Showing posts with label mural art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mural art. Show all posts

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Delaware Art Museum & City of Wilmington's District 8 Mural Partnership

The content of this post comes from a press release from the Delaware Art Museum...

The Delaware Art Museum has partnered with Wilmington City Councilperson Nathan Field on a mural project, “Nature’s Palette,” with images and words inspired by nature. The works will be on view throughout City Council District 8 beginning in this month through the remainder of 2023.

They will be installed throughout the built environment of District 8 in the following locations:
  • Gilpin Liquors
  • Luther Towers
  • BrewHaHa Trolley Square
  • The intersection of Delaware Avenue and Dupont Street
  • Lincoln Towers
  • Southeast Kitchen
  • Joseph E. Johnson Jr. School
  • The intersection of Pennsylvania and Greenhill Avenues outside the Marian Coffin Garden
The Museum is situated in the center of District 8, which begins at the western border of Wilmington that wraps around Rockford Park, and ends just east of Cool Spring Park, with its northern and southern borders defined by Brandywine Park and Wawaset Park, so the murals are all in the general Museum vicinity.

District 8 Councilperson Nathan Field says, “I'm incredibly excited to work with the Art Museum team to grow the City of Wilmington as an Artistic and Cultural destination not just in the First State of Delaware but throughout the extended Tri-State region. Walking around the neighborhood and seeing scenes from nature that are so culturally meaningful to Delawareans integrated into the streetscape is so thrilling."

“Nature’s Palette” features enlarged intricate and vibrant details of paintings and drawings from DelArt’s Pre-Raphaelite collection, combined with quotations inspired by nature and poetry penned by Victorian-era writers.

Sophie Lynford, Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection, says, “Pre-Raphaelite artists lamented that nineteenth-century industrialization was destroying both natural and historic landmarks. These concerns remain urgent today.”

The murals include Pre-Raphaelite works by artists Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, Walter Crane, Henry Farrer, George James Howard, John Everett Millais, and William Henry Millais. Paired with these are quotations from authors Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Felicia Hemans, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John Ruskin.

Margaret Winslow, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art, says, “The Pre-Raphaelite collection is a much-loved core of the Delaware Art Museum. These works of art have inspired generations of artists and art lovers throughout the greater Wilmington community and across the United States.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Artists Celebrate Latino Community Stories and Talents in Estampas De La Raza Exhibit

The Delaware Art Museum’s (DelArt's) current exhibition, Estampas De La Raza, is a collection of 61 prints made to represent the Chicano movement. American artists of Mexican and Latino heritage in the decades following the Chicano movement of the 1970s created vibrant and exciting prints. For the first time in 12 years, the museum is displaying the works for the public. The exhibit opened on April 1, 2023 and is on view until May 28, 2023. 

Cesar Viveros is a Chicano muralist working with DelArt for the exhibition. Cesar has transformed the museum’s entry hall into a bodega with a new mural and is working with local Latino community centers to screen-print posters to be displayed around Latino businesses in the city. 

The Museum is also working with fashion designer, Julieta Zavala, who will incorporate the posters into 11 different looks in a fashion show at the museum.

We connected with Cesar and Julieta to ask about their work and their thoughts on the exhibit. (The interviews are provided below in both English and Spanish.)

Cesar Viveros Interview
Your mural is quite striking. What was your inspiration for the piece?
(Tu mural es bastante llamativo. ¿Cuál fue tu inspiración para la pieza?)

I wanted to create a space that could feel familiar for the Latino community, where this audience could identify this space as part of their own; where they could feel that the art is about them and at the same time, the general public also could have the opportunity to respond to this visual occupation. In reality, I am basically ‘owning’ the space for a time, converting a simple wall that otherwise would be ignored into an obligated stop for patrons to find out what happened to the space; especially regular museum visitors, who may feel intrigued by the imposing, eye-catching blinking LED lights, inviting them to pay attention.

