Showing posts with label visual Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label visual Arts. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

The Delaware Contemporary Announces 2023-2024 Artist-In-Residence Program

The content of this post comes from a Delaware Contemporary press release...

The Delaware Contemporary (TDC) is pleased to announce four accepted artists for its 2023-2024 Artist-In-Residence program (ARC 24) — Noel Cross, Cony Madariaga, Nasir Young, and Zifeng Zang. These artists were selected for a fully funded residency program; they will occupy a shared studio, receive one-to-one mentorship, and participate in professional development programming.

The Delaware Contemporary focuses on assisting career growth of new and emerging artists with an emphasis on providing the ARC Residency Program to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the Great Arc region of Delaware. TDC is driven to provide equitable access to career development for underserved populations and strive to diversify the nonprofit and museum industries through this opportunity. To ensure equity, the selection process works with a unique set of arts professionals. The ARC 24 jurors include Studios@ artist and former Artist-in-Residence, Stephanie Boateng, and Vox Populi member artist and arts educator Natalie Hijinx.

As part of the program, ARC 24 residents will engage with their fellow residents, the community of Studios@ artists, TDC staff, and public outreach projects. Residents will work toward a cumulative exhibition in The Delaware Contemporary's main galleries in Summer 2024.

Noel Cross is a contemporary painter and photographer from New Jersey. As a young artist, Cross attended Studio Incamminati Atelier in Philadelphia. She then went on to receive her BA from Rutgers University before completing her MFA at the University of Delaware. Her most recent works are grounded in research exploring American commodity culture, the investigation of collective cultural memory and challenging learned assumptions. The work honors the tradition of painting as an enduring cultural practice while exploring the curiosity of play. As pictorial competition redefines our contemporary visual experience, the work invites you to be fascinated by the act of looking.

Constanza Madariaga, also known as Cony Madariaga, is a Delaware-based artist born in Santiago, Chile. She has been in love with art since she was a child, and creating has been her therapy and safe space to express herself throughout her lifetime. Being able to have access to art classes in middle school and high school allowed her to explore different mediums and techniques. Although she did not continue her formal education in Arts, she has always gravitated towards it, and always made a space in her life to be able to create. In 2019, she had her first exhibition, since then she has participated in a number of exhibitions in Delaware and surrounding cities including the 2023 Artist Fellowship through the Delaware Division of the Arts.

Nasir Young received his BFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2020, he was awarded The Raymond D. & Estelle Rubens Travel Scholarship to go to London. Young was awarded an illuminate arts grant in 2021 and 2022, and he was the second place winner of the Philadelphia Sketch Club's 158th exhibition of small oils. In 2022, he was a Da Vinci Art Alliance Resident. Nasir’s primary source of imagery is the everyday scenes of urban inner city life. He has had multiple group shows in Philadelphia and online exhibitions.

Zifeng Zang is an accomplished artist with a wealth of education and experience in the field. Her love for art began at a young age which grew as she received formal education, including earning dual BFA degrees from Jilin University in China and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her career experience includes serving as a senior graphic designer and brand manager at 4A Advertising Agencies and tech giants in China, where she honed her skills in creating imagery characters and advertisement scripts using digital tools. Despite this, she always felt drawn to the traditional art of painting. This led her to pursue further education in the field and to study painting in the US, where she is now focused on developing her favorite abstract style, infused with her personal experiences and unique perspective.

For more details, visit DEContemporary.org.

Monday, June 6, 2022

49th Annual Members' Fine Craft Show Kicks Off Summer at Rehoboth Art League

The content of this post comes from a press release from Rehoboth Art League...

The Rehoboth Art League (RAL) has an exciting range of shows coming up this June and July. Summer at RAL will kick off with the 49th Annual Members’ Fine Craft Exhibition, as well as Barbara Martin’s Eastward to Wyoming, Prints and Paintings by Alexi Natchev, and Faces of Many Nations clay masks by Amelie Sloan. All are on display June 10 to July 17. On June 10 from 5:00-7:00pm, RAL will host receptions for all the exhibitions, inviting anyone interested to visit the Corkran, Tubbs, Ventures, and Homestead Galleries to see these new shows.

