McDaniel Faculty and Staff Join the Off Track Art Co-op

Samantha Lambert
Staff Reporter

The opening night of local art gallery Off Track Art last month was a huge success. The parking lot was packed while people waited outside to gain entrance into this quaint, yet welcoming, bohemian gallery.

But what is so special about this show is that some of the artists displaying their work are McDaniel faculty and staff.
“It seems that our time has come”, said Linda Van Hart, an art and art history lecturer and one of the featured artists.

“It was just so wonderful, 20 enthusiastic artists, family, friends and neighbors…all coming together, saying that art matters to us.”

The number of people present at the opening shocked Van Hart and other participating artists, since the PR for the event was all done by word of mouth.

The gallery features interesting and elaborate works range from mix media collage, jewelry, photography, painting, sculpture and metal crafting.

Another featured artist who was working the front desk was Susan Williamson, who explained that each artist pays only $25 a month to have art shown in the gallery.

Considering the current state of the economy, Williamson says that “this is a great way to share art with like minded artists,”

Both Williamson and Van Hart, who are close friends, want to inspire others to create art themselves no matter what their profession is.

“Not only does this show feature obvious artists, but there are nurses, a consultant, and other professionals that you would not necessarily link to art,” Van Hart said. “The future challenge is to keep the momentum going,”
Both artists feel that Westminster is an up and coming town when it comes to art and hope that more college students will be interested to start art as well.

“Get a group of friends and take a vacant space and turn it into a cooperative composition anywhere,” Williamson advises.

Off Track Art is located on Liberty Street in Westminster, and is open from 12 – 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Participating artists include Vestal Abbot, Sarah Abel-DeLuca, Melinda Byrd, Christina Collins-Smith, Kevin Dayhoff, Mary Decker, Gail Elwell, Judy Goodyear, Charlotte Laslo, Beck Maurio, Wasyl Palijczuk, Howard Riopelle, Cathy Sawdey, Bob Sapora, Gordon Wickes, Vladimir Tzenov, Linda Van Hart, Robert Waddell, Susan Williamson and Pam Zappardino.