BY DANIELLE ORLOV, Staff Writer
Captain Joseph Buck, a Revolutionary War Veteran, was the man who originally organized the township in 1801, but the town was already named in 1790 due to its location being ideal for different mills and factories. Those who formed the township also discovered that Millville, and most of South Jersey, had an abundance of silica sand, which is the type of sand that is needed to create glass.
Today, Millville and it’s Arts District has so much to offer. Glass making is one of Millville’s finest talents and continues to be displayed for everyone to enjoy at Wheaton Arts (according to the website, Wheaton Arts is a “nonprofit organization with a mission to engage artists and audiences in an evolving exploration of creativity”). If you ever have the time to visit Wheaton Arts, you can visit the Craft Studios and see artists while making their glass masterpieces, or you can visit the Museum of American Glass and indulge in glass pieces and the transition of practical use of glass into art. For a list of local artists and events, visit http://www.wheatonarts.org.
Glassmaking is a big part of Millville’s art district but it does not stop there. Clay College is located at 108 North High Street and has programs to offer to credit and non-credit students. Students can learn how to create beautiful pottery and sculptures by using different hand building techniques and they can also learn how to work the pottery wheel. The college also offers classes for fun or for college credits, but either way students are leaving with the knowledge and skill of pottery making. There are 15 pottery wheels and four kilns available for use. The college also showcases students’ work as well as local and regional artists. Clay College creates a creative and open-minded environment for everyone involved.
Not only is there art displayed at the college, but also Millville offers “Third Fridays” which acts as both a showcase for artists and their creations, as well as a community block party for citizens of Millville. Art of all sorts comes alive. Third Fridays are for everybody of all ages to come out and have a good time. Local musicians will come out and if it’s a nice day out they might play outside, artists who make their own jewelry or clothing come out and sell their merchandise, and the Riverfront Renaissance Center is open for everyone to gaze upon the beauty of art.
But what is art without theatre? January 1908, the first Levoy Theatre opened on High Street. Originally, it was two floors with a theater on the lower floor and a dance floor on the upper floor. In January 2011, the Levoy collapsed in the middle of renovation. Construction restarted in May 2011 and finished in August 2012. The new and improved Levoy resembles theaters from 1920s with its exterior lights and interior design. Ever since then, the Levoy has had an abundance of fantastic shows with talented performers. Some performers include Tracy Morgan, Kathleen Madigan, and different shows such as Chicago, Brigadoon, and A Christmas Carol.
When it comes to the arts, Millville comes alive with its glassmaking, clay making, theater, and music. You can visit http://www.glasstownartsdistrict.com for upcoming events and shows.