The Members’ Fine Craft Exhibition is a signature summer show for the league and contains works created by member artists in a wide variety of media, including baskets, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, wood, and more. Artists and the public are invited to hear from this year’s exhibition judge, Andrea Uravitch, during her free Gallery Talk on Saturday, June 11, at 10:00am in the Corkran Gallery. Uravitch, who has shown in over 300 hundred invitational, juried, and solo shows in museums, galleries, art centers, college galleries and institutions, will discuss her selection of the award-winning pieces.

Taking over the Ventures this month will be abstract works in Barbara Martin's solo show, Eastward to Wyoming. This collection was inspired by Martin’s time at the Jentel Artist Residency in the Lower Piney Creek Valley of the majestic Bighorn Mountains in eastern Wyoming. Using the rhythm of the passing landscape and summer sky, these works encompass the movement and sensations of the vast openness of the Montana and Wyoming area.  

RAL’s historic Peter Marsh Homestead will display Prints and Paintings by Alexi Natchev. Born, educated, and starting his artistic career in Bulgaria, Natchev’s body of work, as a whole, reflects the scope and range of his creative endeavors in different fields of visual art: illustration, drawing, painting, and public art. This exhibit displays Natchev’s range, giving viewers the chance to see his technical processes and layered technics. 

Finally, the DeWitt Gallery will showcase Faces of Many Nations, a display of Amelie Sloan’s ceramic hand-built masks. A longtime RAL member and niece of one of the league’s founding members, Ethel P.B. Leach, Amelie leaves a lasting legacy at RAL, with a namesake room in the pottery studio on campus as well as an endowed exhibition award offered annually for excellence in ceramic hand building. This exhibition will allow the public the rare opportunity to purchase some of Amelie’s masks.  

The exhibitions are free and open to everyone during regular gallery hours of Monday through Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday, noon to 4:00pm.

Visit https://www.rehobothartleague.org/.

Monday, January 17, 2022

DDOA Announces 2022 Individual Artist Fellowship Awardees

The content of this post was taken from a press release by the Delaware Division of the Arts

Twenty-five Delaware artists are being recognized by the Delaware Division of the Arts for the high quality of their artwork. Work samples from 132 Delaware choreographers; composers; musicians; writers; and folk, media, and visual artists were reviewed by out-of-state arts professionals, considering demonstrated creativity and skill in their art form. The 25 selected fellows reside throughout Delaware including Dover, Georgetown, Hockessin, Lewes, Magnolia, Middletown, Newark, Smyrna, Townsend, and Wilmington.

Awards were given in three categories: $10,000 for the Masters Award; $6,000 for the Established Professional Award; and $3,000 for the Emerging Professional Award. Fellows are required to offer at least one exhibit or performance during the upcoming year, providing an opportunity for the public to experience their work. Additionally, the work of the Fellows will be featured in a group exhibition, Award Winners XXII, at the Biggs Museum of American Art tentatively set for June 3 through July 23, 2022.

“Individual Artist Fellowship grants recognize Delaware artists for their outstanding work and commitment to artistic excellence,” said Jessica Ball, director of Delaware Division of the Arts. “The financial award allows them to pursue advanced training, purchase equipment and materials, or fulfill other needs to advance their careers. The Division of the Arts understands that artists have been hard hit by the economic fallout of the pandemic and was pleased to be able to allocate some additional funds to recognize more artists this year.”

The Masters Fellowship is open to different artistic disciplines each year. In Fiscal Year 2022, Masters Fellowship applications were accepted in Literary Arts and Media Arts from artists who had previously received an Established Professional Fellowship. In addition to exemplifying high artistic quality, Masters Fellowship applicants must demonstrate their involvement and commitment to the arts in Delaware and beyond. Listed below are the Delaware Division of the Arts 2022 Individual Artist Fellows.

Linda Blaskey has been awarded this year’s Masters Fellowship in Literature: Poetry. Blaskey’s work has been chosen for inclusion in Best New Poets, 2014, and in North Carolina’s Poetry on the Bus project for National Poetry Month. She is poetry/interview editor emerita for Broadkill Review, is coordinator for the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, and current editor for the new online journal, Quartet. She organized a presentation of Icelandic poetry for the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival, and her work was included in Southern Delaware Choral Society’s presentation of Haydn: “Mass in the Time of War.” She sat on the panel, “Collaborative Publishing,” for Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival at Frostburg State University. Blaskey’s work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and she is the author of four poetry collections, two of which are collaborations, one forthcoming in 2022. She lives with her husband on a small horse/goat farm in Sussex County, Delaware.

