By Terry Rogers
The Big Draw, a month-long art event in Downtown Milford, kicked off on Saturday, October 5 with many free art activities. Chairperson Rosemary Connelly was excited to see many children and adults enjoying the Farmer’s Market and participating in the events designed to encourage artistic expression.
“We are always sad to see the end of the Milford Farmer’s Market, but this year the end of the market means the start of the Big Draw,” Connelly said. “I am thrilled to see so many families out here enjoying the market and participating in the events we have planned.”
The area in front of the Santa House was filled with children painting pumpkins. There was no charge for the event which allowed children to pick a pumpkin and then paint it however they wanted.
“I like going to Fifer’s Orchard and painting pumpkins,” Evelyn Stevenson, 7, said. “I am trying to do stripes in all fall colors on my pumpkin.” Her brother, Dorian, 5, also likes painting pumpkins at Fifer’s. He was painting fall colors as well as a “guy with sunglasses.” Alivia Payson, 8, was painting her pumpkin pink and adding polka dots.
Behind the pumpkin painting, visitors were also able to contribute to a community canvas project. People were encouraged to add their own creativity to a large canvas that will be displayed in the Mispillion Art League. They were also encouraged to place painted handprints on paper, one of which they could take home and the other to be displayed during the Big Draw.
“The handprints signify that many hands make festivals like this fun,” Connelly said. “The festival is part of an international annual event taking place in over 25 countries and involving more than 500,000 participants. I learned of the event while traveling and thought this was the perfect way for Milford to encourage artistic expression. It tied in perfectly with our town motto of “River Town, Art Town, Home Town. We hope this event not only lets people express their own creativity but that they see that art is more than just drawing and painting.”
Volunteers were also creating a community Mandala mural on Park Avenue. The mural is created from circular formats which have been used in design for thousands of years. It was installed by the back entrance of the art league gallery that connects to the studio spaces behind the gallery.
Other events held throughout town on Saturday included instruction by Trey Small on sketching and writing postcards that were delivered to patients at Bayhealth. Those who stopped in for coffee at Dolce could also paint their own masterpiece using coffee. Cathy Walls was on hand in the coffee shop to guide budding artists as they painted canvases with coffee rather than paint.
Every Saturday in October, the Big Draw event will offer unique, free activities. Some of these activities include street feet painting with participants adding paint to their feet and then walking along Park Avenue. The 16th century Italian practice of chalk sidewalk painting will also be part of the event while Andy West and Darrell O’Connor, sandcastle carvers, plant to build a large sandcastle downtown. There will also be scribble art, sketching at the Vineyard Shipyard and the Museum, an art trail, Imagination station and much more on Saturdays during the Month of October.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Big Draw or volunteering for events, contact the Mispillion Art League at 302-430-7646.