Dr. Rice of DE Art Museum Visits MAL

L to R: Sharon Hepford, Art League President; Don Gilbert, A.L. Treasurer; Cathy Walls, Art League Arts Advocate; Cathy Serwalt, Art League Exhibit Chair; Danielle Rice, Director, Delaware Art Museum.
Judy Struck, A.L.Vice President
Walt Hepford, A.L. Membership Chair

On Wednesday, September 12 Danielle Rice, Executive Director of the Delaware Art Museum, traveled to Milford to visit the Mispillion Art League (MAL) on her statewide tour to view all 15 locations that took part in the Delaware Art Museum’s surprise pop-up art campaign titled Art Is Everywhere.

The “Pop-up” art is an outdoor museum exhibition that celebrates the Centennial celebration of the Delaware Art Museum by using main streets and landmark outdoor spaces as gallery space. Realistic reproductions of works of art were printed to scale, framed, and installed in pedestrian-friendly outdoor locations such as the Good News Natural Food building on Walnut Street in downtown Milford.

The work of art that was hung in downtown Milford was a reproduction of Howard Pyle’s famous “The Mermaid.” The work of art illustrates a shipwrecked man being rescued from an angry sea by a mermaid as the moon rises in the background. The Mermaid and its creator Howard Pyle hold a special place in the hearts of Delaware art lovers. He was the inspiration for the founding of the Delaware Art Museum in 1912 as the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts.

Dr. Rice’s visit was a symbol of the continued partnership between the Mispillion Art League and the Delaware Art Museum that has been growing since MAL was created 6 years ago. Since then, the  Mispillion Art league has been getting attention around the region as they moved into their current location in 2010 and have grown to 260 members over the last several years.

“Dr. Rice’s visit is a wonderful opportunity to continue our ongoing partnership with the Delaware Art Museum,” commented Sharon Hepford, President of the Mispillion Art League. “Milford is becoming an art destination and our local collaborative effort has allowed others to see the work that has been done to promote the arts in Milford.”

Danielle Rice took over as the Executive Director of the Delaware Art Museum in 2005, following nineteen years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. During her tenure in Philadelphia, Dr. Rice served as Curator of Education (1986-1997), Senior Curator of Education (1997-2001), and Associate Director for Program since 2001. Dr. Rice has also headed the education departments of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Being Dr. Rice’s first visit to the city of Milford, she was greeted by several volunteers at the Mispillion Art League that educated her on the rich history of Milford and the recent push for community arts as an economic driver.

“It was such a great experience and I have meet so many wonderful people,” commented Dr. Rice speaking about her statewide tour. “I have discovered some great treasures like Milford. I was told by others for years that I must visit Milford and now I understand what I have been missing.”