2022 Individual Artist Fellows
Masters Award ($10,000)
  • Linda Blaskey, Lincoln - Literature: Poetry
Established Professional Award ($6,000)
  • JoAnn Balingit, Newark - Literature: Creative Nonfiction
  • Joseph Barbaccia, Georgetown - Visual Arts: Crafts
  • Tim Broscious, Townsend - Music: Contemporary Performance
  • Jamie Brunson, Wilmington - Literature: Playwriting
  • Caleb Curtiss, Newark - Literature: Poetry
  • t. a. hahn, Middletown - Visual Arts: Sculpture
  • Jeff Knoettner, Wilmington - Jazz: Performance
  • Roger Matsumoto, Newark - Visual Arts: Photography
  • Isai Jess Muñoz, Hockessin - Music: Solo Recital
  • Mia Muratori, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Painting
  • Tad Sare, Wilmington - Media Arts: Video/Film
  • Aaron Terry, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Works on Paper
  • William Torrey, Middletown - Literature: Fiction
Emerging Professional Award ($3,000)
  • Stephanie Boateng, Newark - Visual Arts: Painting
  • Christina Durborow, Wilmington - Literature: Creative Nonfiction
  • Kiara Florez, Magnolia - Visual Arts: Painting
  • Gregory Hammond, Wilmington - Literature: Fiction
  • Jim Hawkins, Smyrna - Literature: Playwriting
  • Gail Husch, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Crafts
  • Alice Morris, Lewes  - Literature: Poetry
  • Maia Palmer, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Works on Paper
  • TANKSLEY, Middletown - Music: Contemporary Performance
  • Leanna Thongvong, Dover - Folk Art: Visual Arts
  • Katie West, Wilmington - Visual Arts: Photography
To contact an individual artist, please email or call: Roxanne Stanulis, Program Officer, Artist Programs and Services, Roxanne.Stanulis@delaware.gov or 302.577.8283. The next deadline for Individual Artist Fellowship applications will be Monday, August 1, 2022.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Artist Nanci Hersh Unveils Pandemic-Inspired Exhibit "...From the Zoom Room"

Thumbnails of Nanci Hersh's newest exhibit, Unmasked: Portraits From the Zoom Room.
In March 2020, the world changed; so did the work of Delaware artist Nanci Hersh

The pandemic threw us all into a surreal yet voyeuristic world, presenting a unique opportunity for everyone to be their “unmasked” selves, for better or worse. The elevation of Zoom technology changed how we interacted and gave us a new perspective­­ — bizarrely intimate, both authentic and contrived at the same time.

Fascinated by this opportunity to observe and capture a microcosm of human experiences within the pandemic, Hersh has developed her latest series working from screenshots taken via Zoom conferences since March 2020. The exhibit, Unmasked: Portraits from the Zoom Room, opens November 15, 2021 and runs through January 14, 2022 at The Mill Space, a co-working loft in the heart of downtown Wilmington. 

With every screenshot captured, she found a different story, a new perspective, and a recognizable silver lining — ­illuminating the humor, boredom, pathos, and beauty that has kept us all connected.

Many, if not most, of the subjects are artists, educators, and “everyday” people that she shares space with in her role as Executive Director of Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education. Hersh has taken the challenges of the past 18 months and transformed those seemingly endless Zoom meetings into works of art. 

All her paintings are acrylic on synthetic non-woven paper, mounted on cradled birch panels and framed in museum black floater framers, 15.5”x25.5”. To date, there are 26 “Zoom Room portraits” in total.

The Opening Reception for Hersh's exhibit will be held Wednesday, November 17, 2021, from 4:30-6:30pm at The Mill Space, 1007 N. Orange Street, 4th Floor, Wilmington, DE 19801. Additional exhibition hours are 8:00-11:30am and 1:30-5:00pm Monday through Friday, or by appointment.

ABOUT NANCI HERSH
Nanci Hersh is a contemporary mixed media artist who draws directly from her personal life. Her passion is to share stories to reveal our universal connections and inspire others through art. She is also an illustrator, educator, arts advocate and administrator as Executive Director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States including “Riverfront 20/20” and “Farthest From the Ordinary” at The Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington, DE, “50 States/200 Artists” at the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe, NM, “Eons Beyond the Rib” at Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia, PA “Paper Work” at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie and “The Demoiselles Revisited” at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, NYC, along with solo exhibitions in PA, NJ, DE, and HI. Nanci has received numerous honors including three purchase awards from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, Hawai’i, and three Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grants. Her work is included in the Public Collections of Museum of Encaustic Art, Johnson & Johnson, Leland Portland Cement, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to name a few.

