Showing posts with label DCCA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DCCA. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mélomanie at the DCCA with La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble

Night Watch by Dan Jackson
A grey Sunday in February brought an overflow crowd to the DuPont 1 Gallery of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. The big crowd was made to order to create the most wonderful acoustic effect in the small room with the cold hard stone floor, so that Mattheson’s Sonata in G Minor for two harpsichords played by Marcia Kravis and Tracy Richardson sounded clear, crisp, rounded and exciting. Swirls of sounds flew as they traded fast scales and flying double thirds.

After the harpsichord duo, guest artists La Bernadinia Baroque (Donna Fournier, Rainer Beckmann and Marcia Kravis) performed the Ciacona allegro, also a Baroque piece by Benedetto Marcello –Following this, the entire Mélomanie ensemble playing Menuet-Fantaisie – a modern musical interpretation of Baroque music with a recurring motif passed from instrument to instrument, which they had commissioned Anthony Mosakowski to write in 2012. The composer, who introduced the piece, seemed as pleased as the rest of the audience.

The delightful and melodic Allemande and Sarabande, from a different harpsichord duo suite by Mattheson, brought us back to Baroque comfort and lute stops until we were blasted into the 21st century by Tracy Richardson and Rainer Beckman in their interpretation of Liduino Pitombeira’s Sonata for recorder and harpsichord no. 2, Opus 156. Mr. Beckman, who knows Brazil and the composer, introduced the piece and showed that he can make the alto recorder leap forward a few centuries to create a sound reminiscent to honor Stravinsky, Boulez and Bartok.

And, following that tradition of lulling us with Baroque delights and then rocking us out of chairs with modern sounds on Baroque instruments, the two groups played a delightful rendition of a Vivaldi's Concerto in G Minor, RV 107 in which the alto flute (Kim Reighley), soprano and alto recorders (Rainer Beckman) and Baroque violin (Christof Richter) performed as soli and Doug McNames (cello), Donna Fournier (viola da gamba) and Tracy Richardson and Marcia Kravis on harpsichords performed the orchestral continuo.

After the raucous applause for the great sound of the Vivaldi, the larger ensemble played an encore of a Chaconne by Jean Baptiste Lully. The experience was heightened by the surrealistic art of Dan Jackson on display in the gallery – the faces in his works so photographically alive and vivid that they seemed to have been listening as well.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pick of the November Art Loop

By Owen Napier, Jr.
Owen Napier, Jr.  is not your ordinary photographer and printmaker.  A bookbinder by trade, Napier practices the Japanese art of three dimensional decoupage called papier tole. This gives his photographs a startling layered and textured effect.  Napier was gracious to all the visitors who came to the Christina Cultural Art Center for the November Art Loop,  going out of his way to greet them and explain how he puts the intricate layers together to make his work.  One photograph was on display as a one dimensional work just above its companion papier tole image- showing the viewer the startling difference in texture and realism. (MD)

By Brian Marshall
Robots have invaded Poppycock Tattoo at 8th and Orange... again! Found object artist Brian Marshall's whimsy-cool Adopt-a-Robots surrounded the floor, from tiny shampoo bottle 'bots to large metal cowboys and knights, and everything in between. If you haven't come across Adopt-a-Robots before, they must be seen to be believed. Ordinary household (and sometimes industrial) objects are bound together to create artificial humanoids with amazing personality. In addition to the sculptures, the gallery featured a selection of robot-themed paintings, drawings and photomanipulations by Tina Marabito, Pat Higgins, Baron Von Reign, Dave Mele, Eric Hendrickson and 3EYES, plus tunes spun by DJ Zip. (HQ)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pick of the August Art Loop

Two DE Arts Info bloggers, Margaret Darby and Holly Quinn, hit the Loop this month:

Holly says: If you follow local music in Delaware (or if you follow this blog regularly), no doubt you've seen David Norbut's work. This month, Poppcock Tattoo at 115 W 8th Street in Wilmington hosts a selection of his photography, with a focus on his Western series of landscapes, nature and portraiture -- with a couple of his stunning live band photos in the mix, as well as a video incorporating a larger selection of photos. Norbut has a great eye in any location, not least of all the sweeping, sometimes weathered beauty of the American West, leaving me wanting more.

While Poppycock was hopping, people wall-to-wall, The Chris White Gallery at Shipley Lofts was considerably more quiet. The work in Anti-Subliminal, a group show featuring multimedia work by artists including Jesse Jynch, John Durandetta, Herman V. Brandt, Bresnow, and Brandon Cash, brought together illustration, photoshop and graffiti art, with an installation piece by 3EYES highlighting the show. 

