The committee overseeing the Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART) project named local Kent and Sussex artists, Linda Chatfield, Eddie Filemyr, Gwen Guerke, Marcia Reed, Bill Walton and selected art students at the Milford High School working under the guidance of art teacher, Nicole Carter, to take part in Phase 2 of the public art project.
The ART project began last year as six sculptures depicting the classic yacht Augusta were designed and created by four local artists and displayed permanently along the Mispillion River. The classic yacht Augusta that was built at the Vinyard Shipyard in Milford, links the town’s historical beginnings of shipbuilding to the modern attraction of the Riverwalk along the Mispillion River. Boat building is an ancient art and integral to Milford’s history. There were originally seven 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 as it is now moored back in the Mispillion River.
Art on the Riverwalk Tour is a collaboration of Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) with the Mispillion Art League, Milford Parks & Recreation and Milford High School. The committee overseeing the ART project, consists of Joan Lofland, co-owner of Vinyard Boat Year and the classic yacht Augusta, Nicole Carter, arts teacher at Milford High School, Gary Emory of Milford Parks and Recreation and Cathy Walls and Bob Connelly of Mispillion Art League. DMI Director Lee Nelson, is excited to see the sculptures in the downtown area, located along the Mispillion Riverwalk, and believes that the public art project is more than just pleasing to the eyes.
“The ART project is the good example of the revitalization and rebranding of the town. The six boats of phase one have proved to be very popular, have been getting good press and are attracting visitors to Milford,” commented Nelson. “It will be exciting to see the new art by these excellent artists on display soon.”
Reflecting Milford’s branding of ‘Rivertown, Art Town, Hometown’, each of the artists will work with a high school art student as a mentor throughout the creative process. The decorated sculptures from phase two are expected to be completed and displayed permanently around town during early summer, joining the original six already in place.
This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Art on the Riverwalk Tour is also partially funded by a grant from Dogfish Head Brewery that was awarded earlier this year. For more information on the public art initiative, individuals are encouraged to contact Lee Nelson by phone at (302)839-1180, email at Director@DowntownMilford.org or visit http://downtownmilford.org.