To enjoy more of Nanci Hersh’s work, visit nancihersh.com.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Exhibit at The Sold Firm Features Works of Incarcerated Artist

Starting this month, Wilmington gallery The Sold Firm 
— headed by owner/gallerist, Nataki Oliver  presents a solo exhibition from artist Sakana Walls. 

Walls, 49, is a Philadelphia visual artist currently incarcerated in a Delaware correctional facility. 

Walls actually began his creative path in the culinary field. He has been incarcerated since 2006 with three years left on his sentence. Walls began drawing seriously in 2010 and painting in 2016, starting with his first piece, “Weathering The Storm,” which is featured in the exhibit.

The exhibit, entitled STORM, opened on February 19 and will run through April 24, 2021. During points in the exhibit, Sakana will be present on video from the correctional facility.

With Oliver's assistance, we were able to connect with Walls and ask him a few questions about his exhibit. Check out our discussion below...

*How long have you been creating? What is your medium of choice and why?
I've been creating for about 11 years now. I started sketching with pencil and charcoal, but I found it more liberating to work with acrylic. I use to observe other artists painstakingly mixing colors, trying to produce a hue that was considered "acceptable," and I didn't see any freedom in the practice. I treat each color as I would any individual: Accept it for its truest form/essence. If we can embrace who we really are, maybe we could come together and create something beautiful.

*Why did you choose the title "STORM" for this exhibit?
It was something that was discussed between Nataki and myself. when I told her my story, we agreed that "Storm" would best describe the exhibit. The pieces that were chosen for this exhibit represent hope, spirituality, and consciousness. All things needed in this trying time.

*What do you want your work to "say" to patrons? 
I really do not want the pieces to say anything. Rather, I want the pieces to act as a defibrillator...to allow the numbness (that has developed over the last couple of years) to diminish. I also want people to think about what happened in the last couple of years with our government, the pandemic, and within our communities.

*What is your favorite piece in the exhibit and why?
My favorite piece is the hooded man titled Weathering The StormIt's a representation of who I've become. The searchlight in the lower right represents the prison life left behind. The rain and the lightning represent the adversity going on in the world. The jacket represents consciousness, protection from all of the elements.

*How do you feel the arts have helped you during this time and how will they serve you going forward? 
Sitting back and doing the same things day in and out does not promote growth. I refused to succumb to the "Groundhog Day effect," so it was important for me to not become institutionalized. I had to find something to do differently. Creating something new every day allowed me to do time purposefully. Going forward, I see the arts hopefully serving as a vehicle to bring togetherness and awareness within the community and beyond.

*What advice can you give to other justice-involved individuals?
Holding yourself accountable will prove to be beneficial in the growth process. If you're experiencing an injustice, educate yourself and make it a fair fight. Adding other than self to the thought process will produce different results.

*What are your goals 
 artistic and personal  now and post-incarceration?
As an artists, I want to continue to make people feel; personally, I want to educate self before I medicate others. After my release, I want to continue to live life with purpose. 

“We must conquer self doubt in order to weather our own personal storm; then we’ll be able to learn, understand and respect one another.” — Sakana Walls

Reservations to attend the exhibit must be made online. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masks are required while in the gallery. For more information and reservations, visit thesoldfirm.com.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Sold Firm Art Gallery Celebrates Grand Opening in Wilmington's Creative District

Content of this post comes from a City of Wilmington press release...

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and City Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz congratulate Nataki Oliver, owner and operator of The Sold Firm, on the modern art gallery’s official grand opening held Saturday, August 1, 2020. 

The gallery, located at 800-B North Tatnall Street in the City’s Creative District, was founded by Oliver in 2019 to exhibit emerging modern and contemporary artists who tackle diverse subjects such as beauty, sexuality, emotions, and current culture.

“We are very happy to officially welcome Nataki Oliver and The Sold Firm to the Creative District,” said Mayor Purzycki. “This intimate space is an important addition to Wilmington’s cultural life and we are a better, richer City for the incredible talent assembled here. With Art Loop on hold for the foreseeable future, Oliver’s gallery provides a welcome refuge for art lovers from all over the City and the surrounding region.”

