VIA to reprise popular clothesline art sale May 18

Robert Schroeder, son of renowned artist Howard Schroeder, holds the painting by his father that Rob is donating to the Village Improvement Association's Seaside Art Show live auction. SOURCE SUBMITTED
April 26, 2013

The Village Improvement Association, a nonprofit charitable organization, is reprising its clothesline art show as part of the new Seaside Art Show, starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 18, at the newly renovated and expanded VIA Clubhouse at Grenoble Place and the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach.

This rain or shine event will include a juried fine arts and crafts show by recognized artists. A silent auction will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. followed by a live auction. Starting at 4:30 p.m., there will be a wine and cheese tasting while guests review the live auction items. Guitarist Paul Cullen will entertain.

The live auction, led by local auctioneer Butch Emmert of Emmert Auction Associates will begin shortly thereafter. Throughout the day, the Rehoboth Art League will present a mini-exhibit highlighting former VIA artists. A $5 charitable donation is requested for admission. The public is invited to attend.

VIA Capital Campaign Chair Theda Blackwelder said, “This is such an exciting day for us. We are bringing back an event established so long ago by VIA's own renowned artist Ethel Leach. Among the 32 artists exhibiting their work will be the very talented Laura Hickman, Tara Funk Grim, Sherry Lee Biele, Fay Kempton and craft artist Joanne DeFiore.” All art work will be available to purchase.

A special item included in the live auction is an original Howard Schroeder painting donated by his son, Robert Schroeder. “We are so honored to have this beautiful work of art donated by Rob, and I am sure it will be the highlight of a wonderful day,” said VIA President Carolyn Billingsley.

The VIA clothesline art shows were inaugurated in 1929 by artist and VIA member Ethel Leach; she exhibited her own work as well as the work of other well-known and respected artists such as Howard Schroeder and Jack Lewis. In 1944, Ann Hazzard was the art show chairwoman, and she included an exhibition of weaving, embroidery, pewter, pottery and furniture refinishing.

These exhibitions continued for three weeks each summer until the great storm of 1962 when the clubhouse was severely damaged and all other structures surrounding the little building were completely destroyed. It was Leach's dedication to art and teaching that led her and her friend and fellow VIA member Louise Chambers Corkran to found the Rehoboth Art League, now celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The show's co-chairs, Sherry Hall and Barbara Lett, are looking forward to the revival of this successful exhibition of fine works of arts and crafts. “It is exciting to bring back this event that will feature many accomplished artists such as our own VIA members Fay Kempton and Joanne DeFiore. We know the public will enjoy the wide variety of work on exhibit and available for sale,” said Hall.

VIA member and artist Fay Kempton added, “It is humbling to follow in the remarkably talented footsteps of our former member artists and their friends. We are celebrating the great traditions and rich history of the VIA, and our dedicated women continue working for the enrichment of all who live in and visit our area.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the VIA Capital Campaign Fund funding the clubhouse expansion. For more information call 302-644-2264 or 302-240-409-8800 or visit

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