I knew I was going to create a series of posters in response to the Estampas De La Raza exhibition, and I knew that I was going to get plenty of inspiration from community members telling me their stories, just as I do when painting murals. But the idea of the “tienda de la esquina” — or bodega, as we know the corner store — fit perfectly to display the posters the same way I would do in real life streets. The posters reflect personal and collective stories of the Wilmington community — immigrants from different countries of Latino America and the Caribbean.

CV: Quería crear un espacio que pudiera resultar familiar para la comunidad latina, donde esta audiencia pudiera identificar este espacio como parte de sí mismo; donde pudieran sentir que el arte es sobre ellos y al mismo tiempo, el público en general también pudiera tener la oportunidad de responder a esta ocupación visual. En realidad, básicamente soy “dueño” del espacio por un tiempo, convirtiendo una simple pared que de otro modo sería ignorada en una parada obligada para que los usuarios averigüen qué pasó con el espacio; especialmente los visitantes habituales del museo, que pueden sentirse intrigados por las imponentes y llamativas luces LED parpadeantes, que les invitan a prestar atención.

Sabía que iba a crear una serie de carteles en respuesta a la exposición ESTAMPAS DE LA RAZA, y sabía que iba a obtener mucha inspiración de los miembros de la comunidad que me contarían sus historias, tal como lo hago cuando pinto murales. Pero la idea de la “tienda de la esquina” —o bodega, como conocemos la tienda de la esquina— encajaba perfectamente para exhibir los carteles de la misma manera que lo haría en las calles de la vida real. Los carteles reflejan historias personales y colectivas de la comunidad de Wilmington, inmigrantes de diferentes países de América Latina y el Caribe.

DAI: Why did you choose to create a full-length wall installation over a multi-piece exhibit? (¿Por qué eligió crear una instalación de pared de cuerpo entero sobre una exhibición de varias piezas?)

I thought that since I can always make paintings or posters to be hung up on walls, I should grab the rare opportunity of working in the museum, to come up with something fresh and fun, and to deliver more serious themes in the process. The themes that matter to the people on a daily basis, in their own words, honoring their stories; that’s what brought [inspiration to] my visual narrative. I decided that it would be more dramatic to use all the wall. That idea was playing in my head, given the nature of my work — I am constantly changing the spaces in the neighborhood. For me, it made sense to take advantage of the medium I know best and recreate scenarios that help to narrate the stories.

CV: Pensé que dado que siempre puedo hacer pinturas o carteles para colgar en las paredes, debería aprovechar la rara oportunidad de trabajar en el museo, para pensar en algo nuevo y divertido, y presentar temas más serios en el proceso. Los temas que le importan a la gente a diario, en sus propias palabras, haciendo honor a sus historias; eso es lo que trajo [inspiración a] mi narrativa visual. Decidí que sería más dramático usar toda la pared. Esa idea rondaba en mi cabeza, dada la naturaleza de mi trabajo, estoy cambiando constantemente los espacios del barrio. Para mí tenía sentido aprovechar el medio que mejor conozco y recrear escenarios que ayuden a narrar las historias.

DAI: What does this piece represent for you and the Latin community? What do you want viewers to "see" in this piece?
(¿Qué representa esta pieza para ti y la comunidad latina? ¿Qué quieres que los espectadores "vean" en esta pieza?)

CV: This piece aligns with my artistic practice: bringing to the spotlight vivid memories of community members or myself, creating a space not just for introspection but for conversation that can help us understand current issues affecting our daily lives. I want other people to know than in my process, I purposely intend to share my experiences — or, in this case, Latino Community experiences — with the audience that they otherwise may not be aware of: the impact caused by obsolete immigration laws; discriminatory policies; social numbness for other people’s lives, even when this could be the experience of the person who cooks our food, cleans our yard, drive us in Uber, or constructs our buildings. The art shows the beauty of people’s determination, moments of celebrations, and triumphs, but at the same time serves as a public denounce. I want the Latino Community to know that the Delaware Art Museum can be a place of acceptance.

