To make the experience of Christmas shopping more pleasant, the Nanticoke River Arts Council will give you an early start with the opening reception of its 2013 Holiday Art Show at Gallery 107 in Seaford.
The Holiday Art Show will feature chic gifts from handcrafted vases and bowls to model lighthouses, jewelry, paintings, stained glass art, and more, from its talented roster of at least 30 artists. Some of the works will be Christmas themed, but not all. The show ends Saturday, Dec. 28.
A major highlight of the show is most of the works will be small and easy to carry. NRAC President Christina Darby feels it's important to offer small works since a number of out-of-towners will be trickling in and out of Seaford and will likely be interested in purchasing and/or receiving a souvenir from Seaford.
"I think people want to take back something from where they've been visiting," said Darby, of Seaford.
One of the shining artists in the show is Georgetown's own John Schisler, an oil-painter extraordinaire. Schisler has the ability to take mundane objects like marbles or cups/bowls with fruit and turns them into superstars with his classical-realistic illustrations.
He received training at the Conrad Miller Studio in Fells Point, Md., under the tutelage of Nancy Lee Conrad and Melvin Miller, who were both students of acclaimed painter Jaques Maroger. Maroger was an oil painter known for his claim of developing a technique similar to that of masterful European painters who worked roughly before the 1800s. Maroger's technique included paintings that used white lead as a main ingredient, which allowed his work to resemble the same high-end paint quality of the skilled European painters.
As a disciple of Maroger, Schisler's paintings also appear a cut above the norm.
"John Schisler is excellent with his oils," Darby said. "I've been in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and I think some of his art rivals that in the museum."
'A jewel in the rough'
Having the opportunity to host events like the Holiday Art Show is monumental to Darby and her NRAC colleagues since they've only had a gallery since 2011. Before that, NRAC had been operating out of Darby's home in Seaford since 2007.
"We always had the dream of opening an art gallery, but none of us had any money; and it takes money," Darby said.
The dream became a reality in 2011 when NRAC became "the lucky recipients of an anonymous donor that started us off," Darby added.
An anonymous person donated approximately a year's worth of rent to NRAC so it could move into Gallery 107. By 2012, NRAC relocated two doors down to its current gallery space, which is a larger one.
Page 2 of 2 - NRAC, which features more than 70 artists, is able to pay its rent by charging hanging fees to artists who showcase their work. Funds are also raised through art classes offered, and from a percentage of artist earnings from shows, said Joe Owens, a co-founder of NRAC and its facilities manager.
Owens and Darby say now that NRAC has had its own place to call home for two years, it's been making a name for itself in Seaford with its talented roster of artists.
"Seaford is a jewel in the rough," Darby said. "We have a great little group here."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Holiday Art Show opening reception, presented by Nanticoke River Arts Council
WHEN 5 to 8 p.m., Friday; the show ends Saturday, Dec. 28
WHERE Gallery 107, 107 Pine St., Seaford
COST Free admission
INFO Visit nanticokeriverartscouncil.org or call (302) 628-ARTS