Blakey, Burton Organize MAL Black Artist Exhibit


Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 8.09.52 AMDuring the moth of February the Mispillion Art League (MAL), 5 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford, will be hosting A Celebration of Black Artists, featuring the work of African American artists and artisans from the surrounding area. MAL members Donna Blakey and Tony Burton have be organizing the event which will hold its Opening Reception on February 1 from 5 to 8.

In a subtle twist of serendipity, Donna Blakey’s first visit to Mispillion Art League as she accompanied a friend was on the night of the first February show that featured African American artists three year’s ago. Blakey became a member of MAL shortly after and began volunteering for the organization on a regular basis. As plan’s for the 2013 show started to develop, Blakey’s name was approved by the Board of Directors to assist with the month-long exhibit. She is excited for her chance to be proactive in the Milford art community.

“Mispillion Art League gives the community opportunities to experience many different aspects of different people’s lives and builds a diverse membership not only in the artistic sense but also people’s background and culture, which influences their artistic style,” commented Ms. Blakey. “This show will highlight the aspects of the African American culture.”

Daughter of Delaware State Representative Donald Blakey and Delores Blakey, a singer, Donna describes her home life as always being full of culture. The family was always educating themselves through music, theatre and visiting museums. Receiving her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Education from Delaware State University, Donna now teaches at the school and paints as a hobby. Working mostly with acrylics, she considers herself to be an emerging, virtually self-taught artist and looks forward to the journey ahead and she continues to discover her own art.

Also a graduate from Delaware State University, event organizer Tony Burton teaches art and computer graphics at Woodbridge High School in Bridgeville, DE. Know for his cartooning and caricature drawings, Tony mostly enjoys producing watercolor and acrylic art. Tony tells his story of how he fell in love with art through a childhood anecdote of himself in sixth grade. He admits that out of 6 kids in the class, 5 could draw and he was the one that could not. He practiced every day on a matchbox until he became the best artist in the class. He shares this story with his students at Woodbridge High, imparting that art is a practiced skill that is founded from learning the basics.

Tony is looking forward to the MAL Celebration of Black Artists in February and believes that exhibits like this one give great opportunities to artists that may not otherwise be exposed.

“This really gives us a chance to expose some black artists in the community,” stated Tony. “They have always been there but there are not many avenues for them to be exposed. You want to see the whole perspective of the art community and this allows us to do that.”

Both artists share the vision that the February exhibit will not only highlight black artists but also strengthen the idea that there are more similarities between cultures than there are differences.

A Celebration of Black Artists, at the Mispillion Art League (MAL), will host its Opening Reception on February 1 from 5 to 8 and will be on display throughout the month of February. For more information on the exhibit call 302-430-7646 or visit