The Creative Act

Artwork by Michael Lindeman
August 3 — October 24, 2018
The Delaware Contemporary
Beckler Family Members' Gallery


The Little Things

July 6 — September 12, 2018
The Delaware Contemporary
Constance S. & Robert J. Hennesy Project Space

The Little Things expresses a sentimentality that isn’t necessarily yours, a nostalgia you can’t experience. We see images of places and are expected to feel something about them, but we hold no agency for somewhere we’ve never been, somewhere we can never go. Artist Haley Lauw presents her reality through facsimile; she uses all dimensions to create a space that is familiar, but not yours. Artist Neal Breton paints dazzling shards of color and pattern that are equally welcoming as they are distant. The Little Things talks about the artists’ expression of a place, her and his relationships to that place, and how everyone else fits in to it.


Guardians of the Image Makers

April 6 — June 29, 2018
The Delaware Contemporary
Constance S. & Robert J. Hennesy Project Space

The Delaware Contemporary presents Guardians of the Image Makers a group exhibition of select Delaware artists involved in arts advocacy and activism. The exhibition image is a print by Percy Ricks that inspired the theme of this exhibition bringing creative voices together from all walks of life and every generation. This exhibition joins the citywide Wilmington 1968 series remembering the occupation and riots in Wilmington. 

1968 was a consequential year in American history as the Vietnam War raged on, the Civil Rights movement made strides, and riots and protests studded the American landscape. The Wilmington 1968 Occupation and Riots followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. "when cries of 'They got the King' rang out across urban America." Artists responded to the local and national turbulence, and in 1971, Percy Ricks founded The Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the arts in Wilmington and the state of Delaware. Ricks was primarily an arts educator, promoting area artists, while helping to improve the quality of life in the local community. Mentored by James Porter, a pioneer in establishing the field of African American art history, Ricks became a mentor to many, believing a whole community should be involved in teaching its children. 

This exhibition is in the spirit of Percy Ricks as it brings together artist and community to continue a conversation about where we've come from and where we're going. It also puts into focus the narrative of 1968 through dynamic programming, guided tours, and a colloquium to tell the story of contemporary Delaware artists. This exhibition features works and stories by area artists who exemplify Percy's art advocacy and proliferate arts education. Featured artists include Percy Ricks, Dr. James Newton, Carl Bailey, Chad Cortez Everett, Colette Gaiter, Michael Kalmbach, Eunice LaFate, Roldan West, and Lvon Yoder.

Related Events: 
1968: Recall and Respond Colloquium
On Art Conversations with Chad Cortez Everett
Art and Activism Educators Forum


Domestic: 2018 MFA Biennial

November 30, 2017 — March 18, 2018
The Delaware Contemporary
Carol Bieber & Marc Ham Gallery

This exhibition showcases artwork by current regional Master of Fine Arts candidates who strive to create new and challenging work while honing their craft. This bi-annual exhibition exemplifies the contemporary vision of artists as they emerge into the art world. The 2017 MFA Biennial, DOMESTIC, features artists Ashton Bird, Caroline Hatfield, Courtney Ryan, Hector Rene, Kimberly English, Natalie Hutchings, Sam Whalen, and Taryn Pizza.

DOMESTIC explores the physical and visceral experience that dissects the white-picket-fence standard of "The American Dream." This group of work investigates the domestic environment and the material clutter with which it is built. These artists individually seek to reuse, repurpose, rebuild, and redefine the personal experience in the larger cultural landscape. Their work points to the human potential for the grotesque, and sometimes abusive, relationship to "stuff."

From Kimberly English's fascination with domestic accumulation and the globalization of everyday life to Hector Rene's examination of what the average American watches, reads, eats, buys, and "Likes," this exhibition presents a thought-provoking array of materials and mediums. 


Art As Information

November 30, 2017 — January 26, 2018
The Delaware Contemporary
DuPont I & DuPont II Galleries

Video art has emerged as a mainstream contemporary art genre as artists respond to the pervasive presence of the moving image in daily life. Through the readily accessible points of television and the internet, we have come to take these conduits of "information" as fact. Media had built a trust from the early days of Walter Cronkite to the boom of independent documentaries in the '90s and 2000s. The 24-hour news cycle dominated by political "spin" has changed the way journalism is presented on television, and as a result, challenged the establishment of trust in media.

Art As Information looks at our relationship with video, the screen, and the information generated by them. All art is informative to some degree, but this exhibition focuses on the televisual experience of creating and transmitting knowledge through mass media. The artists included in this exhibition have either built on the established means of information in century of screen, or they have subverted the traditional conveyance of information. Art As Information will mix these two approaches together and challenge the viewer's sense of what is and what isn't true in our current "post-fact" society.

This group exhibition features national and international video artists curated by Morgan Hamilton. Group Exhibition Artists: Alexa Turnbull, Tallahassee, FL,  Barry Jones, Clarksville, TN, Bernard Arce, Barcelona, Spain, Carrie Fonder, Pensacola, FL, Collin Bradford, Provo, UT, Dengke Chen, DeLand, FL, Ethan, Barnett, Newark, DE, Gary Setzer, Tucson, AZ, Mia Tayor, London, UK, Viktor Witkowske, Norwich, VT, Whitney Bandel, Leawood, KS.


The Canada Option

Debut exhibition of Rebekah Flake
November 1 — January 20, 2017
The Delaware Contemporary
Beckler Family Members' Gallery

Philadelphia-based artist Rebekah Flake explores issues of migration and borders in The Canada Option. Using lens-based media, research and hand-made constructions, Flake transforms exhibition spaces into sites of reflection on political themes. Canada asserted independence from Great Britain through the formation of a Confederation on July 1, 1867. In 2017, 150 years later, the option of moving to Canada has been on the tips of many American tongues. 

