Community members ‘Dabble with Dee’

Published 6:11 am Friday, October 12, 2018

Danville has enjoyed a relationship with her Sister City, Carrickfergus, in Northern Ireland for several years.  The partnership involves cultural exchanges and group visits by various community members who return and share their experiences at a variety of events in the community.  For example, the Mayor of Carrickfergus visited Danville in 2017 to observe community and government entities in action. 

One of the most popular programs is the summer theater camps for children at the West T. Hill Community Theater.  This highly anticipated event became a reality when playwright Liz Orndorff visited Carrickfergus as an exchange artist.  While in Northern Ireland, she attended a performance by a troupe of young actors, dancers and singers.  The program was so inspiring; she convinced the West T. Hill Theater and Sister Cities to bring the troupe to Danville.  That was the beginning of the long running relationship between the Uplift kids and Danville which has resulted in camps so popular, there is a waiting list each year they conduct the camp.

Photos contributed
Community members discuss layout of panel with Dee Craig

2018 brought another artist exchange in which Brandon Long visited Northern Ireland in the spring and Irish artist, Dee Craig has come to Danville this month.  Craig is a muralist with an international reputation.  His work combines elements of art and local themes into designs which are then carried out by students and community volunteers under his close supervision.  He and his partner, Lynda Downes, layout the design on a fabric in a process he has developed.  The painting will be completed entirely indoors in sections and then applied to the outdoor surface.  Even with the assistance of volunteers, Dee and Lynda must spend many hours in preparation and touch up before the final installation and unveiling for the public.

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With the help of Danville High School students before and after Fall Break and community volunteers during the week of break, the piece is nearing completion.  Installation is set for Oct. 18th on the south facing wall of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.  Under normal weather circumstances, the piece will remain fresh and attractive for years to come due to the finish which will be applied over the painted work.

Gallery Hop is Nov. 8th

Get ready to kick off the gift giving or collecting season with the Arts Commission’s Gallery Hop on November 8th from 5:30 – 8:00 in downtown Danville.  Merchants and offices will be decorated for the holidays.  Local artists will be paired with businesses, exhibiting work which is perfect for giving and decorating any time of year.  Many of the artists from past Hops will be returning as well as new talent from around the area. 

If you are an artist or a business new to the Hop, contact the Arts Commission at for information on participating.