This morning I found myself spending some time with Miranda and thinking about the change of seasons and exhibitions. (Miranda is the wonderful blog put out by the ICA Philadelphia which is worth perusing if you have the time.) Rachel Pastan, the voice behind Miranda, reflected on the upcoming fall and change of seasons. Which, I hate to get ahead of myself -I can hardly believe it’s August, but it does seem as if summer is ending early. Perhaps due in part to the wicked heat we experienced already this year one feels as though the season is passing. My time at the DCCA will unfortunately be ending soon and this will be the first year of my life that a return to the classroom is not eminent. I’ve found myself with an odd desire to name this blog before I go. As though that will somehow make transitions more palatable. But Miranda is already taken and I find myself a bit jealous, a bit lost.
Things are also in transition here at the DCCA. Obscured by signs reading “Installation in Progress,” Stephen Ruszkowski has been hard at work de-installing NEW the 2010 Members’ Juried Exhibition that has dominated several galleries all summer. And, after a very successful season, Summer Camp has ended as well, returning the volume level to one more typical of an art museum. Both of these things contribute to my increasing sense of nostalgia I suppose. Then I remind myself there will always be something new here to look at and that is what I really love about art, about the DCCA. Even better, I don’t have to wait for it. James Brantley’s work is a recent addition, as is Oasis a collaborative exhibition put on by Delainey Barclay and Jane Quartarone in the Elizabeth Denison Hatch Gallery.
The title is very fitting and the work very enticing amid the heat and change. Barclay’s Humidity Garden hits you as soon as you enter the room. The organic palette and simple lines shared by the two create something of a retreat in space. Melting ice is an element of Quartarone’s sculptures that I have yet to see, although I have high hopes I will witness it tonight during Art on the Town. In the meantime a couple of small post-it notes tell the viewer they’re in the presence of a “work in progress.” I’m happy with that.
The summer really never lasts long enough. August is here already which means Art on the Town will be this Friday. With a few exceptions the DCCA will be showcasing an entirely new group of exhibitions from this time last month. James Brantley’s representational cityscapes are on view in the Beckler Family Members’ Gallery. His paintings exude a quiet balance of energy and stillness. In many of the works buildings become landscape, as they seem to recede endlessly into a flattened meeting with the horizon where emotive skies take over. The palette most often reflects dark browns and grays, as well as other darkening hues appropriate for depicting city dwelling. Contrasting color then becomes a welcome relief as well as part of focus of the work. In some, like On the Corner, the sky displays the colors of the changing day, the brief hour or two where it becomes truly captivating. Other skies are calmer and the light comes from within the buildings in a seductive allusion to the seldom-depicted inhabitants. The juxtaposition of land and air creates the atmosphere in these pieces enabling varied sensations about the tranquility of metropolitan living.
James Brantley will be here on Friday for the exhibition opening and will give an informal gallery talk at 6:30. Of course, Art on the Town is always an opportunity to see the artists’ studios here, including Delainey Barclay and Jane Quartarone whose collaborative exhibition, Oasis, is also on view through the end of the month.
There will also be live music with guest musician Shaun Dougherty at 6 pm.
Hope to see you there!
Summer months are often the hardest time to draw a crowd, especially a crowd situated so close to, yet so far from, the beach; but we did! Last night Members’ Evening at the DCCA drew in a diverse group to join us for this family-oriented event. Kids rushed through the galleries trying to identify the works different image details were taken from as part of a scavenger hunt designed by Jane Chesson and the education department. Just like any other day, prizes were given to all those who completed the hunt. And with crafts, fresh cotton candy, and icees available there were lots of treats to choose from.
Other, more experienced visitors, enjoyed the company, a few drinks and a great spread of food. Susan Isaacs spoke about the works on view, leading a large crowd through the galleries. My husband and son joined me for quick bite to eat, a beer for one and an apple on a stick (which is what my almost two year old child called the cotton candy) for the other. He loved the pixel-lapse photo booth and Joseph Barbaccia’s bright Eight Currents installation. It was a great night out of the heat amid art-lovers, supporters and makers!
Right now set-up is in progress for a Double Take: A Green Fashion & Art Event which will take place tomorrow night from 6-10pm. Presented by Pieces of Me Entertainment; the event will feature a runway presentation showcasing recycled clothes, group performances, an organic wine tasting and more! Nike will be hosting its Reuse a Shoe program at the event. They’re hoping to collect 200 pairs of old Nikes! Donations of all gently used shoes and clothing will be accepted.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $40 for VIP, price includes reserved seating, complimentary drink and gift bag!
