van Gogh). I have yet to take one of the many painting classes at the Art League of Ocean City on 94th Street in Ocean City, MD., but if you stop by to peruse through this art center, you just may find me (really) in their pottery studio. I stumbled into the ALOC last year while riding my bike, as the gigantic "OPEN" flag was hard to miss, (and now the nearby water tower proudly promotes this hidden asset to vacationers and locals alike), and my curiosity pulled me inside. The welcoming front desk staff put me at ease immediately with friendly greetings of hello and smiles...I don't know why I expected to feel intimidated or out of place, perhaps because I was in basic shorts and tee shirt w/'bike hair' and wasn't sure if there was a dress code. I was surprised to hear the art within the gallery is rotated every month, with a 'First Friday' Opening Reception of the new exhibits every month. Refreshments are served and admission is free...that's all I needed to hear to mark my calendar. You could spend ten minutes or two hours here, depending upon how in depth you want to get with each piece on display. After spending about a half hour perusing the exhibits upstairs and down, and taking a quick peek at some of the art for sale in the individual artist studios, It didn't take me long to begin a mental list of items I'd be adding to my wish list...and what an upscale souvenir some of these artworks would make~a painted silk scarf or a unique ceramic plate with a sea turtle relief is something to enjoy a bit more than a seashell in a bottle of sand with the stamped Ocean City, MD in bold letters. Since I live here in OC, I stopped back at the reception desk and was informed of a variety of classes and workshops, and though I never so much as made an ashtray in kindergarten, I was back two hours later for my very first pottery class. They offer a variety of classes and workshops that can fit into a vacationer's schedule, and if the weather is rainy or your skin needs a break from the sun, give them a call. If you have a few minutes or a few hours, it's worth making the time to explore the creative side of the beach.
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