The committee overseeing the Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART) project named local Kent and Sussex artists, Karen Brittingham from Ellendale, Linda Chatfield from Wyoming, Paul Drzymalski from Dover, Kim Klabe from Rehoboth Beach, Erica Rae Lokai from Magnolia and Keith Steck from Milton to take part in the final phase 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. 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.
“It will be exciting to see the final six boats in place along the Riverwalk this Spring bringing the total to 18 artworks.” Lee Nelson, Downtown Milford, Inc., (DMI) Executive Director, said. “This has been a very successful project. The boats have been attracting a lot of local, state and regional media coverage and bringing visitors downtown.”
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 this final phase are expected to be completed and displayed permanently around town during early summer, joining twelve sculptures 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. ART is also partially funded by a grant from Kent County Fund for the Arts. 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.