"Art that Gives"
Saturday, July 6, 2019
In July 1966, members of the St. Catherine’s Guild at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes strung a clothesline across the wall in front of the church and invited local artists to display their works. St. Catherine’s was one of several guilds that women of St. Peter’s could join, and its members held fundraising events throughout the year, using the proceeds to pay for special church projects. The success of that first art show encouraged the women of St. Peter’s to repeat the event in subsequent years — and today, the show is the parish’s major outreach activity, involving the entire congregation, with proceeds benefiting many community organizations.
Over the years, the focus has expanded from just paintings to include works in ceramics, jewelry, fiber, glass, wood, metal, and photography, and the show now fills the streets surrounding the historic church as well as the adjacent M&T Bank parking lot. The show takes place on the first Saturday in July.
Food has been important since the early days of the art show, when the church women hosted a bake sale as part of the event. At this year's show, the Episcopal Church Women and their friends are selling “Grab & Go” lunches in the Parish Hall.
Talks about St. Peter’s history and an organ recital are offered in the church during the show, and little art fans can have their faces painted on the Parish Lawn.
From its earliest years, the show has featured a raffle of works by Featured Artists, and a description of this year’s raffle donations is in the program. Raffle tickets are for sale on the Parish Lawn. A silent auction of works donated by over 100 exhibitors is in the Parish Hall.
Since the 1980s, St. Peter’s has given all the money raised from exhibitor fees, raffle and silent auction, and the luncheon to organizations that help people in need in the local area. The Community Resource Center in Rehoboth, a ministry of the Lewes Rehoboth Association of Churches, is a major beneficiary of the show. Aid is given regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, color, marital status, creed, national origin, disability, or religious affiliation.
It’s no wonder that the show’s motto is “Art that Gives.”