This year the Mispillion Art League (MAL) in Milford celebrates their 10 year anniversary as they continue to expand their cultural impact through public exhibits, classes and symposiums in downtown Milford. Still true to its founding values of promoting visual arts and arts education to the Greater Milford Area, MAL will officially celebrate their first decade as a non-profit organization this June.
Founded and incorporated on June 15, 2004, the Mispillion Art League began as the result of a steering committee that was composed to think about ways to promote visual arts in the local area. The members of the founding Board of Directors included Joan Frense, Dot Furnish, Sara Gallagher, Carrie Geyer, Helen Holleger, Skip Pikus, Steve Quillin, Cathy Walls, Jean Wiley and Jo Wood. Originally holding featured galleries in various locations in Milford’s Penny Square and the Milford Public Library, MAL opened the doors of their current gallery location in downtown Milford in December 2007. Current MAL President Judy Struck acknowledges that the opening of the new gallery is when progress started to move at a very quick pace.
“The downtown location has given us so much greater visibility, we have seen so many more people through the doors, offered more classes and extended our hours,” stated Judy. “It felt like we were running to catch up with the demand for arts in this area.”
Since 2007 the area designated as downtown Milford has seen an increase in visual and performing arts. Walnut Street alone welcomes art enthusiasts with studios including Mispillion Art League, Gallery 37, Angelucci Studios and The Studios Upstairs. The Mispillion Art League has played a large roll in the revitalization efforts of downtown Milford and the creation of an eclectic art scene.
“I like the resurgence of the downtown and the way that it feels,” commented Struck. “To be able to walk to the coffee shop, go see a play at the local theatre or stop by a local artists’ gallery is exciting. There is a real sense of community that a lot of other places do not have these days.”
In addition to annual exhibits that feature the work of their members, MAL offers public classes for adults and children of all ages. Whether an art aficionado or a simple enthusiast, MAL offers classes for almost every type of art in every type of medium at every skill level. President Struck states that behind every class is the basic desire to educate students and allow them to express their own style of art.
“When you offer children an opportunity to express their feeling and use their imaginations without telling them specifically what is right and wrong, it helps them grow as a person,” commented Struck. “Research has shown that the arts help increase the creative skills needed through development.”
Looking forward to their official 10 year anniversary in June, the MAL plans to have a public showcase at the downtown gallery. Building their foundation as a non-profit organization on volunteers, they continue to seek individuals in the community to help grow their ability to promote visual art and art education. Individuals that are interested in helping the Mispillion Art League and their impact on the local community can contact the organization at 302-430-7646 or visit them a 5 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford.