by Terry Rogers
Rosemary Connelly says she was honored to be chosen as the Cottage Tour Artist for the 2019 Rehoboth Art League Cottage Tour of Art which will be held on July 9 and 10. In years past, artists applied and competed for the honor.
“I applied before and was not chosen,” Connelly explained. “I guess a few years ago, they stopped doing the competition and now the artist is chosen by the Art League. I am not sure how they decide who will be offered the honor, but I am very pleased to have been asked this year.”
Connelly said that the league reached out to her in February to paint the seven homes that would be included on the tour. She had until mid-May to turn in the paintings to the Rehoboth Art League, who then have them framed. At a reception following the tour, Connelly will present each painting to the homeowner as a gift for allowing people to tour their homes. Cottage artists are paid a commission for the paintings.
“Each presented a different challenge,” Connelly said. “It was so much fun to try to capture the essence of each place. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, to do my own thing and it was such an enjoyable experience. I am so excited to be able to present these paintings to the homeowners. The Homestead is always one of the homes on the tour and there is quite a collection of paintings of this home done in different styles.”
During the tour the Peter Marsh Homestead is transformed by furnishing and décor by the tour underwriter, J. Conn Scott. Richard and Lisa Scott will use a blend of modern furnishings and decorations to compliment the historical home. Each year, the presentation is a surprise to tour attendees. The tour is self-paced with transportation provided on the Jolly Trolley or tour goers can travel in their own vehicles to each location. However, the art league points out that parking is limited at some of the house locations.
Rosemary Bivetto Connelly is originally from Brooklyn and her late husband, Bob, from Queens, New York. The couple married in 1969 and their son, Christopher, was born the following year. They moved to Arizona after Bob took a position with the Tempe Fire Department in 1973. Their daughter, Jessica, was born a year later. Connelly studied fine art, painting and graphic design at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College. She worked as a professional graphic artist for 20 years. Bob earned a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Photography from Arizona State University, becoming a renowned photographer.
The Connelly’s had a common phrase throughout their marriage and that was to “live cheaply and make art.” In 2005, the couple sold their home in Phoenix and moved to Italy for two years. The couple spent approximately six months in four different regions of the country, including Umbria, Sicily, Veneto and the Amalfi Coast. During that time, Connelly captured the scenery and experience through watercolor paintings.
In 2007, the couple relocated to Milford, immersing themselves in the new community. Connelly opened the Live Cheap and Make Art studio above the Mispillion Art League before moving to the Penney Square building. In 2015, her husband was diagnosed from cancer and he passed away in December of that year. The following year, Connelly closed her studio. She now travels extensively and enjoys painting her travels. She is well known for her watercolor journaling workshops which provides insight into using art and words to document daily life.
Connelly has displayed work in shows at Station Gallery in Greenville, the Biggs Museum in Dover and the Anne Lloyd Gallery in Decatur, Illinois. Her acrylic painting “Lewes Harbour Marina” was selected to hang in Delaware Senator Tom Carper’s Wilmington Office. She has been juried into shows throughout the state, winning awards for her watercolors. In addition to teaching watercolor journaling, she also teaches urban sketching, leading classes in New York, Illinois, California, Vermont, Longwood Gardens and throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. Connelly is a member of the Rehoboth and Mispillion Art League, Milton Arts Guild and Urban Sketchers. She is a founding member of the Urban Sketchers Delaware.
“My next big project is the Big Draw Delaware,” Connelly said. “This is an exciting new event that is taking place the entire month of October as part of the International Festival of Drawing. We have things planned for every day in the month of October in Milford, so stay tuned for more information!”
Tickets for the Cottage Tour are $35 and the tour is appropriate for those 13 or older. Tickets may be purchased at www.RehobothArtLeague.org or call 302-227-8408.