Mispillion Art League's new “Color Play” exhibit marks its second juried show.

Mispillion Art League's new "Color Play" exhibit marks its second juried show.

A potpourri of media including photography, oil painting, watercolors and jewelry are currently on display in "Color Play," which had its opening reception May 3. The exhibit, judged by Laura Hickman, of Bethany Beach, features more than 60 works by 30-plus artists with various skill levels representing Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties, as well as Maryland. The exhibit's title is a nod to the idea that artists were free to "Play" with any style or medium they desired.

Beyond giving local artists an opportunity to showcase their skills, "Color Play" has allowed artists a taste of what it takes to have their work considered for a juried show. It's a big deal because the presentation of a work being considered for a juried show is scrutinized as much as the quality of the actual piece. A seemingly trivial thing like not having a dust cover on a watercolor painting (the cover helps to keep dust from seeping into a piece) will immediately get a work turned away from being considered for a juried show, no matter how striking the work might be.

MAL President Sharon Hepford said detailed instructions were sent to artists about how their work was to be prepared for "Color Play." She added it was also made clear that failing to abide by any of those "rules of the road" would mean consequences for the artist. Watercolorist Harry Humes discovered this when one of his paintings didn't make the cut for "Color Play" due to a technicality.

"[Hickman] didn't like the way I had the backing on one," said Humes, of Milford, who explained he had a dust cover on his piece, but it wasn't properly applied to his work.

While Humes' painting of a boat titled "Off the Port Bow" was accepted for "Color Play," he said having a piece rejected from the show inspires him to not repeat the same mistake.

"It makes me strive to do what I have to do with better quality, not just with the painting but with the framing," he said.

'Color Play' winners

"Color Play" boasted five first-place winners: Cathy Walls, of Milford, won first in pastel with her surreal piece "Ben's Chili Bowl." James "Tim" O'Brien, of Felton, won first in photo with his picture "Sunflowers at Night." John Schisler, of Georgetown, won first in oil with "Pink Roses." Bea Whitehead, of Lincoln, won first in three-dimensional with her handmade basket "Raccoon." Ray Peterson, of Milton, won first in acrylic on panel with "Fig Tree Afternoon." There were also 10 honorable mentions.


WHAT 'Color Play' art exhibit

WHEN 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays. 'Color Play' is on display through June 22

WHERE Mispillion Art League, 5 North Walnut St., Milford


INFO mispillionarts.org or call 430-7646