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Rehoboth Art League 44th Outdoor Art Show to continue Aug. 12-13

Artist Peter Emanuel displays mandalas with pop culture themes.
August 10, 2017

Picture-perfect weather and an array of works from artists around the country brought community members out for the first weekend of the Rehoboth Art League's 44th Annual Outdoor Fine Art & Fine Craft show. The show takes place annually during the first two weekends in August at the nonprofit's beautiful, wooded, 3.5-acre campus in Henlopen Acres. Arts and crafts are on display inside the historic buildings and all over the grounds. The final two days of the show are Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12 and 13. Visitors will have the opportunity to talk to and view the work of more than 125 participating artists and artisans, including some first-time exhibitors as well as longtime local favorites.

First-time outdoor show artist Peter Emanuel joined the ranks of exhibiting artists this year after showing a select number of his mandala creations in the RAL galleries. Emanuel, a Baltimore-based molecular biologist by day, creates peace-inspiring mandalas with a pop culture spin. These forms of art have traditionally represented a meditative process, creating a soothing order for viewers. However, Emanuel's creations bring a unique sense of whimsy to the traditional mandala art form, incorporating well-known board game pieces into his design. Games from Monopoly to Battleship, and majong to dominoes are represented in his artwork.

He said, "Finding the game piece components of my artwork is the hardest part of the process." Emanuel scours the internet to find game pieces of yesterday, buying things from online auctions and eBay. The easier part of his creative process, then, is putting everything together once decisions have been made about color palettes and layout. The final pop culture-themed works continue the traditional meditative theme for viewers in an enjoyable, contemporary way. His booth at the outdoor show has a wide array of themed mandalas, both as hanging wall pieces and as tables.

The show also continues to draw longtime local favorite exhibitors such as pastel artist Laura Hickman, who first participated in this RAL event when she was in college in the late 1970s. By the 1990s, she had become an annual fixture in this treasured event. "There's a history here," said Hickman. "If it weren't for this art show, I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing." This event in particular, she says, helped build up her list of contacts and patrons at a time in her artistic career when she had none.

Though Hickman now is widely known for her colorful renditions of beach houses in the Bethany Beach area, which are on display in her tent at RAL this year, she also showcases pastel landscapes of Tuscany, and scenes from Portugal and England. Her outdoor show tent also houses pastels of animals. Hickman is especially fond of creating artwork of dogs and goats, and her "Mystic Goat" piece, on display in RAL's Corkran Gallery, recently won the Howard Schroeder Award for Best Portrait in RAL's 79th Annual Members' Fine Art Exhibition.

With a wide variety of artwork to be seen on campus - mandalas and pastels, as well as painting, photography, pottery, fiber art, jewelry, metalwork and more - the second and final weekend of RAL's Outdoor Show promises something for everyone. While some artists create artwork in their booths, there will also be pottery demonstrations and musical entertainment. Face painting is available for the young and the young at heart, and culinary treats are available from Fork + Flask @ Nage and The Point.

Returning again this weekend is RAL's lemonade stand, the proceeds of which support the league's arts outreach program, a free arts education program offered throughout Sussex County. Dogfish Head sponsors the annual beer garden, which supports the organization's historic Peter Marsh Homestead and Gardens. Finally, there is a raffle for an original Nick Serratore pastel, "Wild Things," valued at $3,200. Raffle tickets are $5 per ticket or 5 tickets for $20. The winning ticket will be pulled at 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 13.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $5 per person for the weekend. Children under 12 are admitted free.

There are two free off-site parking locations and the Jolly Trolley shuttle to make it easier to travel to the show. The shuttle can be picked up at the Rehoboth Gateway Shopping Center (between Bed Bath & Beyond and Fresh Market) and Rehoboth Elementary School at 500 Stockley St. Ext. Shuttle service begins at 9:45 a.m. each day and makes continuous circuits during the day. The shuttle is provided by RAL.

For all schedules and more information, go to www.rehobothartleague.org or call 302-227-8408.

RAL thanks this year's event underwriter, Jack Lingo Realtor, whose support makes the 2017 Outdoor Show possible.

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