Illustrator Howard Pyle didn’t teach amateurs. His students had to demonstrate real talent before they were admitted to his Chadds Ford summer school, and few were female. But Ellen Bernard Thompson cracked the gender barrier and, after Pyle’s death, achieved success as a cover artist for The Saturday Evening Post. Thompson became known as Ellen Pyle after marrying Howard’s brother, Walter. The Pyle name helped her, but Ellen’s talent existed long before the honeymoon. Using her three daughters as models, “She created her own particular type of realism in her images of domesticity, sport, fashion and romance,” says curator Mary F. Holahan, who oversees “Illustrating Her World: Ellen B.T. Pyle,” an exhibit that opens at the Delaware Art Museum on August 1. Howard Pyle, of course, was a major force in illustration. His sister-in-law never got her due until now. The exhibit marks the world’s first overview of Ellen Pyle’s career. For more, call 571-9590 or visit delart.org. —Maria Hess
Page 2: Sounds of Summer
The 2009 Citizens Bank Shipyard Summer Concert Series has rocked the Riverfront all summer, so “we’re ending with a bang,” says Riverfront Development Corporation’s promotion and event manager Shane Brey. The last month of the Thursday night concerts at Dravo Plaza features jazz by Alfie Moss and the Dexter Koonce Project on August 6, folk and family night with Danny Quinn (he’ll partner with Molly’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Timothy’s Riverfront Grill for festivities) on August 13, bluesy rock by Legendary Sinners on August 20 and, in keeping with tradition, a season closer by The Tim Laushey Orchestra on August 27. “Park your chair by 5 p.m.,” Brey says. Concerts start at 7. For more, call 425-4890, or visit riverfrontwilm.com.
Page 3: Consider Yourself Entertained
“Oliver!,” Clear Space Theatre Company’s summer family show, hits the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover August 1-2. The musical, loosely based on Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” stays faithful to the original setting of 1850s London. The story follows a homeless boy who travels from an orphanage to a creepy undertaker’s parlor, then joins a gang of thieves. The novel is grittier than the musical, but young Oliver finds a measure of happiness in both. Lionel Bart’s songs, especially “Where is Love?” “Consider Yourself” and “As Long As He Needs Me,” are classics. For more, call 644-3810, or visit clearspaceproductions.com.
Page 4: Fuzz Fests
About 8,000 folks will gather at Wyoming’s Municipal Hall for the 2009 Peach Festival on August 1. Enjoy “a lot more food” this year, says coordinator Jaci Stokes, including crab and shrimp from Sherri’s Fun Foods, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and gyros and Italian sausage and peppers from International Grill, of Richmond, Virginia. Locals are juiced about the peaches from event partner Fifer Orchards. Entertainment, from the Dover Drumline to puppeteers, plays all day. The rain-or-shine event also boasts a parade, crafts and vendors, antique cars and raffles for locally made quilts. For more, call 697-3587 or 222-1554, or visit townofwyoming.com. Middletown will holds its annual Olde-Tyme Peach Festival on August 15. For more, call 378-7466.