Downtown Public ART To Be Unveiled

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Cathy Walls and Carlos Rodriguez working together on the ART project.
Cathy Walls and Carlos Rodriguez working together on the ART project.

Milford’s ship building history will take center stage again on Sunday,  June 9 from 3 to 5 pm with the unveiling of six sculptures of the classic yacht Augusta. The six ART, “Art on the River Tour”, sculptures are the first phase in a 3-year public art project headed by Downtown Milford Inc., featuring sculptures of the classic yacht ‘Augusta’, built by Milford’s Vineyard Boat Yard in 1927.

Boat building is an ancient art and integral to Milford’s history. There were originally 7 boat-building yards in Milford but over time they all closed. Vineyard Boat Yard was bought by the present owners, Sudler and Joan Lofland. They rescued the Augusta, which was lying derelict in another state and restored it to its former glory and is now moored back in the Mispillion River.

“This is part of our beautification of downtown and it highlights our history,” commented Lee Nelson, Executive Director of Downtown Milford Inc. “To me the Augusta really symbolizes what we are trying to accomplish. A piece of Milford history that was found and restored, what a symbol for our town to connect the past with the future.”

Designed by four local artists, the ships will be displayed permanently along the Mispillion River and throughout downtown Milford. The artists were commissioned to paint the sculptures based on the theme “River Town. Art Town. Home Town”. Three of the four boats were painted by Anne Jenkins, David Rule and Cathy Walls, as one was decorated with mosaic tile by Scott & Gail Angelucci. The artists were ably assisted by Milford High School students Ann McGehrin, Evelyn Orta, Carlo Rodriguez, and Kim McKinney.
“The boats are just fantastic. Each one is unique and quite extraordinary,” stated Nelson. “They highlight history and community. All our committee members are delighted and we hope the public will love them as much as we do.”

The unveiling will take place at the Vinyard Ship Building Site at 6 Columbia Street in Milford which is owned by Joan and Sudler Lofland. Greg Ellingsworth will provide music, Nancy Chirdon Forster of Verde Italian Cooking School in Milford will provide light food and beverages will be provided by Dogfish Head Brewery and DMI. The fully renovated original Augusta will be at the dock for tours during the event.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 13, at a maximum of $25 per family. Tickets are limited and can be purchased at the DMI Office, 115B North Walnut Street, in downtown Milford. For more information about the event or the “Art on the River Tour”(ART), contact Lee Nelson at (302)839-1190, e-mail Director@DowntownMilford.org or visit http://downtownmilford.org