Paint Dover! event now a virtual exhibition

Best “Small Work” (up to 200 square inches) award: “Loockerman Street” by Paul Santori of Chestertown, Maryland.

DOVER — Eighteen artists from Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland painted Loockerman Street and nearby downtown areas during the second annual Paint Dover! plein air painting event, competition and exhibition held earlier this month, and culminating with October’s First Friday evening event.

The Fig Tree Band provided a jazz fusion instrumental backdrop to the event.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and seeing all the paintings lined up along Loockerman Street. I am so excited about my purchase of a pastel painting. It is so bright and vibrant and so expressive of a downtown Dover view,” said NCALL Executive Director of Karen Speakman, who purchased a Dennis Young piece called “Crossing Loockerman.”

An extended Paint Dover! exhibition is now being held, both in downtown shops and virtually, through Oct. 26.

The community can vote for their favorite painting for the People’s Choice award and is invited to watch a three-minute virtual exhibit that features all artists and paintings, and then follow the link to vote.

The virtual exhibit, best viewed on a compter, may be found at Tinyurl.com/DoverVirtualExhibit2020. The Fig Tree Band is also featured in the virtual exhibit so that those who were unable to attend the event will have a feel for the evening.

Several artists commented on being very pleased to paint in Dover and having an opportunity to participate in the plein air event.

“COVID has made it very difficult for professional artists to earn revenue this year,” said Ray Ewing, a plein air artist known throughout the region.

“So many of these events have been canceled in the prime painting season. I was really pleased to see that Dover went ahead with this three-day event.” said Dennis Young of New Castle, known for his colorful pastel drawings. “I am happy to reconnect with fellow artists that I haven’t seen since late last fall. Dover is such a beautiful town and artists have been received wholeheartedly.”

A variety of awards were presented to artists on First Friday.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen selected “Harry Louie’s Laundry” by Ann Crostic of Baltimore, commenting that, “This painting was lifelike and true to form. It made a lasting impression of a downtown landmark, which was from my childhood through my adult years.”

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen selected “Harry Louie’s Laundry” by Ann Crostic of Baltimore, commenting that, “This painting was lifelike and true to form. It made a lasting impression of a downtown landmark, which was from my childhood through my adult years.”

Councilman Ralph L. Taylor Jr. noted a similar sentiment in choosing “Caribbean in a Victorian” by Maggii Sarfaty of Easton, Maryland for the “Iconic Loockerman” (Street) award.

“Maggii’s painting captured the culture. It was full of life and brings back so many memories of life in Dover,” he said.

Ms. Sarfaty also received the “Dover Heritage” award for “Sentinels on the Green” as selected by Councilman Fred Neil, commenting that the painting “shows the calm within the colonial setting of The Green.”

Ray Ewing won two Honorable Mentions for his painting “Strolling Loockerman” that depicts Loockerman Street looking west from South Bradford Street.

Troy Windham was this year’s professional arts judge who selected a variety of paintings, also associated with monetary awards. These included, with his comments:

• Best in Show award: “Ridgley House Garden” by Jim Rehak of Seaford. “Jim’s oil painting of the Ridgely House located on The Green brought to life the beautiful garden. You could feel the cool October breeze and sunshine with the shadows.”

“Ridgley House Garden” by Jim Rehak of Seaford

• Best “Small Work” (up to 200 square inches) award: “Loockerman Street” by Paul Santori of Chestertown, Maryland. “Paul’s painting of Loockerman Street looking East was very creative. Loved it’s trees.”

• Honorable Mention award: “Crossing Loockerman” by Dennis Young. “Dennis’s pastel painting brought to life the beauty of Loockerman Street. The reds painted on the sign popped.”

In addition to the artwork produced through Paint Dover!, the public is encouraged to view the mini-mural exhibit at the Dover Art League that highlights the cooperative garden where vegetables are grown for the local community and flowers for pollinators, and offers workshops for kids and adults while helping local residents start gardens of their own. Wesley College, Delaware State University, and NCALL/Restoring Central Dover have partnered in the garden and art projects.

For more information, contact Diane@DowntownDoverPartnership.com or call 302-678-2940.