The 39th annual three-day Oxford Fine Arts Show is set for May 19-21, 2023. The prestigious juried exhibit draws a wide selection of regional collectors as well as collectors from major cities along the Eastern Seaboard. The much-anticipated annual show is well known throughout the area and celebrated as the season’s “kick-off” for art lovers. All submissions were sent anonymously to the juror who selected the much-anticipated list of artists for the year. The juror also selected a “featured image” to be the subject of the poster and is the honored “Featured artist”. The competition was steep this year with many submissions for the small show kept to 36 artists. The OCC configures its gallery space to accommodate that limited number and find the show feels exquisite at that size.
The list of artists who were selected as the class of 2023 are as follows:
Sandra Alanko, Joel Boches, Carole Böggemann-Peirson, Naomi Clark-Turner, Cid Collins Walker, Erin Daniels, Lee DZmura, Lois Engberg, Mary Ford, Carla Huber, Mary Hunt-Miller, Holly Jackson, Kim Klabe, Kathy Kopec, Maryellyn Lynott, Mary Ellen Mabe, Ingrid Matuszewski, Carol McClees, Laura McGowan, Karen Merkin, Michel Modell, Kimberly Nesci, Jose Ramirez, DianeRappisi, KathieRogers, Steve Rogers, Ken Rose, Maggii Sarfaty, Susan Schauer John, Sheryl Southwick, Sharon Stockley, Jennifer Wagner, Stephen Walker, Heidi Wetzel, C. Keith Whitelock, and Juli Yensho.
The featured artist is Susan Schauer John. The featured work of art is Susan’s piece entitled “Just Chillin”. Susan Fay Schauer John was born to create. Her work is eye-catching, complex, dense, colorful, and beloved. Her detailed and often narrative paintings of fabric and thread draw the viewer into the work hoping for more and finding it.
In the late 1980s Susan turned her full attention to her art and has not looked back. She has had inspiration and recognition in many art forms, including woodturning, portraiture, and fiber arts. Her work has been exhibited and sold in galleries from Washington DC to San Francisco and she has work in the permanent collection of the White House. Living and painting in Talbot County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Susan attracts clients from all over the United States. Susan’s current work is a suite of art pieces depicting wildlife found around the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. These “thread paintings” are free-hand sewn with English- designed fabrics and Italian cotton threads.
The juror for the 2023 show was Bernard Dellario. Bernard is the current President of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters, the First-Place winner at Winslow Art Center’s 2021 Winter Exhibition and Best in Show winner from the Academy Art Museum 2019 Annual Member Exhibit. Bernard Dellario earned a bachelor’s degree from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, PA with emphasis on finance and art history. He studied Art at the
Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia and attended several workshops with nationally known artists. He has been a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters since 2003. Fondly known as WSLP, one of the oldest active artist organizations in the Washington area, Bernard currently serves as President.
The schedule of events for the weekend begins with the Friday Preview Party Gala. It provides attendees the only guaranteed chance to “Meet the Artists”, view the full exhibit and the first chance to buy the amazing art! This is a fun evening where attendees mingle with the artists and enjoy live music, cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres. The award ceremony happens at the preview party gala as well. Tickets sell fast, so save-the- date for May 19th, 2023 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. There are no tickets offered at the door for Friday’s Preview Gala. On Saturday and Sunday, the exhibit is open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
The distinguished role of judge, who selects the award winners at the preview party, May 19, 2023, is John Brandon Sills. John Brandon Sills received his BA In Fine Art at Towson State University in 1984, while a student at Towson State John studied Renaissance Art in Florence, Italy. John then attended the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, Maryland, graduating in 1988. His paintings are in numerous collections in the United States as well as in Canada, England, France, Jamaica, Grand Cayman B.W.I. and Australia.
Traditionally the prized awards are the Oxford Business Association Award for “Best Representation of Village Life”, Maritime Award, Artist Choice and Judges Choice.
Karen Walbridge, Chair of Oxford Fine Arts says, “I am excited about this year’s show. We have a wide variety of art from fiber to photography with a group of very talented artists some old and some new from near and far. I encourage everyone who loves art to come and see what they have to offer whether that is by attending the Preview Party or visiting over the weekend. You won’t be disappointed!”
Starting in April, there is an online raffle of beautiful artwork donated by the artists. You can buy raffle tickets online prior to the show and then over the weekend, the raffle continues in the physical exhibit. Both online and physical tickets are combined for the drawing. The raffle drawing happens at the end of the show on Sunday. You don’t need to be present to win. Saturday and Sunday lunch items are available onsite for purchase on both days. The famous strawberry shortcake is not to be missed!
The juried exhibit and sale have supported the work of Oxford Community Center (a non-profit 501(C-3), for 39 years to support OCC’s mission to provide the region with a year-round schedule of free or reduced educational, cultural and recreational programs and events.