Sunday, July 5, 2009

Art Helps to Restore a Downtown’s Vibrancy

Mike Kalmbach was an artist looking for exhibit space. The Delaware College of Art and Design instructor noticed a lot of “available” space in myriad buildings in the area. So, this determined young man formed a group of 71 young artists in the same position and presto!: ART POWER---otherwise known as the New Wilmington Art Association---has helped enlivened a number of unoccupied storefronts all around the city.

On July 3, Mike mounted an exhibit of 31 artists on the floor above a sneaker store on 605 Market Street. The art is young, unpretentious and vibrant.

Alexander Chassey’s cynical cartoon style in acrylic on canvas hits hard. Killer shows a thug getting a back-rub from one babe and a beer from another. Francine Fox’s graphite-on-paper drawing series Talking to myself moved me, with its surreal figures whispering into ears with an Alice in Wonderland-esque feel. E.C. Graney’s surprisingly conservative oils on board were refreshing and well-executed. I am still laughing at Lee S. Millard’s Large, Obnoxious Wall Label ink jet print.

The NWAA moves to 214 North Market this fall. Come see them and help them revitalize Lower Market Street.


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