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Public Art Stewards Training Program

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This summer, the Delaware Art Museum encouraged the public to be on the lookout when strolling through Wilmington’s outdoor gallery. Amidst the collection of sculptures, murals, memorials, and other works of art that beautify our city, you’ll find our first-ever Public Art Stewards Training Program cohort!

On Tuesday, May 2nd, we welcomed eight participants to our “earn while you learn” workforce initiative funded by the City and the State. Under the tutelage of program instructor, Margalit Schindler, the Public Art Stewards learned transferable skills in conservation and training to support the care and maintenance of up to 30 public works of art in all eight districts of Wilmington.

Many of Wilmington’s public art, beacons of our cultural heritage, have been left unattended. And without the necessary attention, these works of art run the risk of falling into disrepair. Or even worse, disappearing.

Unlike our museum, the city’s outdoor art installations are much more vulnerable. There are no Museum Ambassadors, or climate-controlled galleries to ensure their safety. Instead, these precious works by beloved artists are exposed to elements that will inevitably bring about their deterioration. And with a collection of art spanning a century, the Delaware Art Museum aims to preserve Wilmington’s gallery for the admiration of generations to come.

Monumental Holistic VII 1980, Betty Gold (American painter, sculptor, and photographer, born 1935) MEDIUMCor-Ten steel (TM) DIMENSIONS168 × 96 × 108 in. (426.7 × 243.8 × 274.3 cm)

Which is where our Public Art Stewards come into play.

For the past three months, our Stewards have been busy prepping for their site visits; learning the foundations of conservation and engaging in workforce development training supported by our partners, West End Neighborhood House, Stand By Me, Creative Vision Factory, and Pearl Preservation. Soon, however, you will see our Stewards out and about, on site at different works of art and conducting condition surveys. Be sure to say hi!

The work of the Public Art Stewards Training Program is a necessity. As an institution highly knowledgeable of public art needs with established influence and connections, we intend to advocate for our program to expand to all three counties of the state to support the care and preservation of Delaware’s public art.

To learn more about the Delaware Art Museum Public Art Stewards Training Program, click here.

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