Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) is continuing their pursuit of a downtown public art project with the announcement that the organization is now accepting artists’ application for the third and final phase of the Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART). The project began two years ago as six sculptures depicting the classic yacht Augusta were designed and created by four local artists and displayed permanently along the Mispillion Riverwalk.
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. Vinyard 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.
Artists for the project were commissioned to paint the sculptures based on the theme “River Town. Art Town. Home Town”. During year one, five of the six boats were painted by Anne Jenkins, David Rule and Cathy Walls, as one was decorated with mosaic tile by Scott & Gail Angelucci. During year two of the project, five additional boats were painted by Kent and Sussex artists Linda Chatfield, Eddie Filemyr, Gwen Guerke, Marcia Reed, Bill Walton and one boat was painted by Rosalie Corporan, a selected art students at the Milford High School working under the guidance of art teacher, Nicole Carter.
DMI Director Lee nelson, is excited to see the sculptures in the downtown area located along the Riverwalk and believes that the public art project is more than just pleasing to the eyes. “On the design side of our mainstream program I do believe that it is another incremental step in making downtown Milford an attractive destination,” commented Nelson. “It also helps with economic development giving people another reason to spend time in downtown Milford. We hope that while there, they visit our local restaurants, businesses and art galleries and experience all that the downtown area has to offer.”
This October, Downtown Milford Inc. launched phase three of the public art project with a call to action for all artists living or working in Kent and Sussex Counties, inviting them to apply to create an original work of art reflecting Milford’s branding of Rivertown, Art Town, Hometown. After the creation of the six new sculptures are completed by six new artists, they will be permanently displayed along the Riverwalk along with the 12 other boats. After completion of all three phases of The Art on the Riverwalk Tour, a total of 18 sculptures will be on public display beginning at the start of the Riverwalk on Maple Street and extending to Goat Island.
“This is an exciting innovative way of approaching public art, it adds to making Milford a destination,” said Nelson. “With 18 artworks in place, the quantity of scale means it is more worthwhile to visit Milford specifically to see art works than it would be if we had 6 or 12 artworks. It partners well with the completed Riverwalk and opening of Goat Island walking area. All good individual reasons to visit Milford, but much more compelling when taken together as a package.”
Artists’ resume should focus on outdoor public art experience, if any, and submissions should include a completed colored concept drawing of their proposed work with explanation of medium to be used. Artists must show a willingness to mentor a Sussex or Kent County high school student as they create the artwork and teach the student how to do outdoor art. If accepted this will require a formal background check. Each artist must provide their own space in which to create the artwork. Artists are compensated for their work and materials.
The deadline for artists’ concept drawing and resume submission to Downtown Milford Inc., is Wednesday December 10, 2014. For full details and concept drawing, individuals are asked to download the application from http://downtownmilford.org or contact Nelson at (302)839-1190 or e-mail director@DowntownMilford.org.