2017-07-15 / Front Page

Ocean Park welcomes artists

Staff Writer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — If you’re in Ocean Park over the next few days, you’re apt to run into someone at an easel, painting the tall pines, the beach, or perhaps an enclave of classic summer homes.

The handful of artists who have been selected by the Ocean Park Association for the annual Art in the Park Festival, will be in town painting at various locations from Sunday to Wednesday.

And though the artists may be busy working on a masterpiece, it’s okay to approach them and ask questions. In fact, it’s encouraged. 

Carol Douglas, an oil painter from Rockport and who is coming back after participating in the festival in previous years calls herself and the other artists, “ambassadors of painting.”

Ocean Park Association member Frank Gwalthney said the accessibility of the artists to the greater community is one of the great aspects of the artists, and adds an educational element as those strolling by can ask questions and learn about the artistic process. Community members can commission the artists to paint something of their choice.

There will be a sandwich board in front of Jakeman Hall during the festival letting people know where the artists are stationed.

Founded in 1881, Ocean Park is a Chautauqua community located by the shore in souther Old Orchard Beach. Each summer the community offers lectures, workshops, recreational and musical programs and non-denominational worship services.

Ocean Park is an ideal setting for an outdoor painting festival, as there is a friendliness to the community and artists feel welcome wherever they choose to paint.

“There’s a freedom here that you don’t have in a lot of places,” said Gwalthney.

Douglas said in a recent phone interview that she was looking forward to coming back to Ocean Park for the art festival.
“It’s one of my favorite events of the year,” she said.

She cited numerous places that she enjoyed painting, including places of natural beauty, such as Googins Rocks, which are visible at low tide on the beach, Goosefare Brook  - “it’s a different creek each year,” and Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, where she said painted “one of the best paintings I ever did” on a foggy evening.

Douglas also enjoys painting pictures of the cottages and particularly enjoyed painting the ice cream parlor in the square. She said she loves the history of the area and the community’s significant older building including The Temple and Jakeman Hall.

Douglas said she loved the collegiality between the artists, and the community of Ocean Park, which is very supportive of the artists.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@journaltribune.com. 

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