CV: Esta pieza se alinea con mi práctica artística: sacar a la luz recuerdos vívidos de los miembros de la comunidad o de mí mismo, creando un espacio no solo para la introspección sino también para la conversación que puede ayudarnos a comprender los problemas actuales que afectan nuestra vida diaria. Quiero que otras personas sepan que en mi proceso, tengo la intención de compartir mis experiencias, o, en este caso, las experiencias de la comunidad latina, con la audiencia de la que de otra manera no estarían al tanto: el impacto causado por las leyes de inmigración obsoletas; políticas discriminatorias; entumecimiento social para la vida de otras personas, incluso cuando esta podría ser la experiencia de la persona que cocina nuestra comida, limpia nuestro jardín, nos lleva en Uber o construye nuestros edificios. El arte muestra la belleza de la determinación de las personas, momentos de celebración y triunfos, pero al mismo tiempo sirve como denuncia pública. Quiero que la comunidad latina sepa que el Museo de Arte de Delaware puede ser un lugar de aceptación.

DAI: How did you choose the other works (prints) to be included in the mural?
(¿Cómo elegiste las obras de los otros artistas (grabados) para incluirlas en el mural?)

CV: The posters are my designs; the only thing regret is not having time to do more! I love this medium. Posters were used to effectively message and to reach out to the masses. I think [the medium] is still functioning well today.

CV: Los carteles son mis diseños; ¡Lo único que lamento es no tener tiempo para hacer más! Me encanta este medio. Los carteles se utilizaron para enviar mensajes de manera efectiva y llegar a las masas. Creo que [el medio] todavía funciona bien hoy.

DAI: What is your favorite work in the Estampas De La Raza exhibit and why?
(¿Cuál es tu obra favorita de la exposición Estampas De La Raza y por qué?)

CV: My favorite piece is SUN-RAID by Ester Hernandez. It’s genius. This piece kind of set the direction for what I wanted to do with my installation — the alteration of words, the critical implications of my prints. But, I admit that the Hernandez piece pushed the accelerator all the way — crude and unapologetic right in your face — while I like to disguise things, letting the audience digest the subtle messages embedded in the posters and the signs.

CV: Mi pieza favorita es SUN-RAID de Ester Hernandez. es genial Esta pieza marcó la dirección de lo que quería hacer con mi instalación: la alteración de las palabras, las implicaciones críticas de mis grabados. Pero admito que el artículo de Hernández pisó el acelerador a fondo —crudo y sin disculpas justo en tu cara— mientras que a mí me gusta disfrazar las cosas, dejando que la audiencia digiera los mensajes sutiles incrustados en los carteles y los letreros.

DAI: Why do you feel this exhibit is so important now? What do you feel can audiences learn from these works as a whole?
(¿Por qué cree que esta exhibición es tan importante ahora? ¿Qué crees que puede aprender el público de estas obras en su conjunto?)

CV: It seems like the themes of the Estampas De La Raza exhibition have a parallel sense of urgency today, as in the past: Kids in cages, gentrification, displacement, intolerance, ageism, classism, mass incarceration, etc. It’s important to continue the conversation, even when these are not currently in the news.

CV: Parece que los temas de la exposición Estampas De La Raza tienen un sentido de urgencia paralelo hoy, como en el pasado: niños enjaulados, gentrificación, desplazamiento, intolerancia, discriminación por edad, clasismo, encarcelamiento masivo, etc. Es importante continuar la conversación. , incluso cuando estos no están actualmente en las noticias.

Julieta Zavala Interview
DAI: What drew you to becoming a fashion artist?
(¿Qué te llevó a convertirte en una artista de la moda?)

Since I was a child, I knew that I liked to make things like clothes for my dolls.

JZ: Desde que era niña supe que me gustaba hacer cosas como ropa a mis muñecas etc.

DAI: Who are your artistic inspirations from the Latinx community?
(¿Quiénes son tus inspiraciones artísticas de la comunidad Latinx?)

