Five local artists have been selected for Phase 2 of Milford’s community art project, Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART),to begin designing and painting six, four-foot sculptures to be placed in downtown Milford. 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. The committee overseeing the Art on the Riverwalk Tour (ART) project has named local Kent and Sussex artists, Linda Chatfield, Eddie Filemyr, Gwen Guerke, Bill Walton and Marcia Reed to take part in Phase 2 of the public art project.
Selected artist Marcia Reed owns Gallery 37, an art gallery and business on Walnut Street in downtown Milford that features works of art from Marcia and also several other artists that work with various mediums. Marcia and her husband David decided to make Milford the place for their new home and business in 2012 after becoming familiar with the communal commitment to the arts in downtown Milford among artists, business owners, non-profits and the City of Milford,
No stranger to public art, Marcia was selected in a juried public art project several years ago for the town of Easthampton, Massachusetts, where five artists created their own unique version of a three dimensional fiberglass six-foot bear. She also had another public art experience painting a real violin for the Pioneer Valley Symphony and they were auctioned off at the University of Massachusetts. Describing her work as expressive and organic, Marcia has found the challenge of the Augusta project exciting as she experiments with the sculpture.
“The Augusta boat project honestly has been a real aesthetic challenge for me. First it has so many straight lines and edges, plus there is a specific criteria to follow which is the branding theme of the town ‘Art Town, River Town, Home Town’,” commented Reed. “The challenge for me was to follow the directions, and have it graphically strong so it can be seen from afar, plus serve the integrity of the form of the impressive angular boat and be about our town of Milford.”
Living directly on the Mispillion River, Reed has created a vision of what she sees from her bedroom window and the Gallery’s front windows on Walnut Street. Reed’s artwork depicts water reflections, ebb and flow patterns, landscape and sky scape on both upper sides of the boat, while displaying imagery of local wildlife.
“The River walk itself and the wildlife is a big part of my daily life,” commented Reed. “Nature had to be depicted. Dragonflies, water lilies, geese, herons and the duck families that make their way to our backyard, as well as turtles sunning on rocks or that appear in the parking lot.”
The arts in downtown are accented on the sculpture by images that represent theatre, dance, music and studio art. “I knew for me all the arts had to be represented so I made a composite of them together spelling out the word ‘arts’ to go on the stern of the boat,” commented Reed. “I want people to get a sense of how important the arts are to our community.”
The second phase of the Art on the Riverwalk Tour is expected to be completed and displayed permanently around town during early summer, joining the original six already in place. For more info on the project, individuals can contact Lee Nelson, Director of Downtown Milford Inc., at (302)839-1190, Director@DowntownMilford.org or visit http://downtownmilford.org.