Tour to show artists at work, raise funds for schools

Date Published: 
Nov. 24, 2017

Coastal Point • Submitted : Anne Hanna’s ‘Flowers Alive’ painting. Hanna is one of the 14 artists participating in this year’s Southeastern Delaware Artist Studio Tour.Coastal Point • Submitted : Anne Hanna’s ‘Flowers Alive’ painting. Hanna is one of the 14 artists participating in this year’s Southeastern Delaware Artist Studio Tour.The SouthEastern Delaware Art Studio Tour (SEDAST) has been a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for 23 years, giving art lovers a chance to visit artists, often in their home studios, and learn about how they create their work.

Started as a way for local artists to showcase their art and increase awareness of the richness of the artist community in the area, the tour has grown every year, according to spokesperson Jeanne Mueller.

For the past 17 years, the tour has also benefited local schools, through donations to the schools’ art programs. The donations are collected through the “Art in the Hat” raffle, which is held in conjunction with the tour. Each artist donates a piece of artwork, and raffle tickets are sold in the artists’ studios during the two-day tour.

This year, 14 artists are participating in the tour, and donating pieces to the raffle. The artists are: Ellen Rice, oils, pastels and watercolor; Cheryl Wisbrock, watercolor, acrylic and mixed water media; Sabie Carey, clay; Laura Lee Hickman, pastels; Eileen Olson, oil, acrylic, pastel and collage; Justin Cavagnaro, glass artist; Kim Doughty-Cavagnaro, ceramics and jewelry; John Donato, acrylics, murals and carvings; Dawn Pierro, jewelry; Jennifer E. Carter, photography, watercolor, oil and mural artist; Tom Frey, wood turner; Joel Antonioli Jr., woodworker; Anne Hanna, watercolors; and Jeffrey Todd Moore, stained glass, watercolor and photo manipulation.

Seven of the artists in this year’s tour have been in it since the beginning, Mueller said. Just the fact that the tour has continued and grown for more than two decades is amazing in itself, she said. The addition of the Art in the Hat raffle has added a new dimension to the tour and a new mission for the artists.

This year, Mueller said, that mission seems even more important, as schools are being forced to cut funding for “extras,” such as art classes. Each year, SEDAST sends letters to art teachers in the Indian River School District, asking them to submit “wish lists” that they would like funding for from the raffle.

When the letters came in, Mueller said, some asked for help with special projects, as they do every year — “typically, things like fixing a kiln or buying a tablet,” she said. However, many of the letters came back asking for basic supplies.

“They want money to buy paper and crayons!” she said.

Teachers requested a total of $5,000 in supplies this year, Mueller said. Often, the teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for such supplies.

So, SEDAST this year is urging the public to not only come out and enjoy the tours, but also to purchase raffle tickets.

“We’re trying to get a lot of attention to that,” Mueller said.

Items in this year’s raffle include a seaglass bracelet, a stained-glass crab, a twice-blown glass vase, a Shaker-style nightstand, a beverage crock, a turquoise-and-silver bracelet, a natural-edge wooden bowl and several framed or canvas art pieces with subjects ranging from a Portuguese village to a golden retriever romping in the surf.

Raffle tickets cost $5 each or $20 for five. They will be available at each of the studios on the tour. Tickets will be gathered at the end of the tour on Saturday, and a winner drawn for each prize. Patrons can choose which item they would like to try to win.

Brochures listing studios on the tour are available at businesses that are serving as tour sponsors this year: Gallery One, 32 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View; the Ellen Rice Gallery, 111 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View; Jayne’s Reliable, 33034 Main Street, Dagsboro; and Ocean Vayu Yoga, 29P Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View; and at other locations, including Wild About Birds, 19 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View; Creative Concepts, 31874 Roxana Road, Ocean View; and the Ocean View Post Office, 35764 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View.

The tour will be held on Friday, Nov. 24, and Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and to see the art that will be included in the raffle, go to www.artstudiotour.com or check out the tour’s Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/sedasttour.

Those who are not able to attend the tour can still help fund art in local schools through SEDAST by sending donations to P.O. Box 1154, Bethany Beach, DE 19930.