The Brightside: Art League of Ocean City
OCEAN CITY, Md. – Bringing art to the community: that’s the goal of the Art League of Ocean City, and they’re not letting the pandemic slow them down.
“Art transcends all ages, all socio-economic levels, all cultures, sometimes in civilization, all that’s left is the artwork,” Rina Thaler, the Executive Director of the Art League, said.
She leads the Art League of Ocean City and tells us she is dedicated to bringing art to the community.
“It’s really at the core of human existence, and appreciating it, expressing yourself with it, whether you’re an artist or just an art lover,” Rina said.
Just like organizations across the state, though, the art league’s work was impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.
“In the beginning, like everybody else with the governor’s mandates, we shuttered our doors for two months, but even though the doors were closed, we never stopped delivering programs, we just changed the way we delivered them,” Rina said.
That delivery of art programs turned virtual, and it’s something that Rina says will likely stick with the Art League for good.
“Now I think it’s going to always be with us, because people have been enjoying these online classes and are able to take classes from wherever they are, we’ve had people from all over the country taking classes,” she said.
While people nationwide tuned in for those classes, Rina says the league has consistently focused on getting one group of people involved in art.
“Kids are at the core of what we do, because when you start out as a child and learn to be expressive and creative, it helps with problems, it helps with schoolwork, it helps them become better-adjusted adults,” Rina said.
Because she says, when kids start on the journey of art, they can discover who they really are.
“It’s all about finding meaning and purpose to your life, through the art, and realizing a point of self-actualization through art-making,” she said.
So whether it’s young kids picking up a paintbrush for the first time, or older adults tuning in for virtual classes, Rina says they just want to bring art to the entire community.
“Having art in the community makes people feel better about where they live, I could go on all day telling you why art is important for community,” she said.