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Delaware Art Museum launches new outdoor art conservation program

Delaware Public Media

Wilmington will soon have some new conservators to help restore the City’s public art pieces.

The Delaware Art Museum is launching a new Public Art Stewards Training Program next spring.

Six to eight people will train with a professional art conservator to maintain around 30 pieces of outdoor public artwork.

Curatorial Project Manager Benét (ben-AYE) Burton said the six month program is designed to work with people from diverse backgrounds to revitalize Wilmington’s public artworks.

“Conservation is a very intensive skill to learn. So, we wanted to give them enough time to lay the foundation for the hands-on onsite training they’ll be gaining, but also to build up on those skills as we continue through the program,” Burton said.

She adds the Museum will prioritize hiring people of color, those on the behavioral health spectrum and those facing economic hardship.

Burton hopes to see the program expand statewide.

“There’s so much public art in Wilmington alone, but also in all three counties of Delaware. We’re hoping that with this pilot we’re setting an example and we can gain more funding so that we can have more public art conservators outside of Wilmington maintaining the beautiful outdoor galleries of our state,” she said.

The program will launch in the spring in partnership with Wilmington’s Creative Vision Factory.

It’s funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support 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.

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.