Dune protection a concern for beach mayors in Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Sussex Tech's Virginia Forcucci named Delaware's 2018 Teacher of the Year. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Eighteen inmates were indicted in the February takeover of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna that resulted in the death of Lt. Steven Floyd. Daniel Sato/The News Journal
100 varieties of jerky available, including exotic meats such as kangaroo and elk in addition to gourmet snacks, popcorn, nuts, spices, sauces and rubs available.
Gov. John Carney toured Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and took a Cape Water Taxi ECO Tour of the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal. Megan Raymond video
Dollar stores are popping up on street corners across Delmarva, swimming against the retail sector's falling tide. Video by Jeremy Cox
18 dogs who rode out Hurricane Irma in shelters have been flown into Delaware today to assist in being adopted by the Brandywine Valley SPCA. Produced by Megan Raymond
John Donato paints murals with children that focus on subjects such as bully prevention, character building or anything else they are trying to instill into the children and staff. Produced by Megan Raymond
Godwin's School, a one-room schoolhouse closed in 1936, has been the focus of an extended restoration effort by the Millsboro Historical Society since 1988. Produced by Megan Raymond
Nearly 17,000 plants take form at Delaware Botanic Gardens Produced by Megan Raymond
The Sussex County Republican Committee holds a rally in support of President Donald J. Trump. Produced by Megan Raymond
Tom Draper, the owner of WBOC, has died following a car accident. Wochit
A group of local volunteers has banned together to raise public awareness and help clean up the main tributary of Little Assawoman Bay. The Dirickson Creek Team is made up of residents who live along the creek, who love to boat and kayak there, but recognize that it's just not safe anymore. Wochit
Big Oyster Brewery's expansion in Lewes will increase production by 2,500 barrels Produced by Megan Raymond
University of Delaware freshmen involved in the Community Engagement Scholars Program help make their community a better place. Produced by Megan Raymond
Delaware's Jim Jannuzzio started a textbook concierge app last year called BookBandit. Over the last year, BookBandit's download totals have tripled and the business was selected by Google to participate in an invitation-only program. Wochit
Kathy and Leslie Megyeri have been coming to Bethany Beach for over 50 years. Produced by Megan Raymond
View of the partial solar eclipse from Brandywine Creek State Park Damian Giletto/The News Journal
Learn a bit of history of the the tower's along the Delaware Coast. Produced by Megan Raymond
Paul Kuhns will become Rehoboth Beach's first new mayor since 1990. Video by Keith Demko
Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding held its semi-finals on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Dewey Beach, Del. Produced by Megan Raymond
Resident Bob Lowe discusses the headaches that new development and more traffic has caused along Route 54 Produced by Megan Raymond
Tommy Gibson can't see. The massage therapist based in Sussex County has been blind since the turn of the century. But Gibson uses his other senses to their highest degrees, and has been working as a massage therapist since 2002. Wochit
Local doo wop radio station takes listeners back in time. Produced by Megan Raymond
The beach season has been calm so far for lifeguards, but they know the worst is yet to come. Wochit
Towns put on free events at the beach almost daily. Why do they do this? Produced by Gray Hughes
Vineyard Wine Bar and Bistro is providing an upscale food and wine experience at the beach. Wochit
Ocean View Police Department hosted "Officer for a Day" a program working with 311 Tactical, LLC. designed to allow citizens to experience policing from an officer's perspective. Produced by Megan Raymond
Rosemary Connelly speak about learning to draw and sketch and tips to stick with it.
