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Sunshine Plein Air Artists paint Buena Vista


Members of the Sunshine Plein Air Artists were on site at Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate on July 28, 2020 to paint scenes on the grounds of one of Delaware’s most historic homes. The artists are a non-profit group of seniors who meet each summer to paint in the out-of-doors.

Photo of Mary Lou Hamilton of the Sunshine Plein Air Artists painting on the grounds of Buena Vista on July 28, 2020.
Mary Lou Hamilton of the Sunshine Plein Air Artists painting on the grounds of Buena Vista on July 28, 2020.
Photo of a watercolor of the Buena Vista mansion house by Mary Lou Hamilton
Watercolor of the Buena Vista mansion by Mary Lou Hamilton

In order to provide safe activities for their members during the coronavirus pandemic, Emily Spadafora, coordinator of the artists’ group, had contacted Buena Vista Site Supervisor Sara Clendaniel about the possibility of allowing their members to paint outdoors at the site. In her request, Spadafora noted, “Since our members are seniors, many of whom live alone, I feel if we can give them a reason to safely get outside for a bit they may not feel so isolated and down.” The result was a painting extravaganza that produced several fine depictions of locations on the property.

Photo of a watercolor of the Buena Vista play house by Emily Spadafora
Watercolor of the Buena Vista play house by Emily Spadafora

Located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, the main section of the Buena Vista mansion was built between 1845 and 1847 by John M. Clayton, United States secretary of state from 1849 to 1850 under presidents Taylor and Fillmore, and United States senator from 1829 to 1836, 1845 to 1849, and 1853 until his death in 1856. The home later became the residence of C. Douglass Buck, governor of Delaware from 1929 to 1937, and United States senator from 1942 to 1948. Buena Vista and its grounds were donated to the State of Delaware by the Buck family in 1965 and now serve as a conference/event center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Photo of Buena Vista
Buena Vista mansion

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