JZ: I had the opportunity to meet many artists from the Philadelphia community in the "La Guagua 47" project, including Cesar Viveros, whose excellent work and great talent has inspired many, including me in the community.

JZ: Tuve la oportunidad de conocer muchos artistas de la comunidad de Philadelphia en el proyecto de "La Guagua 47" entre ellos Cesar Viveros el cual ha sido su excelente trabajo y gran talento ha inspirado a muchos incluyendome en la comunidad.

DAI: What do you want audiences to take away after viewing your work?
(¿Qué quieres que se lleve el público después de ver tu trabajo?)

JZ: I would like them to take a little bit of my culture with them, that they enjoy it and also that they have something to think about regarding our social problems.

JZ: Me gustaria que se llevaran un poquito de mi cultura con ellos que la disfruten y tambien que se queden con algo que pensar en cuanto a nuestros problemas sociales.

DAI: What is your favorite work in the Estampas De La Raza exhibit and why?
(¿Cuál es tu obra favorita de la exposición Estampas De La Raza y por qué?)

JZ: My favorite work is "The March of Lupe Liberty" since it uses two powerful women who are icons of the most recognized, which represents us as immigrants and also culturally with the Virgin of Guadalupe.

JZ: Mi obra favorita es "La Marcha de Lupe Liberty" ya que usa 2 mujeres poderosas que son iconos de los mas reconocidos ,que nos representa como inmigrantes y tambien culturalmente con la virgen de guadalupe.

DAI: Why do you feel this exhibit is so important now? What do you feel can audiences learn from these works as a whole?
(¿Por qué cree que esta exhibición es tan importante ahora? ¿Qué crees que puede aprender el público de estas obras en su conjunto?)

I think it is a super important opportunity for the Latinx community because the museum is opening its doors to this gallery that represents us. We need more events that represent us culturally and art is an incredible medium to inspire others and bring communities closer.

JZ: Creo que es una oportunidad para la comunidad Latinx super importante porque el museo esta abriendo sus puertas a esta galeria que nos representa .Necesitamos mas eventos que nos representen culturalme y el arte es un medio increible para inspirar a otros y acercar a las comunidades. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Delaware Art Museum Launches Initiative to Preserve Public Art

Part of this post comes from a blog posting/release from Delaware Art Museum...

Creative Vision Factory Members in front of the Kalmar Nyckel Mural.
Photo courtesy of Michael Kalmbach.
Contrary to popular belief, not all galleries are indoors. Some don’t have four walls, security guards, or
a sign reading “please do not touch the art.” Some galleries are right outside your door. Wilmington’s outdoor gallery boasts artworks ranging from the 19th Century to the present. From memorials and sculptures to mosaics and murals, our environments are beautified by artists. Their creations enliven the cityscape, acting as tangible expressions of their city’s cultural heritage, and becoming beacons for civic engagement, public pride, and even attracting business investments. [

A new pilot program called Public Art Stewards — developed by the Delaware Art Museum and supported by the Delaware Division of the Arts and City of Wilmington American Rescue Plan Act funds — aims to train Wilmington residents to clean, conserve, and document 30 public artworks in downtown Wilmington and surrounding neighborhoods.

The Public Art Stewards program was officially launched with a press conference on Thursday, November 17, in front of one of the most visible displays of Wilmington's public art — the mosaic behind Christina Cultural Art Center at the corner of 7th and Shipley.

This highly anticipated workforce training and city beautification program is headed by Benét Burton, Registrar Assistant/Curatorial Project Manager at the Delaware Art Museum.

Benét Burton said of the program: "I’ve been able to speak with some artists of the pieces on our list and engage with residents who live near them. Everyone I have met while working on this project has shared their enthusiasm for it, and I’m excited to support the community and its artists in caring for the work they hold so dear."

We asked Burton more about the project and why it is so important for our City of Wilmington...

