We offer suggestions for arts lovers to discover (and re-discover) established and emerging artists, musicians and performers in and around Delaware. Although we particularly like to celebrate smaller arts organizations and individuals, we cover nearly anything that strikes us or that we feel you should know about. Periodically, we welcome guest bloggers and artists to join us.
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)
While most of the attention on First Fridays is focused on downtown Wilmington, it's always worth the short drive up Concord Pike to the Talleyville Frame Shoppe & Gallery -- especially this time of year, when horror-themed art takes center stage. This year, artists-slash-shop owners Ric and Wendy Frane focused on a coffin theme for contributing artists and, appropriately, named the opening event The Coffin Ball.
Each artist started with the same canvas: a flat toe-pincher coffin shape. Other than the base, there were no limits: Pat Higgins used his as a panels for comic-style pieces; Paul Romano created a carved 3D piece; Kristen Margiotta painted an upside-down bat in her distinctive big-eyes style; Adam Cruz, Ric Frane and Leila Marvel explored dark femininity with paint; Baron Von Reign utilized digital photography; and Ophelia von Gray applied her soft sculpture "Guten Monster" art into dimensional, coffin-shaped wall art. Several of the artists went with a bit of a Dia de Los Muertos theme, including Poppycock Tattoo c-owner Tina Marabito's Our Lady of Guadalupe, Poppycock tattoo artist Dave Mele's skeleton fortune teller and Wendy and Ric Frane's dead bride and groom pieces. Other themes, such as Tina Imel's "Death of the USPS" and Higgins' "Greed" made social statements. As a whole, the collection represents a spectrum of Delaware artists with a dark side, all of them highly talented.
L-R: Pat Higgins, Adam Cruz, Ophelia von Gray, Kristen Margiotta, Leila Marvel, Wendy Frane, Ric Frane.
The Coffin Ball itself was more than a gallery opening, it was also a rock 'n roll masquerade party featuring DJ Shadylady and live music by -- who else? -- Coffin Fly, who rocked it as usual with their twisted brand of rockabilly.
Photo: Kristen Margiotta
The Coffin Ball artwork will be on display through October at the Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery at 3626 Silverside Road (between the PNC bank and the Chuck E Cheese).
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.
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.