The artful activity is downtown Friday, Oct. 4

More than 20 artists will arrive in the Capital City to paint colorful scenes of downtown in watercolor, oil and pastel in “Paint Dover!” on Friday, Oct. 4.

This is part of ’Arts Alive at Five!” and is open to amateur and professional artists, as well as high school and college students. It will draw artists from the state, Baltimore, the Eastern Shore, New York and Virginia.

To welcome the artists, downtown merchants are preparing their window displays in a colorful “harvest and arts theme.” Their windows will will be judged as part of the Downtown Dover Partnership Merchants Committee fall window display contest.

It will be held rain or shine, as artists paint in poor weather from under their auto hatchbacks, umbrellas or under canopies and many merchants will remain open later into Friday evening. For questions, contact or call 302-678-2940.

Registration information is found at Participants are asked to pre-register, but registration will also take place upon artist check-in at House of Coffi between the hours of 7-10 a.m. the morning of Oct. 4, and at the Dover Art League after 10 a.m.

The event will culminate in a "wet paint" exhibition between 4:30 and 7 p.m. at Loockerman Way Plaza, 126 Loockerman St. where artwork will be for sale. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and cast their vote by 6 p.m. for a favorite painting. All awards will be announced beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Plaza (rain location Dover Art League, 21 W. Loockerman St.)

Those who would like to participate “behind the scenes” can visit to photograph, provide food for the artists’ casual dinner, or to volunteer otherwise.

The judge this year is oil and pastel artist Dennis Young, owner of Mo’zart Studios in New Castle. He recalled participating in a outdoor painting quite a few years ago as part of Dover Days.

“It was wonderful to paint in our state’s capital city and the park-like setting of The Green at that time,” Young said. “I am thrilled to see that this year’s event will encourage artists to paint commercial buildings up and down Loockerman and adjacent streets, as well as on State Street and The Green. Downtown Dover has so many painterly scenes.”

Diane Laird, executive director for the Downtown Dover Partnership, notes that this is part of “The 2019 Big Draw Festival Delaware” where over 50 activities and classes suitable for artists and non-artists, families, and kids will be offered throughout the state of Delaware.

The Festival is taking place in over 25 countries and involving more than 500,000 participants. Laird is excited the see the growing number of registrants to the “Paint Dover!”

Alison Barry is an artist coming from southern Maryland.

“I heard that Dover is a cute, historic town with lots of shops and I have been looking for an opportunity to check out Dover’s buildings and local sites in the downtown,” Barry said.

Alison painted in the juried outdoor painting event in Nova Scotia, Canada this summer, and recently “Mountain Maryland Plein Air,” among others. Registered also is June’s First Friday caricature artist Jim Rehak, who is also on “the circuit” as a plein air painter, most recently painting in Lewes, Chincoteague, Easton and Berlin, Maryland. “I've seen the morning light illuminate those buildings on The Green in Dover and this will create an ideal plein air painting subject.”

Several residents of Dover will host artists coming from further than a one-day event will reasonably allow for travel, including Tonda and Joe Parks and Kip and Joe McDaniel.

Arts lovers and artists of any ability are invited to participate. A variety of awards will be presented including several from the artist judge Dennis Young; Mayor’s Pick as sponsored and selected by Mayor Christiansen; two awards presented by staff of sponsor PAM Rehabilitation of Dover; and the People’s Choice. Jerry’s Artarama and Dick Blick art stores have graciously provided gift cards to be awarded, as well.

“Paint Dover!” is produced by  Downtown Dover Partnership/Main Street Dover and is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. 

“PaintDover!” is part of The 2019 Big Draw Festival DE presented by Mispillion Art League. Join in on the fun throughout the month of October for a multitude of art events throughout the state, many of which are free.