Thursday, September 17, 2009

Delaware Loses an Arts "Jewel"

A few weeks ago, Delaware lost an extraordinary member of its Arts community. Artist Julie Baxendell passed away in August after a brave battle with breast cancer. This Saturday afternoon, a celebration and memorial will be held in her honor at Peninsula Gallery in Lewes (520 E. Savannah Road, Lewes).

I met Julie nearly 10 years ago, while working for The (then) Wilmington Music School. Charged with identifying regional artists to exhibit in the school's space, I began where I thought most sensible: the artist roster of the Delaware Division of the Arts. I systematically started alphabetically, but called off my search entirely when I found Baxendell's work.

To me, her use of color and texture was explosive and playful, and her paintings evoked such "feeling"---I wish I could explain better. I was an instant fan, and she remains among my favorite artists. I have been to numerous exhibits and events where her work was displayed and loved spending time with her and her work. She often painted tranquil scenes of Sussex County where she lived, but her series of Key West, Italy and Portugal are equally as striking.

Not only was she an accomplished talent (she received a 2002 Artist Fellowship from the DDOA and a 2003 Fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation), she was an extremely joyful and generous individual, donating works for the benefit of such organziations as the Children's Beach House, The Wilmington Music School and AIDS Delaware.
I am grateful to have known her and am honored to own some of her work. I ask you to help keep her contribution to the Delaware Arts scene alive and discover all that she has given us. I know you'll not be disappointed. Thank you, Julie. You will be truly missed!

No comments:

Post a Comment