As part of the Gibby’s Paint the Town event Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, artists will create and submit work that represents the people, architecture and nature of Middletown. Residents will then vote for their favorite piece during the opening reception of “Reflections of Middletown,” June 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Voting will also take place Saturday, June 18, all day.


    With events planned throughout the year, it is no secret the Town of Middletown is revving up for its 150th anniversary celebration. The Gilbert W. Perry Center for the Arts will do its part to commemorate with a special art exhibit, “Reflections of Middletown, Celebrating 150 Years.” Local artists of all genres and media are invited to the Gibby this weekend to create artwork for the exhibit, which will run from June to July.

    As part of the Gibby’s Paint the Town event Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, artists will create and submit work that represents the people, architecture and nature of Middletown. Residents will then vote for their favorite piece during the opening reception of “Reflections of Middletown,” June 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Voting will also take place Saturday, June 18, all day.

    “I think this will help increase people’s awareness about the significance of the Town,” said Caroline Zeitler, director of the Gibby. “Artists have the opportunity to explore the area with a different perspective.”

    Zeitler said artists can attend the event at anytime throughout the weekend. Each artist will be given a map of Middletown and will be able to choose their location.

    Aside from creating art, those in attendance will be treated with art discussions by Chesapeake City artist Abigail McBride on Saturday, a photo safari with photographer Bill Leitzinger on Sunday, picnic lunches and more.

    The artists will benefit from the comraderie and the exchange of ideas,” she said. “There’s a good flow of energy and excitement about it.”

    In conjunction with the Gibby’s event, the Everett Theatre will hold a special showing of the “Projectionist,” from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The documentary tells the story of former Middletown resident Gordon Brinkle, an Everett projectionist for 33 years, and was created by former resident Kendall Messick.

    Zeitler said this event is not just open to artists. Members of the community are invited to check out the event’s offerings, peruse the Hudson Contemporary Gallery and even participate in a self-guided walking tour sponsored by the Middletown Historical Society from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

    “This is an event that people can participate in to the extent that they want,” Zeitler said.

    Zeitler said it is not often when the Gibby holds a people’s choice exhibit, but she plans to incorporate it more in coming years and possibly make Paint the Town and annual event.

    “This is a great way to involve the community,” she said. “It allows them to see the significance of their input in the art.”