The Rehoboth Art League has received a check for $5,000 from the Schell Brothers to support local arts via the Rehoboth Art League Domiciles Project, a public art project created by artist Alan B. Tuttle. In a world of abbreviated communications via emails, tweets and texts, this project evokes creative responses in the form of prose, poetry, lyrics, theater and art that require more in-depth thought and engagement.
Tuttle presents images on actual doors through “spills” that invite the viewer to be a voyeur into adjacent, adjoining rooms while creating a story about the inhabitants of the domicile. The fragments of life presented are merely a jumping-off point for participants and may be only a small reference in their stories or responses.
The artist recently launched www.thedomicilesproject.com with the help of Steve Robison at Red Sky Websites to open the project to the general public so they can view the doors and sign in to create and post their own written or artistic response for others to view and share. Mari Plowman, a local copywriter, was also very generous with her time in the development of this website. The public is invited to visit the site and participate.
While working to complete 50 doors over the next few years for presentation in the larger vision and venue of public shopping malls, the artist is taking the doors into public schools to directly engage students in English, art and theater in an effort to both gauge student responses and to learn what tools teachers need in their classrooms. Two of these pilots took place last year at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes and The Jefferson School in Georgetown.
The project will travel to northern New York in September and be presented at three school districts in Ogdensburg Free Academy, Indian River Central and Gouverneur. The artist hopes to engage several other Delaware school districts over the next couple years.
The Rehoboth Art League has been a sponsor and supporter of the project since it debuted as part of the artist’s show there in May 2012. It fits well with the art league’s goals of partnering with Delaware schools in arts education. The art league has also set up a fund so the public can make tax-deductible contributions to support the project, the Rehoboth Art League Domiciles Project Fund.
Thus far, Tuttle has borne all expenses with this project including crating, transportation, website development and promotional materials. The artist is not compensated for his time and efforts. A major hurdle going forward is asking school districts to help defray transportation and handling costs. The Schell Brothers donation may go toward the purchase of a 16-foot trailer to transport the doors to schools over the next few years so the artist doesn’t have to rent a trailer each time and pass on that expense.
He is, however, first seeking a donation of space by a local business to park the trailer near his home in Lewes for the next few years so storage costs don’t defeat the cost savings of owning the trailer.
Local school districts interested in bringing a pilot program of The Domiciles Project to their school are encouraged to contact Alan Tuttle at email@example.com. The Rehoboth Art League is funded, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.