An OASIS Of Art For 20 Years

Oct 25, 2020

OASIS Fine Art & Craft on the corner of Main and Water Streets in downtown Harrisonburg
Credit Bridget Manley

Oasis Fine Art and Craft is celebrating its twenty year anniversary with an art exhibit showcasing the local arts community. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

The co-op has been a refuge for local artists for the last two decades in the city of Harrisonburg. Run by an all-volunteer staff of those same local artists, OASIS features work ranging from photography to jewelry to stained glass and more, and it’s a special place in the Valley.

BARBARA CAMPH: You know, you won’t find many that last twenty years. Especially one that’s run by all volunteers. It’s hard work. It’s hard for artists to sell their work.

Barbara Camph creates works of art using stained glass, on display at the co-op. She says that even through a global pandemic, creating and reaching people through art has helped keep their spirits alive through chaos.

CAMPH: I think our folks at OASIS have been really good about encouraging each other. We have continued to have our monthly shows, which, that pushes artisan members to create new things. Because if you’ve got a show coming up, you’ve got to dig deep and respond to that. Our first couple of shows during the pandemic were virtual only, but we opened again in June, and we are putting the shows up and we do put pictures on Facebook.

They have been celebrating their anniversary throughout the month of October, holding a unique art show featuring the works of all the former artists who have made the co-op a success.

The gallery, which is open every day, is a big, open space that naturally allows for physical distancing while being surrounded by local art. OASIS offers hand washing and sanitizing stations, requires masks for safe viewing, and are planning special events the rest of the year to celebrate their time in the community.

CAMPH: We will have giveaways throughout the year, on the twentieth of each month we will draw a name from someone who shopped in the previous month, and first Friday we will have a little giveaway for people who come in to First Friday.