Chef Chris Parks has elevated the cuisine at Lupo in Rehoboth over the last few years. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
New complaints were filed this week on behalf of several former town employees and one businesswoman against Dewey Beach Town Manager Marc Appelbaum, including allegations of sexual harassment and unprofessionalism. Wochit
On the Millsboro municipal website, a message is displayed front and center about the town's new vision: "Explosive Growth. Retailers Wanted. Families & Employers Welcome." It's part of a plan that focuses on attracting businesses to boost the quiet little town's economy. Produced by Gray Hughes
State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn missed his flight Thursday after TSA found his handgun in his carry-on. Wochit
Some members of the General Assembly want to create a task force that would figure out how much money Delaware could save if it reduced the number of school districts. Wochit
Farming irrigation system damage on Donnie Calhoun's farm east of Greenwood. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Security camera footage of possible tornado damage at Delaware Electric Cooperative Monday. Delaware Electric Cooperative
KK Kan Kare makes sure Rehoboth Beach residents do not run afoul of the city's trash ordinance.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, along with members of the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute and members of Sea Turtle Recovery rescue a loggerhead turtle approximately 3-miles east of Cape Henlopen near Lewes. Coast Guard video
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the longest-serving Delaware senator, and his wife, Jill, fulfilled a longtime dream by purchasing a vacation home at the Delaware seashore. Video by Keith Demko
SoDel's Scott Kammerer at the newest Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar Produced by Megan Raymond
A Dagsboro police officer was forced to kill a rescued stray pit bull Tuesday when it could not be made to stop attacking an officer from Delaware Animal Services, police said. Produced by Doug Ferrar
Marty Lamper, Concerned Resident of White Creek speaks about the proposed watercraft slips and a boat ramp Produced by Megan Raymond
Delaware Governor John Carney talks about his plan for prison reform in Delaware at a press conference at Legislative Hall. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Wilmington police investigate a shooting on Sixth Street that injured a 6-year-old boy on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Adam Duvernay and Daniel Sato/The News Journal
Margaret Guy, Outreach Minster for Stop the Violence Prayer Chain, reacts to the city's most recent shooting, which happened near her outreach ministry. Adam Duvernay/The News Journal
View of the new Resilient Tunnel Plug built by ILC Dover. The Resilient Tunnel Plug is capable of blocking tunnels during terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
A 17-year-old girl will not serve prison time for last year's fatal attack of Howard High School of Technology sophomore Amy Inita Joyner-Francis. 6/5/17 Damian Giletto/The News Journal
- Dune protection a concern for beach mayors
- Sussex Tech teacher named Delaware Teacher of the Year
- 18 indicted in Delaware prison takeover
- WATCH: Beef jerky Outlet store opening in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Gov. Carney takes ECO Tour on Lewes/Rehoboth Canal
- WATCH: Why dollar stores are sweeping across Delmarva
- WATCH: Hurricane Irma shelter dogs flown into New Castle Airport
- WATCH: Local Artist works with schools and organizations to paint murals to help educate
- WATCH: A 29-year restoration project celebrates historic Millsboro one-room school
- WATCH: Planting has begun at the new Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek
- WATCH: 'Support Our President' rally in Georgetown, Del.
- WBOC owner Thomas Draper dies
- WATCH: Volunteers help clean up Dirickson Creek
- WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
- WATCH: Students 'Rock the Block' in Millsboro
- UD student's textbook app taking off
- WATCH: Vacationing in South Bethany Beach for 50 years
- Watch the eclipse make its way across Brandywine Creek State Park
- WATCH: History of Dewey Beach Tower 3
- WATCH: Tough issues face next Rehoboth mayor
- WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
- WATCH: Route 54 traffic headaches have no clear solution
- WATCH: Blind massage therapist uses sixth sense to help clients
- WATCH: Local Radio station takes listeners back in time
- WATCH: Lifeguards have had calm season
- WATCH: Free events at the beach add extra value
- WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Ocean View Police Department "Officer for a Day"
- WATCH: Rosemary Connelly speaks about learning to draw and sketch
- WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
- WATCH: New complaints of sexual misconduct vs. Dewey town manager
- Millsboro says plan to draw business, residents is working
- State Senator misses flight when gun found in carry-on
- Lawmakers consider fewer Delaware school districts
- Irrigation system turned over during storm in Greenwood
- Possible tornado damage at Delaware Electric Cooperative
- Meet Rehoboth Beach's trash valet company
- Watch: Coast Guard rescues loggerhead turtle off Lewes coast
- WATCH: Bidens purchase vacation home in Rehoboth area
- WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
- Watch: Police shoot dog during attack on animal control officer
- WATCH: Residents, developer argue over White Creek usage in Ocean View
- Governor talks plan for prison reform
- Wilmington police investigate shooting on 6th Street
- Wilmington shooting: "This stuff is nonsense"
- ILC Dover develops big plug with an even bigger job
- Trinity Carr sentenced to six months in death of Joyner-Francis
Daytime visitors to Coastal Delaware might look like any other beachgoers. They soak up the sun on the beach, relax or ride a few waves in the ocean or stroll down the adjacent boardwalks snacking on ice cream and sipping cold lemonade.