Yakime Brown
Margaret Says: Holly’s venture into Poppycock Tattoo to see David Norbut’s photography and wanting more made me conscious of Michelle’s admonition that we should find some new venues….which I tried to do.  I started on Lower Market to see what the LOMA Coffee House was doing – a few works by Catherine Mulrooney were all I could see from the street and earsplitting music coming out of an electric guitar and enhanced by the guitarist’s plananx of bass pedals.  Didn’t dare enter as I didn’t have my earplugs on me, but it was obviously happening.  Went to Dimensions and Co. by Ace to see a few Underground Comixxx by Jabar Brown, who was by himself eating pizza out of a box and chatting on his cell phone….Venture Creative Marketing Group was firmly closed – unlike the framer next door who tried to call to find out if Venture was going to open later.  But it was all happening at 919 Market, so it was worth hiking up the hill – hearing more earsplitting music from the Queen (holding my ears even a full block away where we encountered a hip guy asking us where the music was coming from)….and walking into 919 to find a great party going on!  A big cake, lots of snacks and lively art by Yakime Brown – a friendly guy in a porkpie hat who strode right up to say hello.  It was fun telling him which pieces I liked best and hearing how he felt about those same pieces.  His textures are shiny, acrylic paint for the most part – either done in an explosive circle, seemingly shot from a cannon or made into flowerlike petals with his palette knife.  Yakime Brown also has a considerable variety – with some pieces of staid stripes in a flat mode.  Originally from Brooklyn, Brown has been living in Bear for the past few years and has quite a following.  AND it seems that the new curator of 919 is ready for things to hop.

And, there was new life in the DCCA with the completion of the Movable Feast project by interns  Jung-A Woo and Hoyun Sun.  When I arrived, teenagers from the Latin American Community Center and their teachers were buzzing around outdoor tables cooking on hotplates to show what they had learned about food and culture .  Woo and Sun had a film loop explaining the project and the kids photographs and art were displayed in the DCCA lobby.  But the real fun was watching the poise and pride of the kids as they prepared and served foods they had learned about during the six-week project. 

My conclusion is that you can always find new surprises in the Art Loop.  Can’t wait for the next one because, like Holly, it left me wanting more.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pick of the July Art Loop

The first stop was at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts where very few studios were open. The Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition was still worth the visit. My favorite of the Duets (partnered works by each artist) was a large object photographed into the sun by John Schlesinger of Philadelphia. I had not consciously looked for its partnered work and it took me a long time to realize that a lone Styrofoam cup with holes burned in microcrystalline wax was the ‘large object’. Perspective made the cup look gigantic in the photograph and created the intriguing pairing.

The charcoal drawings by Edgar Jerins (top) in the Beckler Family Members’ Gallery were captivating. Jerins’ drawings are rich, real and full of detail and perspective that make you feel you are in the picture with the people he portrays. You can almost hear some of them sigh.

The artists in residence, Jung-A Woo and Hoyun Son, who had each studied at the Chicago Art Institute, presented their plans for a five-week project in residence with the DCCA, the Latin American Cultural Center, and the Delaware Horticultural Center. Their Movable Feast – a study in food and culture – will explore how food affects culture and art. They will show the final product at the August Art Loop.

The Louis L Redding Gallery had lively and imaginative portrayals of African American life and music by Michael Angelo Wallace, a native of Philadelphia. With vivid colors, Wallace goes from almost cartoon-like images of church to Biblical exegeses and back to cubist and surreal images doubling as outlines musical instruments (Ornithology, lower image). Top that off with cool jazz in the background and delicious snacks by Copper Café and my hat goes off to Jeni Barton for planning a great evening.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Family Members’ Evening at the DCCA

The Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts was buzzing with children creating art at work tables and touring the galleries trying to spot the art on their recognition sheet. Susan Isaacs, back to fill in the gaps left by staff reductions at the DCCA, gave a compelling gallery walk lecture.

Starting in the Elizabeth Dennison Hatch Gallery, the Julio da Cunha exhibit (yes, the former UD professor has a studio at the DCCA again), Isaacs talked about the contrasts of color da Cunha used in his tribute to Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. Each of his works has striking color contrasts, but the combinations of color make a very carefully constructed effect. Having an artist with the experience and longevity of da Cunha gives a certain gravitas to the DCCA’s membership – and Dr. Isaacs’ knowledge and lecture and writing experience puts meat on this local art table.