“The Sold Firm adds a contemporary newness to its surroundings,” said Oliver. “Fine art, culture, love, and support are our core elements to injecting vibrancy into Wilmington. Residents and visitors are welcome to immerse themselves in this modern art gallery. The collections of modern art displayed here have been carefully curated to represent multiple creative styles that complement our bright, simplistic aesthetic.”

At Saturday’s event, which included a ribbon-cutting and timed gallery tours, two black youths with an interest in the visual arts were presented with complete art kits and private art lessons at The Sold Firm this fall by local artist, James Wyatt. This initiative was funded by proceeds from the sale of OVOW (Our Voices Our Way) T-shirts. The grand opening was also celebrated by Council President Hanifa Shabazz and 4th District Council Member Michelle Harlee.

The Sold Firm’s current group exhibit, “Pendulum Swing,” also kicked off with the gallery’s sold-out grand opening ceremony on Saturday. The exhibit brings together 15 black artists from as far away as Florida to allow their voices about the current climate to be heard through visual art, each with a unique expression that conveys pain, triumph, and optimistic views of their feelings.

All of the “Pendulum Swing” artists will receive a 100% commission on any artwork sold during the public exhibit, which continues until October 30, 2020.

Tickets are available on the gallery’s website at www.thesoldfirm.com. You can also follow @thesoldfirm on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Call for Artists: The Delaware Contemporary


Take advantage of this great opportunity to showcase your work in front of collectors in an art museum setting and join the emerging, established, and community artists supporting The Delaware Contemporary

Last year, The Contemporary received over 350 pieces of artwork by incredibly talented artists from all over the world. Help them exceed that number for SABA V!

Each donation must be a 6" x 6" (15cm) square piece of wall art. No other sizes or free-standing sculpture will be accepted. Please sign only on the back of the work for anonymous exhibition. Artists may enter works in any 2-D or 3-D medium. Charcoal or pastel must be fixed. Smaller works on paper may be mounted to a 6" x 6" cardstock or board. Clay or metal work thicker than 1/4" must have holes to accommodate pins/nails. There is no limit to the number of works an artist may enter. All entries that meet the specifications will be accepted, however The Delaware Contemporary reserves the right to jury-out work. Entries will not be returned, but artists retain copyrights. There is no entry fee.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Museum Purchases Work by Hank Willis Thomas & Chakaia Booker

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

The Delaware Art Museum is delighted to announce recent purchases of art by women artists and artists of color. This spring, the Museum purchased a series of prints by Hank Willis Thomas, an 1871 oil painting by Robert Duncanson, and a 1940 poster by Robert Pious.

These three recent purchases reflect the Museum's continued effort to collect more art by women artists and artists of color. In 2018, the Museum purchased 24 works of art, of which one-third were created by women and one-third were created by African American artists. In total, 74 percent of acquisition funds spent in 2018 went toward acquiring works by women artists and artists of color. 


Hank Willis Thomas' Black Survival Guide,
or How to Live Through a Police Riot (2018)
"It is particularly exciting to acquire as we plan for the reinstallation of several permanent collection galleries in 2020," explains Heather Campbell Coyle, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art. "These works will allow us to share a more inclusive and exciting story of art and artists with our community."

Hank Willis Thomas' Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot (2018) is the Museum's first major purchase of 2019. Commissioned by the Museum and on view during the summer of 2018, the work is a series of 13 retroreflective screen prints based on photographs from The News Journal and a booklet in the collection of the Delaware Historical Society. Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot became a catalyst for dialogue during the city-wide reflection on the 1968 occupation of Wilmington by the National Guard.

"Museum visitors overwhelmingly shared their enthusiasm for the project and love of the screen prints," shares Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art. "We are thrilled that this series will remain in the city." Once installed, these prints will be added to the Museum's new Social Justice in Art Tour for local students.

In October, 2018, the Delaware Art Museum acquired Chakaia Booker's One Way (2008) for its contemporary collection. The large-scale sculpture was installed in the Museum's Copeland Sculpture Garden to align with the mid-October opening of the Juried Craft Exhibition. Made of recycled tires and stainless steel, One Way is the first artwork by an African American artist added to the Museum's sculpture garden. Chakaia Booker is best known for sculptures made of discarded materials 
— most often recycled tires. Her art explores race, globalization, feminism, and ecology. The interconnecting circles in One Way depict movement and perpetual cycles, and the sculpture conveys her concerns about diversity, mobility, and hope. This significant addition also supports the Museum's ability to showcase the diversity in process, materials, and interests occupying contemporary art today. The contemporary collection also welcomed gifts of work by Charles Burwell and Curlee Raven Holton.

