Arts of all kinds to come alive at First Friday in downtown Dover

DOVER — For those budding artists who have paint pumping through their veins but have yet to fully address their passion, master artist J. Stacy Rogers will be on hand at this week’s First Friday event in downtown Dover on Aug. 2 to offer up some tips.

Mr. Rogers, of Lewes, will be on hand to discuss painting outdoors and will provide an oil painting demonstration, free and open to the public, at the Dover Art League at 21 W. Loockerman St. beginning at 5 p.m.

The oil painting demonstration is part of a three-month preparation program focused on painting downtown Dover and the upcoming October First Friday one-day outdoor paint event “Paint Dover!” To pre-register, those interested should visit or call 302-678-2940.

Meanwhile, youth and children will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of four winners of the First Friday coloring contest at 6:30 p.m. in Loockerman Way Plaza. The contest, commemorating National Coloring Book Day, is open to youth 18 and under and entries will close at 6 p.m. Friday.
The coloring page was designed by Gary Knox, owner of Forney’s Too, who will serve as a judge, along with Stephanie Adams, a community liaison for Nemours Fund for Childrens’ Health.
The coloring page can be downloaded at Children of all ages are invited to take a break from the heat and come into in the Dover Art League to color.

First Friday will also host its usual array of foods, vendors, live bands and visual arts this week in a collaboration with Destination Downtown Dover (D3) and the Downtown Dover Partnership (DDP), along with a grant from NCALL’s Restoring Central Dover initiative.
There will be lots going on around the Loockerman Street corridor on First Friday – and one can be assured that the arts of some kind will be involved.

“The arts — whether musical and performing, literary, visual, culinary or other — all have the opportunity to touch people in unique ways,” said Diane Laird, executive director of the DDP. “In downtown Dover we have made the arts an ongoing centerpiece of First Fridays because making the arts accessible to all walks of life can bridge gaps and provide opportunities otherwise not accessible in a community setting.

“And whether creating or performing art, learning new skills, or watching and enjoying art, people can move or be moved from the day to day, the mundane, the ‘analytical left brain’ to enjoy the more creative and imaginative right-brain activities.
The arts truly help to bring color and rhythm and fun to a setting where everyone can participate. And who doesn’t want to have fun?”

Toney Rocks and The Rejects and At Risk will be live on two stages on Loockerman Street from 5 until 9 p.m. The Dover Public Library will feature alternative country performer Chaplin the Kid outdoors at Loockerman Way Plaza at 6:30 p.m. and, in case of poor weather, the concert will be held inside at the library. Attendees are invited to bring their own chairs or a blanket to these events.

Other music will include saxophonist Wesley Melvin at the House of Coffi, Rick Hudson at Simaron Pizza & Steak Shop, Joe Connor at Grey Fox Grille and Public House and Mike Miller at The Delaware Store and Parke Green Galleries.
Dover Health Care Center will feature jazz vibraphonist Joe Baione at the corner of Queen and Loockerman streets.
“We will also have children’s games and train ride, hot dogs and drinks, a petting zoo and face painting,” said Cheryl Epps, owner of Dover Health Care Center at 212 S. Queen St. “We are excited to be providing these activities for the community.”

In the visual arts scene, the Biggs Museum will be sponsoring the opening reception for Rebecca Raubacher, “Drawings & Paintings,” from 5 until 7 p.m.
The exhibition opening is free for members; non-member tickets are required.

For details, visit:
Merchants will remain open throughout the First Friday event and a portion of sales from 5 until 8 p.m. will go to the Dover office of Nemours duPont Pediatrics through the DDP’s First Friday Gives Back program.

Last month, more than $350 was donated by merchants and DDD to the Veterans Trust Fund of Delaware.
For a list of participating merchants, visit
Most activities will take place rain or shine.

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