Jeannie Parry displays her handmade sailboats that she created using driftwood and seashells at the first 'Art in the Park' event at Old Orchard Beach on Thursday. REECE SAUNDERS/Journal Tribune

Jeannie Parry displays her handmade sailboats that she created using driftwood and seashells at the first ‘Art in the Park’ event at Old Orchard Beach on Thursday. REECE SAUNDERS/Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — The Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsored its first “Art in the Park” featuring fine art, mixed media, photography, and crafts from over 40 artists at Memorial Park on Thursday.

The park was the perfect place for the show, as it drew in crowds from the beach who were interested in what the artists had to offer.

One of these artists exhibiting was Holly Ross from Kennebunkport who takes part in many art shows in the area. A lot of visitors stopped by to see her brightly colored paintings which capture the essence of the seaside.

Sandi Lemmerman and Anne Fisher showcase all of the hand painted wooden fish and sand dollar ornaments at the 'Painting for a Purpose' tent during the first 'Art in the Park' event in Old Orchard Beach on Thursday. REECE SAUNDERS/Journal Tribune

Sandi Lemmerman and Anne Fisher showcase all of the hand painted wooden fish and sand dollar ornaments at the ‘Painting for a Purpose’ tent during the first ‘Art in the Park’ event in Old Orchard Beach on Thursday. REECE SAUNDERS/Journal Tribune

“Maine’s vibrant colors, rugged seacoast, lobster boats, and seagulls along with my cherished childhood memories are the inspiration for my playful designs,” Ross said.

In a tent directly across from Ross were Sandi Lemmerman and Anne Fisher who are a part of “Painting for a Purpose.” They were selling wooden fish and sand dollar ornaments painted by volunteers to benefit local youth.

“Painting for a Purpose” brings people together to create hand-painted whimsical art and the proceeds provide grants for students in the Portland Public Schools.

Other vendors at the OOB “Art in the Park” showcased Maine-themed jewelry, clothing, paintings, photography, and sweets. Participants included Hands-on Pottery, Seacoast Sweets, Quercus Woodworking, and Handmade Driftwood Sailboats.

The creator of Handmade Driftwood Sailboats is artist Jeannie Parry who traveled from Oakland to sell her crafts. She turns seashells, driftwood, and other treasures found along the shore into art.

“This art show adds a creative, cultural element to our community,” said OOB Chamber of Commerce marketing and relations manager Meagan Poirier.

Along with Executive Director Kim Verreault, Poirer worked hard to make sure the art show was perfect for artists and attendees. They chose the date for their event because Old Orchard Beach was also offering free music, fireworks, and a busy time for tourists to stop by.

The sunny weather with a slight breeze made the event enjoyable for all those who attended. The artists were able to promote themselves and the community while the buyers got to bring home a special souvenir symbolizing Maine.

The event was put on to spread positivity and to celebrate a creative community, according to organizers. 

“We are here to make visitors happy, and you can’t beat that!” Poirer said.

This is the first year the OOB Chamber of Commerce has held the “Art in the Park” and organizers hope it will grow in the years to come by doing it every August.


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