But by night, vacationers transition into treasure hunters, scouring dozens of art galleries and shops up and down the coast for unique souvenirs that could complement the big city homes they left behind.
“It’s kind of like a routine for people. You get up, go to the beach, go to dinner and then walk the streets looking for treasure,” said abstract expressionist Ward Ellinger, who owns Ward Ellinger Gallery in Rehoboth Beach.
“People don’t normally just hang anything on their walls. This is quite an art scene, where people are buying real art from real artists, not just posters.”
Rehoboth Art League Artistic Director Jay Pastore estimates there are about seven galleries in the downtown area, each with its own specialty. From handmade crafts to photography to contemporary paintings, treasure seekers have a wide range of art to investigate.
“They each have their own thing, which is really cool. Everyone has his own lens,” Pastore said. “With our location near Washington, D.C. and New York, we get a metropolitan population, and these types of galleries spawn out of that type of clientele.”
Coastal Delaware’s proximity to some of the most populated and high-end cities in the country attracts not only vacationers with an eye for art but the artists themselves, who draw inspiration from the joys of beach living.
“There are so many artists who have gravitated to the coast here. It’s amazing how many groups are thriving,” said Tara Funk-Grim, a partner at Gallery One in Bethany Beach. “I think it’s the draw of the water and the wide-open sky that stretches everywhere that is really settling for everybody.”
For jewelry artist Heidi Lowe, Delaware offered opportunities to thrive as a young artist that the larger cities did not. After years in New York City, the owner of Heidi Lowe Gallery in Rehoboth Beach moved back to the area where she grew up to open a gallery in a storefront her family owned.
“I really wanted an avant-garde gallery, not just a jewelry store,” she explained. Rehoboth Beach “was appealing just for the fact that I could do it here. It allowed me to learn and grow slowly, and to learn about business. I wouldn’t have made it having to pay a New York City rent.”
Coastal towns, including Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Bethany Beach, tend to attract smaller crowds than nearby Ocean City. But Lowe says many visitors to Coastal Delaware appreciate a sophisticated vacation spot that often includes art.
Visitors come in different groups, depending on the season. The towns hold several festivals in the fall that attract art lovers’ attention; vacationers come in the summer and steal away with unexpected treasures; and locals stock up on unique gifts around the winter holidays, Lowe said.
“There are a lot of markets to serve, and it’s great because it keeps the business growing and thriving,” she said. “They are coming from big cities, and they already know about art and are very savvy.
“We’re showing art that’s the same caliber they have seen around the world.”
Visitors don’t just come to acquire art; many come to participate.
The Rehoboth Art League opened in 1938, and today it represents about 700 artists. Many of them show work in the group’s gallery, but others participate in the numerous educational experiences, including a variety of art classes and writing workshops, Pastore said.
“This whole environment is art,” he said. “It’s not a store; we’re an art center. We’re offering to teach art and take art out into the community.”
At Heidi Lowe Gallery, couples can take on more personalized art, designing and creating their own wedding rings. Artists can also participate in Lowe’s monthly “Art in the Yard” gathering, during which she opens space on her property for creating masterpieces.
“We have people from all generations interested in art here,” Lowe said. “It has really grown with all these groups of artists helping each other grow in the arts. There’s so much support.”
Funk-Grim marveled at the enthusiasm art lovers bring to the area that has made a vibrant art scene possible in such small, resort communities. At Gallery One in Bethany Beach, work from 14 partnering artists working in a variety of media is displayed on different themes each month.
“The people here just love to look at the local artists and get to know them,” she said. “They really do love to come in and see what we have every month, and the people enjoy seeing the diversity of styles we have to offer.”
Lowe and Pastore believe Coastal Delaware could even be experiencing a bit of a resurgence. The recent U.S. recession forced some galleries to close down during the past 10 years, but Lowe said she is seeing progress toward bringing back popular art events that died out during tougher economic times, including a possible art festival in the fall.
For artists and art lovers, the scene in Coastal Delaware appears to be ideal.
“I think it’s fantastic that more and more people are coming here all the time,” Ellinger said. “I think most of the shops in Rehoboth reflect a certain quality. It has a certain charm to it that people just love.”