Related events: 
November 15: On Art Conversations with Rebekah Flake
January 20, 2018: The Canada Option panel discussion to mark the closing of her exhibition, and the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration.


Observe: 2017 Friends' Juried Group Show

June 2 — August 26, 2017
The Delaware Contemporary
Beckler Family Members' Gallery

Observe is the 2017 Friends’ showcase exhibition, it includes regional artists working in myriad media and different processes. The underlying thread that connects the exhibiting artists is their ability to observe their surroundings, from society to nature to memory, and incorporate what they find in their artistic practice.

John Breakey, Martha Carey, Lucy Copper, Steven Dobbin, Mary Johnson, Sarah Kaizar, Ekaterina Popova, Peter Treiber


State of the Union/State of Mind

June 20 — July 16, 2017
The Delaware Contemporary
DuPont I & DuPont II Galleries
 

Together for the first time in the main galleries at The Delaware Contemporary, our studio artists will display work in a joint exhibition called State of the Union/State of Mind in Dupont Galleries I & II. In this exhibition, some artists react to the external, political influences of art making, while others delve into the internal, personal approaches of creating a work of art.

State of the Union
In State of the Union, artists take on the current political climate in America. Each artist has a different background, point of view, and artistic practice with which they will ask, and perhaps try to answer, tough questions about our changing nation.

State of Mind
State of Mind is a more intimate look at each artist and her or his studio practice. It accentuates the myriad ways artists create work, through medium, concept, and process, and how it reflects the state of mind in a nation of so many voices.


Show The People What They've Won

April 7 — July 2, 2017
The Delaware Contemporary

Featuring video and installation by Jenny Drumgoole and Sister Spaceship
 

In Show The People What They’ve Won, Jenny Drumgoole and Sister Spaceship explore the fringes of reality, virtual reality, and reality television. Each artist has her own approach to peeling back the veneer of our current hyper-media state. Sister Spaceship dresses down the camera-ready, heavily scripted monotony of daytime television and offers a humbled version of our favorite TV formats. Jenny Drumgoole takes to the Internet and turns a fun-for-all Philadelphia Cream Cheese competition into a chance to pull back the curtain and expose the false identities of mass-market ad campaigns. 

Sister Spaceship and Jenny Drumgoole explore our obsessive relationship with connectivity and the facades we readily create and accept in life. Their work points to how we might liberate ourselves from buying into the media game, while not selling out our individuality. That balance is hard to find and their artistic process is a means of finding it.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sister Spaceship is a collaborative duo comprised of Kristen Mills and Angie Melchin. They perform as unassuming characters living in a spacecraft and carry out seemingly innocuous scenarios for live, but sometimes uninvited audiences. The duo equally and eagerly grapple with gender and class issues along with other socio-cultural tendencies. Their sets and locations change, no place is off limits for their camera: they have interviewed live audiences, conducted an “Antiques Road Show” style appraisal of every-day things, Other-People’s-Book-Signing tours, and woman-on-the-street style news segments on the crumbling infrastructure of Philadelphia. Their performances are as much a product of curiosity as they are the impetus of larger conversations, which they moderate with tactful wit.

Jenny Drumgoole is a Philadelphia-based artist who inserts herself into marginal spaces for pseudo-celebrity within popular culture. She recently infiltrated an online marketing campaign by Philadelphia Cream Cheese in which “Paula Deen” would select the best recipe from contestants across the country. Each week, women would upload a video of their cream cheese recipe, and the community would vote, those who were favored moved ahead. Jenny’s initial recipe video was how to sculpt a cream cheese bust of Rambo, naturally she was an instant favorite. She moved from round to round, each time her video recipes getting more bizarre, but the people loved them. Ultimately, she was invited to meet Paula Deen herself, who had been cheering her on from the beginning. In Show The People What They’ve Won, Jenny exhibits the culmination of this artistic journey from participating in an ad campaign to empowering women across the country.


We See The Stars

November 18, 2016 — January 26, 2017
The Delware Contemporary

Featuring video work by Veronica Cianfrano, Hillary Hanak and Kelly Murray, Amy Hicks, Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Edward Ramsay-Morin, Ryan Murray, Quentin Quinn, Qin Tan
 

Science has been steadily catching up with fiction. Jules Verne wrote about sending humans to the moon in a metal bullet fired from Earth’s surface, and one hundred years later NASA turned his fantasy into reality with Apollo. Star Trek showed us a world of wireless telecommunications and virtual sensory instruments, and merely decades later we carry those tools in our pockets. The rate at which science meets its fictional counterpart is quickening, but so is the rate at which our imaginations can conceive of grander achievements.

The earliest humans must have wondered about the night sky; we are still trying to answer those ancient queries. Their early curiosities were written into our DNA; two million years later we have walked the moon, photographed Pluto, and made early forays to Mars. That instinctual wonder has echoed down the eons and pushed us into space to touch the stars.

The artists in We See The Stars juxtapose traditional narrative structures with non-linear digital video art to explore our relationship with outer space. Some use filmic techniques to create a world in which they explore our relationship with space, some use durational performance reinterpreted through a computer, some create visual, textural experiences to delve into dimensionality. In every case, the artist reaches out to, or into, space, passing celestial curiosity into a new age.

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury best summed up our hunger to defy our limits when he said, “We see the stars, and we want them.”