The arts are growing in downtown Oxford
● By J. Chambless
The expanded Art Annex space in Oxford offers a large space for classes or private parties.
By John Chambless
The arts are thriving in downtown
Oxford with the recent opening of the Art Annex.
The Oxford Arts Alliance began offering paint-your-own pottery workshops in March 2016 in the back room of the exhibition/office space at 38 S. Third St., but the popularity of the classes led to a search for a bigger space.
When artist Susan Melrath told the Arts Alliance she was planning to move out of her storefront studio on Third Street, the large, open space, which was across the street from the Arts Alliance, was an obvious choice.
“The Paint Your Own Pottery has been so successful in the back room, and we were outgrowing the space,” said Christine Grove, who now serves as the vice-president of the board for the Arts Alliance. “Even on a regular Saturday, it was really cramped. We would overflow into the gallery sometimes.
“Susan let us know she was moving to her new home studio, so we looked at the Annex space and crunched the numbers and it looked like a real opportunity for us,” Grove said.
The Annex is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting June 15, it will be open three days a week – Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the summer.
In addition to the pottery making, “we'll also do some of our other art classes in here,” Grove said. “Our summer camps will continue to be held in the other Arts Alliance space. I just love that there's great visibility from the street here, and people can see what we're doing now.”
The Annex is also “a great space to do private parties, mom's night out, or Scout groups,” Grove said. “It seems happy in here,” she added, smiling. “On the First Friday in May, when the Annex opened, there were a couple of people who had been over at the other location a couple of times to paint, and they were so excited that this is here now. And Susan Melrath came back, too. She's happy it will continue to be a creative space.
“Paint-your-own pottery is open, and you don't have to sign up for a class,” Grove said. “You can just come in, bring the kids, and do it. The classes we offer require a registration, and it's a little more formal. This is just fun. It's so happy in here.”
Once painted, the pottery is fired at the Octoraro Art Association's kiln and brought back to the Annex for customers to pick up their creations.
There is an exhibition space in the front of the building, near the street, which will host a revolving schedule of works by local artists. Reenie Chase will be featured next.
The Art Annex (19 S. Third St., Oxford) is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting June 15, it will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.oxfordart.org.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.