Monday, May 24, 2010

Renaissance: Support for Art and Knowledge

Drama, beauty, youth, wisdom, innovation and tradition: The Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD) has all of this, and more. At the school’s fourth annual gala –the Renaissance – to benefit the scholarship program, DCAD created a lively evening of music, art, entertainment and delicious food. Donors, students, faculty, administrators and art aficionados of all kinds had the chance to mingle and listen to music provided by a lovely quartet.

DCAD is Delaware’s only professional art and design school. As an integral part of the newly revitalized community on lower Market Street, the college is committed to providing scholarships to its students. In order to award more than $800,000 in financial aid next year, the school relies heavily on its patrons and donors. Mr. and Mrs. Iréneé duP. May honorary chairs for the gala evening, have been integral in promoting and supporting the school and all the Arts in the Brandywine Valley.

I enjoyed chatting with the college president, Stuart Baron, about the school and its programs. A painter himself, Baron has overseen the DCAD since July, most recently having been in Baton Rouge, where he spearheaded an effort to get art supplies to students, children and displaced artists who were affected by Katrina’s devastation. His passion – for art itself and for making it available to everyone who wishes to enjoy and create – mirrors and furthers the school’s mission.

DCAD used the Italian Renaissance as a theme for its gala, since it was an era when artists were heavily supported and encouraged by their patrons. Some students wandered about the first floor in togas, preparing to bring to the life the “Last Supper” tableau staged on the back wall of the gallery. Overflowing were banquet-style tables of beautifully arranged loaves of bread, cheese and fruit. Both student and teacher works were for sale during the silent auction. Guests were greeted at the doorway by costumes from OperaDelaware’s Tosca, reminding us of the close relationship design, music and historical studies have with each other, as well as the vital Arts community that has been forged along Market Street in Wilmington.

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