It’s said that opposites attract. For Kathy Wheatcroft, not only do they attract, but they blend rather well together.
Wheatcroft is “the newbie on the block” at the Ocean City Fine Arts Center. She and her husband Jim retired full time to Ocean City a few years back. Always loving art, but having no background or training in it, she found a way to incorporate her business experience into the organization.
“They were looking for someone to take over the treasury and business side. It was perfect for me. I always wanted to work with a nonprofit,” Wheatcroft says. “(But) I really come out of the opposite side of the art world. I don’t have an art major or minor. I was management marketing with a minor in finance — the exact opposite of art.”
For someone who just went to the Art League “on a whim,” the next thing she knew she was signing up for a watercolor class. However, it turned out that watercolors weren’t her thing.(tncms-asset)e1e5a8b2-cd45-11e6-8904-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
So Wheatcroft tried another medium: acrylics. When those didn’t jive with her, she tried pastels, which she didn’t care for either. Wheatcroft, who, like Goldilocks, is not one to give up, decided to give oils a try. They felt “just right.”
“I really enjoyed it. I felt more comfortable with oils,” Wheatcroft says. “Oils seem to flow to me.”(tncms-asset)d9c9bdb2-4f5d-52a0-918e-f39fdf56ab6b(/tncms-asset)
Being part of the Fine Arts League has really changed the mindset of this former employee of corporate America.
“I got so much more of an appreciation of art. I used to go to art museums and love them, but didn’t I didn’t really grasp it,” she says. “Now I recognize the artists and the mediums. It’s been a learning experience (being part of the OCFAL). I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Wheatcroft still considers herself a student when it comes to her art.
“It’s a whole different perspective for me now that I’ve dabbled in it. I think some people have a knack for just being able to pick up a paintbrush and do something. I’m not in that category, that’s a definite,” she laughs.
Perhaps Wheatcroft isn’t quite a natural with a paintbrush — yet — but that doesn’t mean she’s not artistic. Her primary artistry just comes from another place.
“I’m a cook. I love to cook. I like to see how the plate’s arranged. So maybe my art comes from that.”
For Wheatcroft, being a part of the Ocean City Fine Arts League has been a happy blessing.
“The art world down here is just wonderful. There are so many wonderful artists to see and learn from and they’re all very helpful. They always want to share techniques — why they do this or that, what they see. I love that,” Wheatcroft says. “And by being involved in the fundraising angle and looking for grant money — all that’s finance oriented — I can do art and use my business background.
“I get the best of both worlds here.”(tncms-asset)e174514c-bd75-11e6-9af1-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Judges’ show at OCFAL
Each month the Ocean City Fine Arts League does a themed show that anyone — member or nonmember — can participate in. The shows are judged by a prestigious group of locally and nationally known artists.
To show appreciation, each winter the OCFAL hosts a show just for its judges. The next judges’ show will open with a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, and will run through the end of the month.
The judges taking part in the exhibit are: Lance Balderson, Kim Weiland, Jill Cucci-Smith, Judy Saylor Allison, Glynnis Reed, Leonard Wilkinson, Valerie Waywell, Steve Tullo and Gale Moss. For more info, go to OceanCityFineArtsLeague.org.