This Sunday, July 25th is the last day to see New: 2010 Members’ Juried Exhibition, featuring over 30 contemporary artists. Come add your picture to 1000+ taken in Steven Silberg’s pixel-lapse photo booth. You’ll get a free copy to take home with you and will become part of the archive at:
Friday night was the monthly Art of the Town here at the DCCA. The evening began with a presentation by Carrie Dashow and the kids
she’d worked with from the Latin American Community Center, The Geographers. An enormous globe shaped piñata hung from the ceiling in the lobby; covered in maps of Wilmington and the kids’ native countries as well as assorted flamboyant adornments it added a youthful feeling to the galleries. Sitting at a table near the door I was able to observe the excitement and surprise expressed by new arrivals at witnessing such an unexpected event. The piñata
itself was a “portal” to send one into Mesatly, a world created by the collaborative. The construction of the piñata was clearly more meticulous than anticipated, as it was quite a feat to break it open. After a few initial attempts the girls shied away for the most part but the boys eagerly stepped up for multiple turns with an ever increasing allotment of strikes per go.
Finally, almost reluctantly, it submitted pouring confetti, candy and tokens created by the children onto the lobby floor. The kids wasted no time making sure all of the candy was accounted for. When they were finished the small tokens they’d made, a heart, a milk carton etc. remained amid the heaps of confetti on the lobby floor (much to the dismay of those responsible for sweeping it up). The objects were things of value to the kids that they wished to take with them into the future. With the portal breached the entire group moved to the nearby installation they’d created for a more thorough presentation of conceptions motivating the creation Mesatly. Stop in to see more, the work will be on view until July 23. (Above:Installation View and Detail)
Shortly after a group of us moved to the E. Avery Draper Showcase where Joseph Barbaccia discussed Eight Currents, sculptures about harmony and balance in life. The works present timeless dichotomies, suffering vs. happiness, gain vs. loss, praise vs. ridicule. Crowded into the now blue room he took center stage as he introduced the work and the motivating mythology. Quickly it turned into a question and answer forum that he eagerly guided. The organically shaped pieces are covered in what must be thousands of sequins that create a beautiful, reflective, almost scaly surface. Several of the kids had joined the discussion and when it came time for questions one boy, one of the most enthusiastic participants in the fall of the piñata, could hardly contain his question. On Ridicule, which is comprised of green and purple sequins, he spotted one red one and wanted to know why. Barbaccia, clearly excited by the observation, said it is an homage to a Japanese tradition of deliberately denying perfection in order to avoid offending the gods. He went on to say there is one sequin in every piece that is out of place, which of course prompted every one of us to begin looking again from new angles. (Ridicule and Loss, Installation View)
For most the night was clearly full of familiar faces, with excited greetings, hugs and kisses. With the children from LACC and their families, as well as those who came just for Art on the Town, there was a sizable gathering, but the atmosphere remained very familiar and intimate, and certainly energized!
Members’ Evening is next Thursday! With food catered by A Moveable Feast, cotton candy from Thyme Catering, and exciting artworks it promises to be a fun, family friendly event. Everyone who has left his or her name for the drawing for a Free Membership at the end of the month is invited to attend for free! Hope to see you there.
Free Parking & WiFi!
Don’t forget tonight is Art on the Town at the DCCA! This means we’ll be open late! Tonight will feature openings for Joseph Barbaccia and Julio da CunhaIf. If you haven’t been here before tonight’s a great night to come see what we’re all about. The exhibition space is free and open to the public. The artists’ studios will be open as well for a chance to look at the process behind their work. We’ll be serving wine at prices you just can’t beat!
Hope to see you there soon and often!
If you can’t make it tonight don’t worry, we’re here full time and always participate in loop night sponsored by the City of Wilmington. Here’s a quick link to our calendar for information about other upcoming events:
Stephanie Kirk’s Breakfast Serial-Pink seems an elaborate meal reminiscent of Amy Steven’s luscious pastry photographs while also referring to more deeply embedded traditions of artists like On Kawara who focus on repetition and daily routine. In actuality the meal is fairly simple and the stage well set. The image speaks to the universality of practices while highlighting a tendency to decorate, to glamorize. One could say of all art it is a documentation of human experience. One would be correct. And rather dull. But there is something about the personal chronicling that seems almost compulsive in a media driven culture where the Internet in all its marvels unifies us and makes it possible to know what strangers across the globe may have had for breakfast (if that is what one hopes to know). These images reflect a personal space and an intimate solitary routine documented without a lust show the world her personal life. Taking a picture of a daily practice entails more time than might be imagined. The routine separates the participant from the moment and the repetition of action and habit become a consideration all their own. The progress of the series documents Kirk’s reaction to the contamination of local water supply as she switches to paper plates and bottled water until the problem resolves itself.
Of the series Kirk says, “Breakfast is my favorite meal. I enjoy making it and eating it. I take time to read the detritus that builds up from mail delivery. These images are from Breakfast Serial, a series of images that I took over a year of making breakfasts. The breakfasts don’t vary much except to note the various seasons. I sit at the same place at the table and generally use the same placemat.”
To read the rest of her artist statement and see more of the series visit: