Students Create Downtown Public Art

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2The Mispillion Art League (MAL) in Milford and art students from Benjamin Banneker and Lulu Ross Elementary schools have partnered together to celebrated MAL’s 10 year anniversary. Painting a mural that will be on permanent display on the side of the downtown building that hosts Good News Natural Foods, next to the Mispillion River, the partnership hopes to inspire the public to imagine the possibilities that art offers small communities.

Sara Gallagher, artist and member of the Mispillion Art League, challenged local elementary schools to get involved with local artists as she partnered with Vicky Hudson, the multiple intelligence art teacher at the Banneker school. During art class, the children were asked to draw sketches of what they loved most about the town of Milford. Once turned over to the MAL, Gallagher combined the sketches and created a composite of the collected artwork on a large canvas where the kids were invited to paint their creations.

The finished mural will be place next to the Mispillion River, on the side of the downtown building that hosts Good News Natural Foods, on display for the public. It will be placed in the same location that featured David Pyle’s “The Mermaid” that was on display in 2012 as part of the “Pop-up” art celebrating the Centennial celebration of the Delaware Art Museum. The dedication of the painting will be presented at noon during the Mispillion Art League’s 10 Year Anniversary event which will occur on Saturday, June 14.

“We wanted something highly visible and to include our young artists on this mural that will help us celebrate our ten year anniversary,” said Gallaher. “We wanted to give a gift to our community to thank them for their continued support over the years.”

Art teacher Vicki Hudson was excited to help with the public art project. “We are always looking to find community projects that our kids can get involved with,” commented Hudson. She has been a part of the MAL since it opened in 2004 and teaches several children’s classes at the downtown Milford location. “The art league has a lot of enrichment programs that can expose kids to even more fine arts than are available at the schools. It is also nice for the children to be engaged in becoming good citizens in their community.”

Fifth grade student at Banneker Nicholas Hudson, Vicki’s son, painted a mom and daughter painting beside the river as son and father were fishing. “I painted families being together doing stuff outside instead of staying inside alone,” commented Nicholas. “I’m really happy to have my art seen by the community.

Fourth grader Jordan Lee drew a buccaneer on the side of a boat in the Mispillion River and people having fun doing outside activities. “I drew a buccaneer because we have a lot of great schools and my mom is a teacher,” said Jordan. “It will be fun to see my art on the side of the building, I enjoyed painting this, it helps me to express myself.”

Looking forward to their 10 year anniversary next weekend, the MAL plans to have a public showcase at the downtown gallery on Saturday, June 14. During the all day event, which will take place from 8:30am to 7:30pm, Mispillion Art League will have featured artist demonstrations, the unveiling of a new exhibit, free children’s activities, the dedication of the mural and an adult reception. Individuals can find out more about the event schedule by contacting the organization at 302-430-7646 or visiting them a 5 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford.

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