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Art in Bloom aims to bring outdoor art to Lewes

Initiative blossoms from Lewes in Bloom members
February 2, 2016
Lewes in Bloom has created a subcommittee called Art in Bloom, focusing on adding outdoor art to the Lewes community. Among the committee's ideas is adding tulips to the Lewes water tower. Shown are a variety of water towers with designs incorporated to add flavor. BY NICK ROTH

On the heels of Lewes being named the Most Beautiful Small Town in America, one local group isn't wilting. Lewes in Bloom is planning to take the city to the next level through its latest program Art in Bloom, an initiative to bring public outdoor art, such as sculptures, mosaics and murals, to Lewes.

The idea emerged after Lewes in Bloom members attended an America in Bloom symposium in Holland, Mich., last fall.

“We noticed art in several forms, most notably sculpture, was displayed in many of the cities and towns participating in the competition,” said co-chair Jane Ellan Golde. “We wondered if we could find a way to place sculptural art as well as other forms of art throughout the town of Lewes. Our imaginations soared, and ideas took wing.”

Group seeks to add tulips to city's water tower

Art in Bloom’s first idea for public art was presented to the Lewes Board of Public Works Jan. 27. The group is seeking to have tulips added to the city’s water tower when it is repainted.

BPW General Manager Darrin Gordon said the tower is scheduled for maintenance and repainting in the near future, and he will inquire as to how much more it would cost to incorporate a new design on the tower.

As presented, Art in Bloom suggested red tulips be added to the tower to honor the city’s Dutch history, while altering the existing Lewes lettering to make it appear more elegant.

Lewes is well known for its Dutch history and its annual Tulip Festival in the spring. This year, Lewes in Bloom, the parent group of Art in Bloom, planted 15,000 tulips in preparation for the festival.

Art in Bloom held its first public meeting Jan. 14 at the Lewes Public Library, drawing a healthy group of interested people from the greater Lewes community. Golde and co-chairs Lou and Gavin Braithwaite facilitated an organized brainstorming effort to get the initiative off the ground.

Still in its infancy, Art in Bloom’s initial goals start with getting the group off the ground. Leaders dedicated time at the first meeting to identifying ideal locations to display public art, potential partner organizations, funding opportunities, prospective artists to use, and procedures and guidelines for installing and maintaining the art.

The group plans to form committees to focus on each topic.

Suggested locations for art discussed at the meeting include all of Lewes’ parks, the new library, schools, Beebe Healthcare, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal and murals on blank walls.

Gavin Braithwaite said he plans to sort through all of the ideas presented during the brainstorming session and email an analysis to those who’ve signed up for information in the next two to three weeks. From there, committees will begin work, and a path forward will become more clear.

For more information, email sparkyncleo@verizon.net or jegolde@aol.com.