The Carole Bieber and Marc Ham Gallery still has most of the exhibit chosen by Carina Evangelista for June (Spectrum: Contemporary color abstraction). Isaacs pointed out that Bill Scott’s A brief moment of titillation, an abstract with a bright pink/orange background was really influenced by Henri Matisse. Dr. Albert Barnes’ acquisition of Matisse in the early 1900s brought his influence to the United States. (The Cone sisters had begun collecting Matisse but kept them in their home until the 1950s). Isaacs has added works to the exhibit: Steven Baris’ abstracts on mylar and Emily Bowser’s Radiation, a sculpture of brightly colored beanbags.

The tiny E Avery Draper showcase was painted sea blue to show off Joseph Barbaccia’s Eight currents - fanciful sea creatures decorated with brightly colored sequins.

The Beckler Family Gallery housed the bright colors of Lawrence Cromwell’s Make it bigger. His cut paper mobiles, his videos and his vivid color oil and wax works were as refreshing and restorative as the summer evening.

Exhibits will be changed July 25 and August 1. The new works will be on display for the August 6 Wilmington Art Loop.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Washes of Color and Sound

For years, visual artists’ works have been inspired by music and musical instrument. Just think of Pablo Picasso and his friends: guitars, violins or even fragments of sheet music are often present in the paintings and collages. Russian Painter Wassily Kandinsky’s colorful works were his visual interpretations of Jazz. Composers such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel used the glistening imagery from French Impressionist paintings and infused their music with it. The intertwining of visual and musical art, and the love and collaboration that exists between these two worlds allow for deeper understanding and richer, more meaningful art. Ellen Priest with her works both the Carvel Building and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art continues and elaborates on this tradition.

Priest creates a small world of art inside her exhibit at the Carvel Building, scheduled to run through the end of the month. Making a stop there during Wilmington’s July Art Loop, we could hear strains of Edward Simon’s “Venezuelan Suite” as we entered the building. Simon's jazz composition is an aural canvas for Priest’s work. Priest told me she had worked listening to both the composer’s midi files and his piano version of the score, so that she could truly understand the music and have it inform her creation. She describes how she used Simon’s “call and response” theme in the fourth movement as a structure for one of the diptychs in the series: the two paintings communicate with each other.

Her work is performance art in its own right: the abstract shapes and colors are layered. Built with translucent vellum on top of watercolor paper, they reach out to their audience with their bold hues and delicately sculpted curves. To retain each layer’s independence, the artist attaches the pieces using gel. Priest explained how she had worked painstakingly to find ways to paint on the vellum (a paper originally designed for use by architects) without destroying it. Ultimately, she came up with a technique in which she let the oil paints drain in coffee filters overnight, allowing most of the oil to slough off.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Museum Day at the DCCA

The DCCA was up, running and full of small children and their families on the second annual open house day for the Brandywine Museums and Gardens Alliance. The children’s comments inspired me as I stood in the Hatch Gallery looking at a joint exhibit by two DCCA studio artists called Fields of Glory/Arenas of Conflict.

Ken Mabrey is a modern impressionist. His oil on linen Till the cows come home captures the light of strong sun – the brightest light that flows through the large farmhouse and makes the dust motes dance. That same sun hits the red roof – glinting just like the real thing. In the corner is the Delaware flag. He includes the state butterfly, the state bird, the state flower and even the state bug. A biplane flies overhead, showing that Delaware once had a big airfield. Mabrey tries to fit the world into his paintings, just as he feels the world invading Delaware.

Greg Barkley’s paintings contrast Mabrey’s. Mabrey uses muted pastel, Barkley wields harsh reds and black.. The painting that wouldn’t let me go was He couldn’t stand on two feet while he lectured about morality. He inserts so many symbols: roosters, Barbie doll girls, snarling dogs. Eerie.

But there was so much more to see! Andrew Wapinski, another DCCA studio artist, was given a solo show of his Wasteland - gold works covered with shiny epoxy – a big stylistic change from the weather-driven pastels in his last show there.

There are five more exhibits in the downstairs galleries. Particularly interesting is an exhibit of sculptured steel and stone: Journey through Time by Hong-Wen Lin. The exhibit’s presence is due to a coordinated effort with the Council for Cultural Affairs of Taiwan and the Taipei Cultural Center of New York.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Wilmington Art Loop - December 4

Watching an artist over time shows how versatile and flexible they are. Felise Luchansky has had such a range of media and style since I starting watching her work in 1995 that it is more than worthwhile to grab her catalog when you see her Paper Trail at the Hatch Gallery this month at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts.

I have seen her collages of Americana using Dick, Jane and Sally, her hand-made paper table settings, and so many lost buttons done in brilliant red (the piece I want to buy when my ship comes in) – not to mention her Barbie legs and measuring tapes in a constructed work with MISS AMERICA emblazoned at the top.

