OCEAN CITY – The public is invited to the Art League of Ocean City’s reception for its July Beverly Bassford Memorial Exhibit and Juried Show from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 5 at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street bayside.

Bassford was a former Art League Board member who was passionate about the need for a new facility for the nonprofit to call home. After she passed away in 1999, her family established a prize in her name, which grew into the Bassford juried show. The show will feature fine art in all mediums by local and regional artists with Marisa Sage of Salisbury University as the juror. Appetizers will be provided by the Pirates Den and admission is free.

Laura Era of Troika Gallery in Easton will be the featured artist in the galleria with her exhibit “People, Places and Things”. She is an award winning, professional portrait, still life and landscape artist with a passion for portraiture.

Born in Japan, but moving to the United States on the Eastern Shore of Maryland at the age of 5, she considers herself a shore native and an artist since the cradle. Although basically self-taught she has taken workshops from Daniel E. Greene, Burton Silverman, and Raoul Middleman. Since turning professional in 1988, Era has painted hundreds of portraits on commission, both formal and informal, in oil and pastel.

“Each person is different and, therefore, I strongly believe that each painting should have its own special personality and drama while still capturing the true essence and likeness of the subject,” Era said. “A portrait should also be a great work of art.”

Her portraits, landscapes, and still-lifes hang in collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. Painting trips have taken her across the U.S. and to England, France, Portugal, Germany and many times to Italy. She has a private studio in Dorchester County there and teaches classes. She is also co-owner of the prestigious Troika Gallery in historic Easton, Maryland, and can be seen working on commissions in the back studio. View photo-samples of her work in portfolios located in the gallery as well as on the gallery web-site: www.troikagallery.com.

Artists Robert and Diane Heron will be showing their paintings and photographs as the artists in residence for the month of July. Robert is an architect, who designed the OC Center for the Arts building, artist, and author who has been creating for over 40 years. He paints digitally as well as in traditional oil and acrylic. His work can be found locally in various galleries. He and his wife, Diane, several years ago were co-presenters of an “art show” on Public Television and won a national award for video production. Robert’s latest exploits as an author can be read in his first published novel ‘Artful Deception’.

His unique voice for story telling captivates through his creativity in twisting and tormenting the reader’s imagination. By sprinkling a dry sense of humor throughout his writing, he makes the harshness a wee bit more palatable. His writing has been compared to Tartan Noir author, Christopher Brookmyre. Don’t miss out on Robert’s book signing for ‘Artful Deception’ being held during the July 5 reception. His second novel, ‘The Typewriter’ is due for release as we speak.

Diane Dunbar Heron is an artist, photographer and Director of Education at the Art Institute & Gallery in Salisbury. She has won numerous awards, both here and abroad, including our own ‘Beverly Bassford Award’.

Diane and Robert love the arts so much that four years ago they started the annual Salisbury “Robert Burns Poetry Night” to raise funds for non-profits in the area. It’s held each year on Burns’ birthday, Jan. 25 to celebrate everything Scottish and in particular the poetry, songs, and writing of Scotland’s Bard and national poet —Robert Burns (1759-1796). This exciting couple has recently returned from Umbria and Venice and promise to show work from their trip. Their work can be viewed at their website, www.twoheronsstudio.com

Featured in the Member Spotlight will be artist Jeanne Mueller.

As a precocious 4-year-old, budding artist Jeanne Mueller painted her mother’s sofa. Although her design didn’t win an award, a passion for creativity was created. After retiring to the Delaware shore, she discovered a passion for painting. With no formal training, she has become one of this area’s prominent self-taught artists. In her paintings, she loves exploring color, light and shapes, she creates visual sensations with color relationships and atmosphere, bringing life to her paintings in a variety of mediums. Jeanne has won awards in many local shows, as well as at the Biggs Museum in Dover, Del. Her art is appreciated by many private collectors on the East Coast.
During July, ongoing exhibits by Erik Hertz, Dorothy Harrsion Braun, Faith Lord and Tinsel Hughes will be available in the artists’ studios.

The galleries at the Ocean City Center for the Arts are open daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.