As well as adding to the contemporary collections, the Delaware Art Museum continued the strategic expansion of its collection of modern art by African American artists with purchases of work by Loïs Mailou Jones, Hughie Lee-Smith, William Majors, and James A. Porter. These works add strength to a collection that already features paintings and prints by Beauford Delaney, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, and Norman Lewis. Produced between the 1940s and the 1960s, these works provide context for the early career of beloved local painter Edward Loper, Sr., which is well represented in the Wilmington region. Paintings by Loper, Sr., and his son Edward Loper, Jr., launched the Museum's Distinguished Artists Series this spring.

In addition to these works by artists of color, the Museum has focused on acquiring more art by women. Recent exhibitions on British Pre-Raphaelite artists Marie Spartali Stillman and Barbara Bodichon have benefitted from key purchases in years past.

In 2018, the Museum added collections of work by American illustrators Laura Coombs Hills and Rose O'Neill via purchase and gift. O'Neill, who previously had just one work of art in the Museum's collection, was a successful book and magazine illustrator, best known as the inventor of the Kewpies, cupid-like characters who started life in a 1909 cartoon in the Ladies' Home Journal and soon launched into popular culture as dolls, books, and other licensed merchandise. The Kewpie enterprise, which only began to wane toward the end of the 1930s, made O'Neill an independently wealthy woman. Illustration was an important career path for women and this is central to the story of the Delaware Art Museum.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Artist Roderick Hidalgo: Torch of INspiration

Content of this post originated from the blog by Jill Althouse-Wood of inWilmDE.com...

When you are driving to interview an artist and the only thing you know about him is that his latest series of work is entirely black, as in… black layered on black, black poured over black, and black dotted with more black, you end up mind-diving through all the clichés. Is this guy Emo? Goth? New York City slick? Commander of the Night’s Watch? Darth frickIN’ Vader? Meeting Roderick Hidalgo in person defied all these preconceived notions. If I had to describe him in a word, it would be exuberant. 

Gummies on Parade by Rick Hidalgo.
Photo by Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography.
Hidalgo greeted me at the door of his Hockessin studio/gallery space dressed in — you guessed it –– black. To be fair, I had dressed in black, too –– a trick I was employing to put my subject at ease. But I didn’t need to put Rick Hidalgo at ease; he was already in his bliss. I arrived on the day that his work was being photographed. It was a celebration of completed works which lined the walls, but huge worktables in the center of the space charged the gallery with that edgy chaos of works-in-progress. Looking more closely at these densely layered relief paintings in the photographer’s queue, I felt grateful that I was writing about these pieces and not trying to photograph them. How could a camera capture all that is going on in this wall art without the usual delineating crutches of color and tone?

Many of the pieces are heavy in relief. That sculptural quality will help viewers of the photographs get a sampling of the work, but you need to see these painting/sculpture hybrids in person to have the full experience. I wanted to reach out and run my fingers over the terrain of them. Some areas are slick, transitioning to rougher textures, while other of the works are subtler and more nuanced in their layering. Hidalgo uses different mediums and often collages objects onto canvases. One series of small square canvases features clear cubes adhered to the surfaces. Another work is a collage made up entirely of toy army men sprayed black. And then there was a piece that I can only describe as a black breast with a mirrored finish. Think what you like. Hidalgo forgoes interpretation and invites viewers to come to the pieces with his or her own varied life experience. The army man piece has created associations for war vets and peaceniks alike but for different reasons. And for some, the connection creates a map back to their childhood.

Hidalgo’s work wasn’t always so narrow of palette. Perusing his online gallery, I saw examples of early encaustics and poured lacquer paintings where bright color bloomed and spilled into hypnotic galaxies of pattern. He told me that he was honing his craft, learning techniques and getting a handle on his materials. Seeing the progression from his earlier pieces, it was easy to believe that his current work is a rejection of color and all that came before.

Hidalgo denies this. “I’ve been developing this language over fifteen years,” he said as we survey the line of finished pieces before us. His wasn’t some deep descent into the shadow realm as much as a “coming full circle,” an embrace of all that came before. I considered this for a moment, and he was right. In painting, black is a coming together of all pigments, not the rejection of them.