Luchansky shows more than style in her metamorphosis – she shows her Weltanschauung. Her works for the December show are part of a commentary on old technology which she makes in creative art. She has taken two piano rolls of old songs and created a horizontal etching (See detail above). Each perforation is represented by intricate lines. Luchansky added spheres in graphite – each shaded to a different degree and accent.

The starkness of Luchansky’s rolls is a perfect foil for Andrew Wapinski’s Nature Drawings whose boldly colored abstracts are actually his experiments with letting weather have its way with ice and watercolor left to melt on paper.

The DCCA also gathered impressive crafts for the Alternatives Holiday Craft Show for the art loop. I was struck by Peter Saenger’s porcelain. His pieces are both decorative and useful. The interlocking starkly designed salt and pepper shakers, teapots and cups are reasonably priced and fascinating.

Two exhibits near Rodney Square merit a visit - Barbara Proud’s nature photographs on display at Gallery 919 are surprising in detail and provocative in subject – reminiscent of O’Keefe but clearly a century beyond. Maria D. Cabrera’s photographs at the Wilmington Institute have one work which stopped me in my tracks: her over-exposed photograph of a vivid sunset by the sea in South America resulted in vivid magenta and blue tones mimicking watercolor.

At the end of the evening, oldies and youngies crowded into the New Wilmington Art Association’s exhibit at 4 West 5th Street after most of the other exhibits had closed for the night – proving that the NWAA is succeeding in their efforts to put the nightlife back into downtown Wilmington. I wondered why the inflatable sculpture was mute and deflated and stopped to ask Michael Kalmbach about the Beardsley-style meticulous pen and ink sketches by April D. Loveday.

The Art Loop: all local, all inspiring. We are rich, Wilmington!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Greg Barkley at the DCCA

Tired, dragging myself upstairs at the DCCA and feeling rather hungry after a long day’s work, I spotted two red objects: one, a tempting bowl of salsa and two, a large painting of something very red and a train in the top third – a train with vivid detail mixed into the steel-grey colors of its pistons and driving axle with a little bit of rust and wear mixed in.

Feeling grateful for both the salsa and the vivid color, I wandered in to Greg’s studio and found out he is from Delaware and studied at the University. His teachers, Stephen Tanis, Julio DaCunha, and Charles Rowe – gave him soft realism, romantic and surrealistic models. He has had a studio in the DCCA for a few years now and had a book of Francis Bacon he is perusing.

He genially posed for the piece that I was so taken with of a man in a business suit with a fishbowl for a head and tipped a diptych of a dog with a violin head so I could get a picture without too much glare. The dog is so black and the bright green beneath him makes his dark coat even more striking. The violin seems to be a weapon of sorts – incongruously intriguing in the bullring setting.

Barkley has one thought about his art: ‘I wish had more time to do it. ‘He and Ken Mabrey are scheduled to have an exhibit in the downstairs gallery at the DCCA in January.

I look forward to an uncluttered display of Mabrey’s farms, birds, trees and whimsical pastels as they stand their ground against Barkley’s biting Magritte-esque visions.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

August Art Loop at the DCCA

Entering the Dupont Gallery I at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts on August 14 gave me a jolt. Having read the excellent notes written by Assistant Curator Susan Isaacs should have cushioned the shock but the seven stark graphite and gouache works of Zoë Charlton’s Imitation of a Life left me breathless.

Perhaps it is because Charlton has captured the good and enchained it in evil – as often happens in life. She has taken a loop from a 1934 film Imitation of Life directed by John M Stahl which is a scene in which a successful black businesswoman comes to find her daughter who has run away and is trying to pass as white. Charlton has put a Ku Klux Klan hood on the daughter’s head.

So is this an imitation of success? When the tearful mother tries to woo back her daughter to ‘black’ life, is it begging her to fail?

The seven works seem also quite stark – all on creamy white paper with no frames, the graphite figures of naked women seem indefensible – vulnerable – enslaved to the unseen evil powers that have made them toys of their masters. The occasional spots of color are mocking accessories to the crime.

If you need a lift when you leave the Dupont I, visit the Fractious Happy installation by Heather Harvey in the Constance S and Robert J. Hennessy Project Space or just wander the halls and acquaint yourself with works of the studio artists who are the mainstay of the DCCA – or come back on September 4 and see the brilliant colors of a Ken Mabrey or a fanciful construct by Jane Quattarone.

Read excellent curator notes by J Susan Isaacs and find out about future exhibits and dates :