Five local artists have been selected for Phase 2 of Milford’s community art project, Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART),to begin designing and painting six, four-foot sculptures to be placed in downtown Milford. 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. The committee overseeing the Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART) project has named local Kent and Sussex artists, Linda Chatfield, Eddie Filemyr, Gwen Guerke, Bill Walton and Marcia Reed to take part in Phase 2 of the public art project.
Selected artist Bill Walton was born in Wilmington but has lived most of his life in Kent County in towns including Dover, Harrington and Felton. An artist all his life, Walton has been a part of the Second Street Players, Milford’s premier theatre group that performs at the Riverfront Theatre in downtown Milford. Serving the organization as the Art Director and member of the Children’s Theatre Board of Directors, Walton’s work is most widely recognized in his creation and painting of the sets for many Second Street Players productions. In 2013, he self-published a children’s book, “Polly”,that follows a horseshoe crab’s journey of self-discovery. Using his passion and experience of theatrical arts, Walton has chosen to focus on the art scene in downtown Milford as he designs and paints his version of the Augusta.
“The general theme of the boat is theatre and how theatre is a combination of the arts,” commented Walton. “There are so many ways to get involved in theatre whether it is acting, creating costumes, working backstage or directing. Theater is a collaborative art where almost anyone can get involved.”
On the starboard side of the boat, Walton has painted an extended stage displaying the various jobs of planning a performance as the port side of the boat shows a variety of performances including musicals and children’s theatre. On the cabin of the boat, Walton displays classic, iconic plays including West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and Sound of Music.
Walton is a fan of public art across the country and is pleased to see the idea happening in downtown Milford. He is excited that his creation will stay around longer than just on performance night.
“I think the idea of public art is fantastic and it means a lot to me to be a part of it,” commented Walton. “The set painting I do for theatre is just temporary and it will be great to have something I create stick around for a while.”
The second phase of the Art on the Riverwalk Tour is expected to be completed and displayed permanently around town during early summer, joining the original six already in place. For more info on the project, individuals can contact Lee Nelson, Director of Downtown Milford Inc., at (302)839-1190, Director@DowntownMilford.org or visit http://downtownmilford.org.