“This is the work I have been gearing up for. I have found my voice.”

He isn’t using that voice for his art alone. Hidalgo transcends the scope of a singular artist by promoting other local talent. See him as a tastemaker or a rule-breaker, but either way, his vision is on the rise in Wilmington. Besides his Hockessin gallery where he hosts bi-monthly exhibits of local and international artists, Hidalgo has been curating shows in the corporate galleries of Capital One in Wilmington. And he is gearing up to present a group exhibition next month at The Delaware Contemporary that will act as a complement to “Blackout,” the solo show of his latest works. The group show,“The Fire Theft,” will showcase eleven local artists as they riff on the myth that tells the story of how the earth got fire (and color).

Curious, I had to look up the myth. According to the story, there was a time when the world was cold, barren, and bleak. In this devastating landscape, there existed one fabulously plumed bird with a rainbow of tailfeathers. This special bird was tasked with flying to the sun to steal some of its fire to bring back to the desolate earth. The bird was successful, but upon returning with the flaming torch, he scorched the whole landscape and all of its inhabitants. But fire brings new life, and from this blackened environment, bright flowers blossomed, and creatures started sprouting scales and feathers in every hue. However, the bird was too charred by the journey for his original jeweled plumage to return. He remained black and charred, sacrificing his own color in the process of bringing light and color to the earth.

Does that sound like a metaphor for a certain artist’s journey? Perhaps. But forget all the clichés about sacrificial lambs or tortured artists where Roderick Hidalgo is concerned. Dude is one joyful black bird who is bringing the torch of INspiration to Wilmington.

For more information on Roderick Hidalgo or RH Gallery in Hockessin, check out his website or Facebook page. “Blackout” works by Roderick Hidalgo and “The Fire Theft” Group Exhibition, curated by Roderick Hidalgo, RH Gallery will be on display at The Delaware Contemporary, 200 South Madison Street; Wilmington, April 5-26, 2019 with an opening reception: Friday, April 5, 2019 from 5-9pm during Art Loop Wilmington.

Monday, August 13, 2018

DCAD Launching Dual-Enrollment Program at Cab Calloway

DCAD instructor Aki Torii Sare will teach
the first dual-credit courses DCAD is offering
at Cab Calloway School of the Arts this fall.
Entering college with a few credits already earned is a big advantage for today’s students, saving them money on higher education expenses and helping them graduate with their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees on time or even early. Opportunities for students to bank credits often come through dual-enrollment agreements between their high schools and local colleges and focus on basic courses that serve as the foundation of their degree programs.

Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD) and Cab Calloway School of the Arts are teaming up with instructor Aki Torii Sare to provide Cab’s visual arts students with an early start on their art and design degrees. Beginning this fall, DCAD will send instructors and curricula to Cab to offer “Figure Drawing” and “Animation I” that will count toward both a high school diploma and a college degree. Students also will produce relevant drawings and animations for their college application portfolios and have the opportunity to be mentored by a college instructor.

Cab Calloway is a public middle and high school for students in the performing and visual arts that boasts a graduation rate of 100%. Also located in Wilmington, the Red Clay Consolidated School District magnet school combines traditional academics with concentrations in dance, digital media and communication arts, instrumental music, piano, strings, technical theatre, theatre arts, visual arts and vocal music to lead to a State of Delaware High School Diploma.

DCAD, the Mid-Atlantic’s only two-year professional art and design college, is accredited by both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. It offers associate of fine arts degree programs in animation, fine arts, graphic design, illustration and photography on its downtown Wilmington campus.

DCAD Dean Katy Ro noted that the development of this collaboration exemplifies DCAD’s mission and commitment to cultivating partnerships with local art and design entities. She also said the program will help make students more college-minded while helping them prepare for the academic rigors of college via previously unavailable instruction and experience. Cab Calloway Dean Julie Rumschlag agreed.

“This program gives our students an opportunity for coursework that our school typically does not offer,” Rumschlag said. “Dual-enrollment will provide both breadth and depth to our arts curriculum at Cab Calloway.”

Many students who have graduated from Cab Calloway over the last 20 years have gone on to earn associate of fine arts degrees from DCAD. These include Katlyn Cofrancisco, who earned a diploma from Cab, an associate’s degree from DCAD and a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to continuing to make pottery, she also has worked as one of DCAD’s admissions counselors.

