The arts take center stage at Oxford's Third on 3rd
● By Steven Hoffman
The arts are taking center stage at Oxford's Third on 3rd event on Friday, Aug. 21.
Chris Grove, the executive director of the Oxford Arts Alliance, said that organizers envision the Third on 3rd events as an opportunity for art-lovers to gather and enjoy art and music throughout the downtown.
Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. The Oxford Arts Alliance, and businesses in the downtown area are hoping to build on the success of the popular First Friday events with a second evening of activities being added to the calendar—Third on 3rd will make artists and their creativity the focal point of activities on 3rd Street each third Friday of the month.
Jerome Rodio, the owner of J & K Slightly Touched Furniture & Antiques, said that the time is right for an event like Third on 3rd to be successful in Oxford. Rodio explained that established businesses like Flickerwood Wine Cellars, combined with Susan Melrath's art studio, the opening of a new restaurant, Sawmill Grill, and the Oxford Arts Alliance, position Oxford to make a second night of activities a success.
The Oxford Arts Alliance, with its popular gallery openings and numerous programs that bring people into town, is a vibrant—and vital—part of the downtown, and has been almost since the day that it opened. Gallery openings at the Oxford Arts Alliance have been moved from the First Friday events to Third on 3rd as a way to create a centerpiece to the art stroll concept. On Aug. 21, the Oxford Arts Alliance will be debuting its members' show.
Grove said that this show is always a favorite because of the many talented local artists who take part in it.
Several local businesses, including Pickled Pickles, the Outback Company Store, and Melrath's studio will have specials and meet-the-artist opportunities.
Rodio said that he has arranged to bring in author Sue McAfee to J & K Slightly Touched Furniture & Antiques for the Aug. 21 event. Reenie Chase will work on a woodcraft project, and Patty Moshanko, an abstract artist, will work on a piece in progress at the store.
Grove said that they are already hard at work planning the next Third on 3rd, which is set for Sept. 18. That is a national juried show. Grove said that more than 400 submissions from local, regional, and national artists have already been received, with 58 pieces selected for display.
“That's going to be an unbelievable show,” Grove said.