*What made the art museum want to take up the mantle for this city project?
The Delaware Art Museum is committed to our role as a regional anchor and aims to support identified needs in our community. By aligning our knowledge of public art with the city’s outdoor gallery, we’ve created an innovative project that will provide our participants with creative skills and support their workforce readiness.

*What will the project entail? What work will your team do on the public pieces?
The Public Art Stewards Training Program is a six-month “earn while you learn” program that employs six to eight Wilmington residents who will be taught transferable skills in conservation under the tutelage of Margalit Schindler of Pearl Preservation, our program conservator. Additionally, our Public Art Stewards will participate in workforce-readiness workshops such as interview practice, digital literacy, financial coaching, and resume building.

Every piece on our list is unique and will have different needs. The transferable skills in conservation our participants will learn while working on the public pieces include assessment and condition reporting; photographic and written documentation; cleaning; and essential maintenance of sculptures and murals.

*What are your goals for the first year of this project? Where is your first area of work based?
Some of our goals for the first year are:
  • to have our participants graduating feeling confident in the skills they’ve learned in conservation;
  • to have 30 works from Wilmington’s outdoor gallery properly maintained and documented so that we can create a living archive of our city’s public art;
  • to connect our participants with local services and help provide them with continued support after graduating.
We are still working on our curriculum. However, I anticipate that the first area we’ll be working is the DelArt campus where One Way, 2008 by Chakaia Booker and Monumental Holistic No. VII, 1980 by Betty Gold live in our sculpture garden.

*Do you have a "favorite" piece of public art in the city? What is the name of the work and where can we see it?
I have many favorite pieces, to be honest, but I will limit myself to one mural and one sculpture.

A mural I’m currently obsessed with is The Divine Mind, 2016 by Terrance Vann on 7th and Windsor Streets. It’s so large and in charge, and the vibrant purple hue is almost like a beacon when you're a block away from it. Although I really love the crown, my favorite part is the way he styled the hair to be a cityscape. I sometimes add a few minutes onto my commute home from work just to drive by it.

My favorite sculpture right now is Shipyard Gateway, 1998 by Roldan West on 4th and Church Streets. It hangs on the overpass in the middle of the street so it’s hard to get a good look at it if you’re not on foot. I’ve always loved metalwork because the technique is so fascinating, and this piece is eye-catching. I really wish it was closer to the ground so that I could sit with it and take in each form.

*Who are some of your favorite Delaware artists?
I love Edward Loper, Jr. When I look at his work, it feels like I’m reminiscing on a dream. The bright colors in his paintings and how he layers them are the first to grab my attention and pull me in. Then I notice the interesting perspective, and I feel I could stare at them for hours and just fall in.

I also really like Geraldo Gonzalez (a.k.a. The King of Transit). I met him at the Creative Vision Factory when I was in undergrad at the University of Delaware. A lot of his work focuses on public transportation. I follow him on Instagram (@thekingoftransit), and I always find myself scrolling through his page and getting lost in all the vivid hues he uses on his pieces. I would love to see his work wrapped on some buses in Wilmington!

*What would you like people to take away from this project? Can other community members get involved?
From this project, I hope that people come to understand how integral public art is to our community and how important it is that we support our local artists and their creations. Wilmington is not just a city, but a canvas for many, and the public art that artists put their time, effort, and care into creating are a celebration of the city’s cultural heritage. Through the Public Art Stewards Program, the Delaware Art Museum aims to leverage its position as a cultural fixture and use its influence and connection to support Wilmington in upkeeping its outdoor gallery. We love these pieces, and we are committed to fighting for and finding resources that will help us and Wilmington residents maintain and archive them so that we can share them with generations after us.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in the project, they can contact me at or 302.351.8507.

Program Conservator Margalit Schindler adds: "I am grateful to be able to share my preservation knowledge with my Wilmington neighbors and to collaborate to care for our city. While the program focuses on supporting Wilmington artwork, I am equally excited to support the personal and professional goals of the Wilmington locals who participate in the program."