Arguably the largest art show in the area, the 50th Annual Rehoboth League (RAL) Outdoor Show heads into its second weekend August 12th and 13th on RAL’s 3.5-acre campus in Henlopen Acres. More than 100 artists exhibit their work during the two weekends. Most, but not all, show their wares both weekends. The show attracts local and regional artists as well as those who come in from out of town. One of those is Tara Funk Grim who does original paintings and prints. She travels from Florida.
“It is more arduous to travel to Rehoboth as it takes two days of traveling and all necessary equipment, paintings, etc…. I need to be carefully planned and packed ahead of time,” says Grim.
But it is also her favorite show. “It is a show of community where patrons and artists have become friends and we all look forward to seeing one another and the new work produced,” she says.
The RAL Outdoor Show is one of the longest running outdoor shows in the country. According to Grim, the show is well coordinated, advertised, and orchestrated. It attracts many top artists in their field who in turn promote the show to their art patron list and so it also attracts knowledgeable and supportive patronage.
Exhibitors must be members of RAL and be juried into the show by professional judges. The show rules are very specific and enforced, according to Board of Trustee member and well-known Lewes artist, Nina Mickelson. She has exhibited for years and is taking a break this summer.
While she is not directly involved in the jury process, Mickelson has some words of advice for exhibitors that reinforces the high high-quality standard that the show maintains. “What I always recommend artists to do, is to read the prospectus really carefully and make sure they follow them to the T,” she says. “In general, in applications, you can get dismissed if, for example, you left your name visible in your submitted photos for a jury that is supposed to be blind. Details can derail even a fabulous artist.” Like other RAL shows, a call for entries is posted on the League’s website.
The visual artists are not the only ones in the spotlight. A full slate of local musicians provides entertainment throughout each weekend. The Pros from Dover and Kerry Hallett performed this past weekend. The ever-popular Hot Sauce Band is slated for this coming Sunday afternoon. Here are the details per the RAL website, but keep checking for updates.
Show attendees won’t go hungry. Food and beverage vendors including The Point Coffee House and Bake Shop and the Chesapeake and Maine Seafood Restaurant will be serving attendees. The Taco Reho food truck will be on hand for Weekend Two.
The Miss Eleanor trailer will be serving up ice cream outside of the Children’s Studio, with proceeds benefitting RAL’s Visual Arts Outreach program, which offers free arts education opportunities to young people in underserved areas of Sussex County. In the afternoon, Dogfish Head will be serving up craft brews in the Homestead Garden with proceeds benefitting the care of RAL’s historic gardens, which are maintain following the vision of our organization’s founder, Louise Corkran. The League celebrates its 85th Anniversary this year.
Outdoor show admission is $5.00 for adults. Tickets purchased on Saturday enable customers to return the next day free of charge. Wrist bands are provided. Children under 12 years of age are free. Saturday hours are 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday hours are 10 am to 4 pm.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland.