The artful community of Milford will add another accolade to its colorful resume at the Vinyard ship building site on June 9.

The artful community of Milford will add another accolade to its colorful resume at the Vinyard ship building site on June 9.

The day will see the unveiling of six four-foot sculptures for the launch of phase one of the Art on the River Tour (or ART) project, an initiative that's been brewing for about a-year-and-a-half and is spearheaded by Downtown Milford, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to promote the development of Milford's business district.

Phase one will spotlight sculptures of Milford's classic yacht Augusta, a boat built by the Vinyard Ship Building Yard in 1927. The sculptures were hand-painted by local artists in themes based on the town's slogan: "River Town, Art Town, Home Town." The works will be displayed permanently and proudly along the Mispillion River with the intent to highlight Milford's history of shipways, the artists who worked on the ART project and attract more people to downtown.

"I think it'll be a great addition to downtown Milford," Lee Nelson, executive director of Downtown Milford, Inc., said of the sculptures. "The boats are just fantastic. Each one is unique and quite extraordinary."

The unveiling event will include live music from Greg Ellingsworth. Nancy Chirdon will provide delicious nibbles, while Dogfish Head Brewery and Downtown Milford will handle the beverages.

Painted into a nice corner

The six boat sculptures were painted by Milford artists Cathy Walls, Scott and Gail Angelucci, Anne Jenkins and David Rule, in which Jenkins and Rule each painted two boats. The artists were assisted by Milford High School students Ann McGehrin, Evelyn Orta, Carlo Rodriguez and Kim McKinney.

"The thing that's really exciting about the work to me is the six artists are really different," said Jenkins, whose boat designs boast a folk-art style. "But when you see the work together, it really works well."

Nelson's goal is to display a total of 18 boat sculptures along the Mispillion River in the ART project, within the next three years. The initiative is intended to have two more phases and the next one is slated for next June. Each phase will be a year apart and include six sculptures.

For the ART project, Downtown Milford collaborated with the Mispillion Art League, Milford High School and Milford Parks and Recreation.

WHAT Phase one of Art on the River Tour unveiling
WHEN 3 to 5 p.m., June 9
WHERE Vinyard ship building site, 6 Columbia Street, Milford
COST $10 for adults; $5 for kids younger than 13 at a maximum of $25 per family; tickets are limited and can be purchased at the Downtown Milford, Inc. office (located at 115 B North Walnut Street, Milford)
INFO or call (302) 839-1190