What’s New for March at the Ocean City Arts Center

When: Reception is Friday, Mar. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Ocean City Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Avenue, 2nd Floor

Photo: One of Elizabeth Ohlson’s ceramic art pieces, on display through Mar. 28 at Ocean City’s Arts Center.

The Ocean City Arts Center is Ocean City’s free community art gallery; they are proud to present a new exhibit, titled, “Centering,” that features the ceramic work of Elizabeth Ohlson.

The show opens March 2 and runs through March 28. A “Meet the Artist” reception will be held on Friday, March 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Elizabeth Ohlson is known regionally for her exquisite quilts. The Ocean City Arts Center exhibited her Kaleidoscope Quilts in their gallery in 2019. Before art quilting, she was a potter for over 30 years. Elizabeth received a BFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas. She became competent in throwing teapots, plates, coffee mugs and the usual functional pottery. She built her own Raku kiln and a Cone 9 (High fire) gas kiln, and stocked her at home pottery studio with potter’s wheels, clay, and a vast supply of chemicals for mixing glazes.

In 1980 she attended a workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In two weeks’ time, she moved from the world of functional pottery to being able to use her artistic skill and imagination in new and more satisfying ways.

In the first week she learned to throw the unusual plate forms on display in this show. In the second week, her eyes were opened to more creative possibilities using air-brushing techniques. Each flat plate became a canvas for experimentation.

The plates on display in this show were wheel thrown, bisque fired, decorated and fired a second time. Elizabeth’s technique in building the plates is, after centering the clay, she makes an opening with her thumbs as the wheel turns and raises the clay to be cylinder.

Next, she presses a straight edge (ruler) against the sides from the inside, carefully lowering the sides as the wheel turns until the sides are as horizontal as possible.

Hopefully you will enjoy this unusual display.

The Ocean City Arts Center is located on the second floor in the Community Center. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Arts Center is closed on Sunday.

For further information, call (609) 399-7628. Check out the Ocean City Arts Center on Facebook and Instagram. This program is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.