The Garrett County Arts Council Board of Directors and staff are committed to aiding, encouraging, advising, and coordinating activities dedicated to the promotion of cultural arts in Garrett County, and to integrate such activities into the life of our community. Due to the additional financial commitment of the Maryland State Arts Council, County Commissioners and membership contributions, the Garrett County Arts Council continues to strengthen and build upon our programming areas:
The Gallery Shop is a retail storefront in downtown Oakland providing a venue for local visual artists to show and sell their artwork. We currently have artwork on display from over 150 artisans. Monthly special exhibitions with lectures, workshops and demonstrations, and entertainment are scheduled throughout the year. During the summer, we offer eight Saturday morning artist demonstrations in colored pencil, oil and cold wax, quilling, basket weaving, tatting, woodturning, balloon smash art and spinning. In FY21, we are looking to expand opportunities for artists and community members to come together to participate in activities, lectures and socialization.
Maryland's Arts & Entertainment (A&E) Districts help develop and promote community involvement, tourism, and revitalization through tax-related incentives that attract artists, arts organizations, and other creative enterprises to towns across the State. Both Grantsville and Oakland have received state designations as A&E Districts.
Each year, the Garrett County Arts Council allocates more than $4,000 in grant funding for special performances and workshops by Maryland artists in local schools. We provide additional grant funding to support the annual Student Arts Fair presented by the Garrett County Board of Education, periodic student visual art exhibits, and sponsorship of high school literary journals. We also recognize four senior students at each high school with a college scholarship; the individual award categories are for excellence in band, chorus, theater, and the visual arts.
The Garrett County Arts Council showcases our county artists' working studios annually with our Artist Studio Tour. Residents and tourists are encouraged to travel the scenic byways of Garrett County to meet our local artists, learn about their creative inspiration, technical processes, and the tools and materials they use to make their unique hand-crafted work.
Ginseng is our annual literary publication showcasing the work of local authors. Page-to-Stage is a celebration of that talent where the selected authors are invited to read their original work to a live audience.
An annual juried fine art and traditional craft show presented by the Garrett County Arts Council in cooperation with Simon Pearce during the Autumn Glory Festival weekend. Our goal is to always display art of the highest quality while making the attendee experiences fresh and stimulating. We blend our home-grown artists with new makers from other areas.