Four local artists have been selected for Milford’s community art project, Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART),to begin designing and painting the first six 4-foot sculptures to be placed in downtown Milford. ART is a 3-year public art project headed by Downtown Milford Inc., partially funded by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts and the Milford Lions Club, featuring sculptures of the classic yacht ‘Augusta’, built by Milford’s Vineyard Boat Yard in 1927.
Artists Gail Angelucci, David Rule, Cathy Walls and Anne Jenkins have been chosen by the Art on the Riverwalk Committee and will have the opportunity to create a work of art that reflects the town of Milford but also their own personality and style. The sculptures will reflect Downtown Milford Inc.’s mantra, River Town, Art Town, Hometown.
“The ART project is the good example of the revitalization and rebranding of the town. These four artists submitted excellent design proposals based on our “River town, Art town, Hometown” branding to the committee,” Lee Nelson, Downtown Milford, Inc., (DMI) Executive Director, said. “…and, happily, it turns out there will be 2 hometown, 2 river town and 2 art town designs.”
Selected artist Gail Angelucci and her husband Scott are owners of Angelucci Fine Woodworking & Stained Glass Studios in downtown Milford as Gail specializes in reproduction and one of a kind pieces made from stained glass. Ten years ago, after taking a stained glass class, Gail fell in love with the art and decided to pursue her talent alongside of Scott’s fine woodworking. A member of the Mispillion Art League, Gail is a strong supporter of the growing art community in Milford, acting as an informal ambassador to the active art scene in downtown.
Highlighting her work with stained glass, the boat that Gail is creating is a glass mosaic piece that portrays the Milford community through several generations from the shipbuilding era to modern day.
“This has been a true collaboration between myself and our student artist Evelyn,” commented Gail. “She has helped shape the boat by coming up with the timeline theme.”
Each artist also works with a high school art student as a mentor throughout the process. Working mostly with pencil, paints and charcoal, student Evelyn Orta found glass mosaic to be an exciting new look on the art world.
“Stained glass is so different from what I have done and it is inspiring to work with artists that share new ideas,” commented Evelyn. “I have had fun working with Gail and Scott and have learned a lot about art but also Milford history.”
Selected artist David Rule is co-owner of The LadyBug Shop in downtown Milford, taking over the business with Christopher Clawson in January of this year. Located inside the building is David’s new art gallery, created.rule Art Gallery and Studios, which is set to open during the Bug and Bud Festival on Saturday, April 27. David is a member of the Mispillion Art League, where three of his paintings are currently hanging, and the Downtown Merchants Association.
The first boat David and his student Kim McKinney are designing reflects the Art Town theme and features several art scenes in Milford including performing, visual, culinary and musical art. The second boat will highlight the River town theme and features wildlife native to the Mispillion River.
“The ART project is an exciting way for the local Milford artists to express the many charming characteristics of Milford that make it a growing and thriving town,” commented Rule. “Working with Kim is a great way to have interesting interaction between ‘older and younger’ artists, exchanging ideas and exploring different ways of expression.”
Student Kim McKinney, who has her art currently hanging in the First State Academy of Dance in Milford, prefers acrylics. Wanting to pursue a career as a translator, she also wants to continue her love for art after high school.
“I usually paint on a flat canvas so it is interesting working on a three-dimensional piece of art,” commented Kim. “I am looking forward to seeing the boats out in the community after we are finished.”
The first six boats of the Art on the Riverwalk Tour are scheduled to be finished by April 15, with an unveiling of the sculptures in late May and their installation set for mid to late summer. For more info on the project, contact Lee Nelson at (302)839-1190, e-mail Director@DowntownMilford.org or visit http://downtownmilford.org.