Memorial Day Weekend - Oxford, MD Fine Arts Fair

Not just another pretty port, Oxford plays host to distinguished artists and discriminating art-lovers every Memorial Day Weekend.

Oxford, MD - Nestled on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the historic Town of Oxford is tiny – but like a multi-faceted jewel, it sparkles from many angles. One of the more brilliant: its cultural sophistication and community spirit, never in greater evidence than during the Oxford Fine Arts Fair.

The annual Memorial Day Weekend event – this year is its 27th anniversary – will be held May 27-29,2011 at the Oxford Community Center, a non-profit organization. A juried show, the fair is informal and family friendly, featuring local, regional, and national artists showing and selling original works.

To create an ambiance befitting the event, each room of the Oxford Community Center will be transformed into a sophisticated gallery space, offering visitors the opportunity to browse at their leisure. And browse they will, if history is any guide, for once again this year the show includes works with a wide range of themes and media: maritime and rural; landscapes and abstracts; photography and sculpture.

To ensure that guests are not distracted from the artwork by more earthly matters, a variety of luncheon treats prepared by Oxford Community Center volunteers will be available for purchase, as will the Fair’s trademark homemade strawberry shortcake. Artists will provide live demonstrations daily, and two special events will highlight the show’s opening and closing: a gala Patron’s Preview Party on Friday evening and a raffle of original art on Sunday afternoon.

The fair hours are Saturday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $6.00 (children under 12 admitted with no charge). Proceeds from this event support the Oxford Community Center’s wide range of social, cultural, and educational programs.

As with most things in this historic town, the fair – and its setting – have a bit of a history. The fair began in 1985 as a small outdoor exhibit organized by a handful of Oxford residents. (The art was displayed on snow fencing!) Since then it has grown into the Oxford Community Center’s largest fundraising event, drawing ever more artists from ever more varied locales. In recent years more than 40 participants hailing from Maine to Florida have displayed at the show, while some 200 local volunteers pitch in throughout the weekend to make this charity event a success.

This year’s Oxford Fine Arts Fair will be the last event hosted at the Oxford Community Center before it is closed for substantial and much-anticipated renovations. The structure first opened its doors in 1928 as the Oxford School, designed by renowned Maryland architect Henry Powell Hopkins. In addition to designing many buildings on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, Washington College, andther buildings throughout Maryland, he designed several primary and secondary schools on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Oxford Community Center is the last still standing in its original form. Saved from the wrecking ball by a group of public-spirited citizens, the Oxford Community Center is currently home to a variety of social, cultural, and recreational events in addition to the Fine Arts Fair, including performances by Tred Avon Players, summer youth camp, holiday events, and the seasonal Farmer’s Market.

The imminent renovations will be much appreciated by residents and visitors alike – 8,000 of them a year! – particularly as they are being undertaken with a keen eye not only for the building’s cultural significance but also the values of environmental sustainability and support of local businesses. As stated by Robert Dietz, who chairs the Oxford Community Center Board of Trustees’ building committee, “We have taken great measures to ensure that our project includes green technology to support a minimal impact both to our environment and most importantly, our closest natural resource – the Chesapeake Bay. We will be adapting our existing building to better serve the public, and reducing our carbon footprint by installing energy-efficient windows, high efficiency lighting, and a special geothermal HVAC system. Our architect is local Oxford resident, Cameron Mactavish, a partner in Voith & Mactavish, a well-recognized firm in historical restoration work.”

Additional information regarding the Fine Arts Fair and the Oxford Community Center can be obtained by calling 410-226-5904, emailing the OCC at oxfordcc@verizon.net, and visiting www.oxfordcc.org

The Town of Oxford, Maryland: docks, daydreams, discoveries, and so much more

About Oxford, Maryland:
The historic town of Oxford, Maryland, founded in 1683, is located in Talbot County on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Until the American Revolution, Oxford was an international shipping center, surrounded by tobacco plantations and home to a number of prominent national figures. Later it thrived on oyster harvesting and packing and other watermen’s trades, even as tourism and leisure activities increased. It guards its peaceful personality, architectural integrity, and small-town virtues to this day, while warmly welcoming visitors from right next door and around the world.

The Oxford Business Association welcomes inquiries by telephone (1-410-745-9023) and at its website ( http://www.portofoxford.com/ ) and the Talbot County Office of Tourism offers comprehensive information and trip planning services at its Easton office (1-410-770-8000) and on its website ( http://www.tourtalbot.org/ ).

April 28, 2011
Carlyle Fairfax Smith
Carlyle International
Ph: 703.898.1333

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