“Giving high school students access to college-level studio classes truly benefits and enriches their learning experience,” Cofrancisco said. “DCAD sees a need to encourage and provide access for students who are talented and dedicated so they may get on an accelerated path to becoming artists and designers, and I believe this program with Cab Calloway will be the beginning of what DCAD hopes to achieve with other schools in the Tri-State area.”

Cofrancisco said moving from the close-knit creative community she experienced at Cab Calloway to the atmosphere at DCAD was a comfortable progression. Both offer a similar environment of support and inspiration.

“As I look back on my transition from high school to college,” she said, “the impact of being encouraged to take risks, learn to be a creative problem-solver and encourage my peers made me a more well-rounded artist.”

See www.dcad.edu

Monday, July 30, 2018

DCAD & Terrance Vann Present ‘Local + Famous’ Artists

Wilmington artist Terrance Vann.
This post content courtesy of a press release from Delaware College of Art & Design...

Painter, illustrator and muralist Terrance Vann is guest-curating an exhibition of more than 50 pieces of contemporary and accessible street art by more than two dozen artists of note, both locally and beyond, for Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD) in August. Local + Famous: A Celebration of Homegrown Talent will fill DCAD’s Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery from August 3 to 19.

Vann (also known by his Instagram handle @Terranceism) will co-host the show with fellow Wilmington artist Alim Smith (known as @yesterdaynite on Instagram). Smith is best known for his iconic “Memes” exhibition, which went viral online and attracted national press attention. Together Vann and Smith are known as The Color Brothers, and the works they’re bringing to DCAD promise to be vibrant.

“This show will challenge the traditional formation of how an exhibition looks, nodding to the popular fairs produced in Miami and New York,” says DCAD gallery and events manager Kelicia Pitts. “It will showcase some of the many homegrown and hidden talents in Wilmington.”

An example of this will be Vann’s own vividly colorful work, which Pitts has long admired and says “aims to portray the surreal world of our imaginations.” Vann received a 2017 Delaware Division of the Arts Emerging Artists Fellowship and has exhibited pieces nationwide. He is thrilled to have been asked to curate such a show at DCAD.

“Talent in this area is just as powerful,” says Vann, who considers Local + Famous to be a pop-up art fair. “It deserves to be showcased in this contemporary way.”

Among the artists exhibiting alongside Vann and Smith will be Shanina Dionna, who was a winner in Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean’s international “The Dean Collection 20 St(art)ups” or TDC20 competition. Joining their work will be pieces from the area’s veterans of the art world, including Rick Rockroth, Eunice LaFate, K.O. Simms and many more. Local galleries and tattoo shops also will be represented.

Local + Famous will open with a reception from 5:00 to 10:00pm on Friday, August 3, in conjunction with Art Loop Wilmington. Van Gogh Vodka, liquor sponsor for the event, will be 10:00am to 6:00pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10:00am to 7:00pm Wednesdays; and 10:00am to 4:00pm Saturdays and Sundays.

For a full list of Local + Famous artists or for other information about the exhibition, contact DCAD communications director Susan Coulby at 302.622.8000 (office), 302.983.5710 (cell) or scoulby@dcad.edu.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New Project Melds Passion for Arts & Animals

Information in this post comes from a post from Delaware Humane Association...

Photo courtesy of Delaware Humane Association.
Calling all local artists! Delaware Humane Association (DHA) is looking to display pet-related art (but pet-related themes are not required) in its new storefront adoption center in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

The goal is to display and sell works onsite, with a portion of sale proceeds benefiting DHA. An exhibit opening or reception could be a part of the submitting artist's agreement.

Delaware Humane Association will display a different artist's work for varying periods of time. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please contact DHA's Adoption Center Manager Jody Rini at JRini@delawarehumane.org.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Art News from New Wilmington Art Association

New Wilmington Art Association (NWAA) — the collection of contemporary artists responsible for bringing edgy, exciting works to Wilmington's visual arts scene — is back and excited to begin a new season! They’re already preparing for their first show. 
 
NWAA also welcomes four new co-directors who will head up the organization: Anne Yoncha, William Slowik, Jessica Taylor, Brian Scatasti.

Please note the email address for NWAA has changed: new.wilm.art@gmail.com to contact them & submit work for the DEBUT 2014 SHOW — FREE and OPEN TO ALL.