SOLOMONS, MD (May 17, 2021)— Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center would like to acknowledge and thank Burch Oil Co., Inc. for its generous help and support of the Garden’s art programs impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In early 2021, Burch Oil partnered with the Garden to improve the ventilation in its “Clay Studio”, enabling indoor art classes to continue during the cold season.

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center has become a haven for many during the pandemic. Offering outdoor art experiences like the “Enchanted Summer” and “Garden in Lights”, guests of all ages have found joy, peace and creative inspiration during daily visits, events and art classes. Pottery classes, which are held in the Garden’s “Clay Studio”, a converted garage which is home to a fully equipped ceramics classroom, were in high demand. However, with no HVAC system and little other ventilation, the popular classes came to an abrupt halt in November when it became too cold to work in an indoor/outdoor format.

“When we heard activities were being canceled at Annmarie, we knew we had to help,” said Sheri Norris, Vice President at Burch Oil Co., Inc. “Sometimes we take these things for granted and brush them off as extras. But the stress of the pandemic has made it painfully clear how important creative outlets are to the quality of life in our community. They bring people together and give a little escape from the outside world. This solution was in our wheelhouse and allowed us to use our expertise in heating and indoor air quality to help make a difference.”

With the donated services of Burch Oil and support from the Maryland State Department of Housing and Community Development, an HVAC system and other ventilation equipment was installed allowing classes to resume. “What a wonderful gift,” noted Annmarie Garden Program Director, Jaimie Jeffrey. “This upgrade allowed us to provide a therapeutic escape from the stress of this challenging year. Moving forward, what was once a three-season space can now accommodate classes all year long. It will be buzzing with creative energy!”

Annmarie Garden Development Director, Pam Shilling added “The folks at Burch Oil realized they were in a unique position to help provide a resource for the community. It’s this kind of generosity and commitment to helping others that makes Southern Maryland such a wonderful place to live. We’re truly grateful to Sheri and the entire team at Burch Oil for their friendship and support.”


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