Artists encouraged to sketch downtown scenes in Dover at July First Friday

DOVER — The name sounds like they might be a new type of sneaker designed for hitting the basketball court or playground.

However, Urban Sketchers of Delaware is an all-volunteer group of artists dedicated to fostering a community of artists in Delaware who practice on-location drawing.

Vivienne Cameron, certified art teacher, art therapy life coach and one of the administrators of Urban Sketchers Delaware, will introduce “urban sketching” to anyone who’s interested from 5 until 7:30 p.m. in downtown Dover during the city’s First Friday celebration (5-9 p.m.) this week. No experience is necessary, participation is open to all ages and the activity is free.

Ms. Cameron will talk about urban sketching, show materials and samples, and then participants will take to the streets for a mini “sketch crawl.”
Participants should bring a standard sketchbook and pencil/marker, colored pencils, watercolor, or whatever medium in which they would like to work. Those that do not have supplies should simply come with a pencil. Paper and clipboard will be provided.

The art teacher will provide additional instruction and tips to those with limited experience and then they will join in drawing outdoors. At the end of the crawl the work will be displayed and photographed. The entire activity is expected to take around two to two-and-a-half hours.

Diane Laird, executive director of the Downtown Dover Partnership (DDP), expects the urban sketching event to be a popular one.

“When artists sit ‘on-location’ for a while taking time to draw, paint, or sketch, they begin to take in the sounds, sights, and ‘heart’ of a community, really get to know it,” Mrs. Laird said. “We are very excited to be encouraging artists and aspiring artists to downtown during First Friday’s from July to October, as they’ll find bustling activity and plenty of color and activity to sketch and paint on Loockerman, State and nearby streets, including over to The Green.”

The DDP is providing this visual “Arts Alive at Five!” sketching activity in preparation for an October “plein air” (outdoor) painting event. For details about the Urban Sketching workshop and crawl, and to pre-register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sketch-crawl-in-downtown-dover-tickets-64374288229 or call 302-678-2940.

Plenty afoot downtown
From the Fourth of July celebration at Legislative Mall, highlighted by Thursday night’s fireworks extravaganza, to First Friday, downtown Dover promises to be abuzz heading into the holiday weekend.
Many outdoor activities are also programmed for July’s First Friday event the evening after Independence Day by DDP partner organization Destination Downtown Dover (D-3).

“June First Friday was awesome,” said Todd Stonesifer, chair of D-3. “Loockerman Street was packed, there were people dancing, drinking and dining. I am really excited for July.”

Joey Fulkerson and Group Therapy will be live on-stage and craft beverages, food trucks and vendors will be on hand from 5 until 9 p.m. on Loockerman Street.
Other activities include artist Jim Rehak and Bob Frazier and Friends on ukulele at The Delaware Store and Parke Green Galleries, while Mr. Stonesifer will be performing on acoustic guitar and harmonica at House of Coffi, also the place where Dover author and this year’s Delaware Division of the Arts Fellow in Fiction Don Foster will read from his collection of stories.

The Dover Public Library’s “In Harmony Concert Series” will feature an evening of blues with The Blues Reincarnation Project, a blues-rock, British blues and new age blues influenced band on Friday night.
Combining guitar, bass and drums, they “just play whatever, with a hint of blues … with the goal of bringing the blues back to the younger generation.”
This concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. outdoors on Friday at Loockerman Way Plaza and attendees are invited to bring their own chairs or a blanket. In case of poor weather, the concert will be held at the library.
Most activities will take place rain or shine.

Merchants will be open and a portion of sales from 5 until 8 p.m. will go to the Veterans Trust Fund of Delaware through the DDP’s “First Friday Gives Back” program. Last month, $501.50 was donated by merchants and DDD to Caring Hearts Helping Hands, Inc. For a list of participating merchants, visit TinyUrl.com/DoverFirstFriday.

Mrs. Laird is looking forward to a busy, fun time on the streets of Dover this Thursday and Friday.

“There will be such a great variety of things to do this weekend, between fireworks, live bands, arts, food and vendors, downtown Dover will be a regional destination, especially considering Rehoboth’s fireworks will be (tonight),” she said.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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