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HISTORY OF OCEAN GALLERY - by Son Joey Kroart

Ocean Gallery Fine Art Centers was founded over thirty years ago by an American visionary artist, Mr. Joseph Leonard KroArt Jr. With a style far different from that of the status quo entrepreneur, KroArt is a person who thrives on creative ideas. He is simply a person with a "different" personality!

The creation of Ocean Gallery was the realization of a dream that KroArt had held since he was a child growing up in Baltimore. At the age of eight, KroArt was awarded a scholarship for his abilities by the prestigious Maryland Institute of the Arts. However, as much as he enjoyed drawing and painting, KroArt couldn't stand taking art courses! The formality and static nature of art instruction made him uncomfortable, and the energy and excitement that he had always associated with art was suddenly missing. It was then that he realized that for him, art should NOT be experienced in this fashion, and he promised himself that he would always strive to keep the FUN in art!

One summer during his college years, KroArt ventured to Ocean City, Maryland to sell his own paintings. Because he didn't have much money, a fly-infested basement was all that he could afford. During especially tough weeks, KroArt was known to actually eat the flys, concocting a variety of different recipes for fly cuisine. More on that some other time. Anyway, he was unknowingly creating the foundation for a business which he would preside over for years to come.

KroArt completed his college education at Towson State and became a junior high school teacher in Baltimore City. His career as a teacher--he taught science and art--allowed him to continue spending his summers selling his paintings at the beach. After seven years of teaching, though, KroArt finally decided to pursue the career he had a passion for: a career in the world of artistic expression.Ocean Gallery World Center at Boardwalk and 2nd Street is arguably the most recognizable landmark in Ocean City. The facade of the building is comprised from pieces of buildings from all over the world. Ocean Gallery World Center has been visited by three governors, a U.S. senator, and countless other celebrities and dignitaries (By the way, former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush have been invited to Ocean Gallery, and the Clinton administration is currently considering such a visit!).

The KroArt family invites you to experience the fun and excitement of fine art. Joe KroArt can almost always be seen talking with customers at the "flagship" store on the boardwalk, and his wife Adele can occasionally be seen there as well. Son Joey Kroart, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Maryland, enjoys spending summers away from school at the beach and working at the 45th Street Ocean Gallery. Mike Kroart, a Georgetown University graduate who is currently planning a career in art conservation and restoration, can be seen drawing and painting at Ocean Gallery Fenwick Island. And last but certainly not least, the works of Laura Kroart, age 6, can be seen on display on display at Ocean Gallery World Center. A famous artist to be? Perhaps so.

Feel free to e-mail Joe KroArt with any comments or questions you might have! (info@oceangallery.com)

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