Saturday, March 6, 2010

Art Loop Scoop: 3.5.10

It was a beautiful Friday night for the March Art Loop in Wilmo—people all over the streets, and it was a fantastic sight! The hubby and I started our night with a quick stop at Kathleen Buckalew's exhibit at Gallery 919. After soaking in her sharp, luminous infrared and inkjet images of the historic site of the Dupont's Powder Mill Hagley, we headed to Wilmington Library for a performance by vocalist/guitarist Jessica Graae and pianist Margaret Darby.

This dynamic duo collaborated on a diverse program including Rodgers & Hammerstein selections from Carousel, works from Brahms as well as Danish composer Carl Nielsen, and finishing with Spanish Renaissance songs. Jessica’s strong yet soothing vocals blended naturally with Margaret’s skilled playing. Their lilting sound carried throughout the expanse of the building, drawing in a solid crowd of patrons as soon as they entered the doors. Four Brahms’ pieces, in German (and how hard is that to sing?), seemed effortless between the two. In Von ewiger Liebe, voice and piano together would grow then subside, ebb and flow like waves. Both women were so expressive in their performances; they drew me into the emotion of each piece and their enjoyment in playing them. I hope we’ll enjoy them on more Loops to come!

Other highlights of Loop night: The artwork of Carl Lightburn, Sr., at the Grand, with my favorite piece, Madrinas Journey. The abstract of mixed greens, browns, and yellows had a shadowy figure at its center, seeming to stand strong against the swirling winds of color.

Onto Christina Cultural Arts Center and the intricately detailed and impactful mixed media/wood images by Tanya Murphy Dodd; welcoming us through the doors was the rhythmic sound of a drumming class going on upstairs.

Next stop: the New Wilmington Art Association Group Exhibition. NWAA shows are always hopping and this one was no exception, drawing a widely varied crowd. Pieces that particularly struck me: Felise Luchansky’s Redemption, a mixed-media piece composed of S&H green stamps, bingo markers & other 50s kitsch; Esteban M. Pilonieta Vera’s A Hunger Artist (Dedication to Kafka), a found art piece including porcelain, mud, hay and—believe it— horse manure! A bonus with this visit: A tour of the soon-to-be-open Shipley Lofts, which provide affordable downtown housing for artists. We saw two semi-complete units, and the huge windows, open layout and exposed brick really gave the feel of a Manhattan loft. The place was packed with onlookers, all excited about the buzz this place is creating.

End of the night found us sharing a bottle of tempranillo and tapas at Orillas, and that, too, was filled to capacity. Wilmingtonians, this truly is an exciting time for the Arts and nightlife in our city!

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