The Museum is open to the public. View COVID-19 Health & Safety Procedures.

Community Cleanups and a Parade Encourage the Public to Serve 

The Delaware Art Museum once again partners with the Wilmington community for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Monday, January 18, 2021 honors the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a national day of service that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy, and the Museum invites the community to volunteer for One Village Alliance and West Side Grows outdoor cleanups in the morning and early afternoon, via pre-registration, and to participate in the Peace March beginning at 2 p.m.

One Village Alliance, whose mission is to grow historically marginalized youth into their true greatness through education, economic development, and the arts, is a frequent partner of the Museum. The Alliance has moved into a new Freedom Center at 31st and Market Streets and has asked the community to help make the new space beautiful on this annual day of service. Individuals, pods, or household groups will work outside, socially distanced, to paint walls, maintain landscaping, create chalk messages of peace, and help with exterior cleanup. 

Participants are asked to pre-register for a timeslot between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The outdoor event at 31 West 31st Street requires participants to wear a mask. In lieu of or in addition to volunteering, donations are also encouraged. During the cleanup, vocal artists will perform, starting at 11 a.m.

Museum Audience Engagement Specialist Iz Balleto, who helped organize the partnership with One Village Alliance, said, “It is important the Delaware Art Museum backs up the community, especially on MLK Day. It is a day of activism, and one in which we take a moment to listen to the people on the ground. What better way to begin to heal than to work together, physically restoring our own community?”

West Side Grows Together is a coalition of residents, businesses, churches, and local leadership from the Cool Spring, Hilltop, Little Italy and The Flats neighborhoods. During an annual Community Clean Up and Peace March, participants will clean and beautify the exterior of the Teen Warehouse, 1121 Thatcher Street, as well as Be Ready CDC, 1411 W. 4th Street, and Helen Chambers Playground, 600 North Madison Street. Volunteers will clean the Peace March route, which runs along 4th Street, under I-95, and near the Adams Four Shopping Center.

Cleanup of the Teen Warehouse will begin at 10 a.m., the Be Ready CDC and Helen Chambers Playground begins at 11 a.m. The Peace March will begin at 2 p.m. at the Hicks Anderson Center, 501 North Madison Street. Parking is available onsite.

Pre-registration is required for the cleanups, but not the march. Face masks are required for any in-person events.

Balleto added, “Through the partnerships we have built over the years with One Village Alliance and West Side Grows, it’s only right to extend our hand and to foster those who have made the sacrifice to assist others through community service…and applying artivism at the same time,” referencing the term for activism through art.

The Museum recommends other ways to serve for those who cannot volunteer: donating school supplies or purchasing a Museum Art Kit for a family. The public is welcome to drop off new or like-new supplies at the Delaware Art Museum before January 18, during open hours, for One Village Alliance to distribute to students in need. A $20 donation provides an art kit, full of fun art supplies and a project inspired by the Museum’s collection, to a family in need.

Partnering with community organizations on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speaks to the Museum’s mission “to connect people to art, offering an inclusive and essential community resource that through its collections, exhibitions, and programs, generates creative energy that sustains, enriches, empowers, and inspires,” and its vision, which includes strengthened connections to the community.

This event is a partnership with One Village Alliance, Guerrilla Republik, Center for Interventional Pain & Spine, and 302 Guns Down. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Please contact Amelia Wiggins, Assistant Director of Learning and Engagement, at awiggins@delart.org or 302-351-8503.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art on display outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Changes for 2020 Include Outdoor Setting, Masks, and Added Food and Beverage Options

Reenergizing a beloved annual event, the Delaware Art Museum will continue its tradition of a Winter Festival, this year situating it al fresco. DelArt invites the community to celebrate the season during a family-friendly market and entertainment event on the Museum grounds on Saturday, December 12 from 10 am to 4 pm.

The event is free for Members and $5 for nonmembers. To comply with social distancing guidelines, capacity is limited; therefore, reserved and timed tickets are required. Guests will be asked to wear masks unless seated and eating or drinking. A ticket also entitles the bearer to Museum admission that day.

Guests can shop from regional artisans and local fine food and beverage purveyors, and listen to festive music performed by traveling carolers. In addition to the unique, high-quality wares DelArt has always presented, guests can shop for consumable fine foods and local beverages. Vendor registration is not yet complete, but vendors to date include:

Anna Biggs Designs – Handcarved Gold and Silver Jewelry
Angela Colasanti of VIELA Jewelry – Jewelry, Keepsakes, and Greetings
Flowers by Yukie – Wreaths, Boxwood Trees, Holiday Plants, and Ornaments
SunSobo LLC – All Natural Hibiscus and Ginger Tea
John A. Styer – Turned Wood
Works of Art – Custom Pens and Fishing Rods
Sassy Bee Honey – Raw & Infused Honey, Natural Bath, Body & Beard Products, Beeswax Candles & More
Hope’s Caramels – Soft, Artsian Caramels and other Caramel Products
Crooked Hammock Brewery – Beer Samples and Takeaways
Fusions Taster’s Choice – Olive Oils, Vinegars, and Olives
Paper Greenhouse – Paper Botanicals
The Fairy Potter – Hand Built White Clay/Porcelain Fairy Cottages
Meaghan Paige – Original Handmade Designs and Accessories
Classic Elegance – Quality Leather Goods and Seating
Heather Ossandon, HEOS Ceramics – Ceramics
Wilmington Brew Works – Locally Crafted Beer
Visuelleculture – Knitwear

Director of Operations Heather Morrissey said, “This event has evolved from prior years to accommodate COVID safety guidelines. The biggest change is moving it outdoors, an idea we’ve toyed with for the past few years, and which has become a necessity. We are aiming for a more ‘vintage holiday market’ feel than just pop-up shopping.”

There will be outdoor heaters, but guests are also welcome to enter the Museum to warm up and visit the galleries and Museum Store for more unique gifts.

Should weather interfere with the event, Sunday, December 13 has been selected as the makeup date. DelArt’s weekend hours are 10 am to 4 pm. For more information, visit delart.org.

Sponsors

Event sponsorship provided by Shoprite Supermarkets. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Press Contact



Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

About the Delaware Art Museum



For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art on display outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Photographs of Local Heroes on View Starting November 11

The Delaware Art Museum will present a celebration of essential workers throughout Wilmington with a photography exhibition launching on November 11, 2020, in the Museum’s Orientation Hallway.

COVID-19 and the response to stop the spread of the virus reminded nearly the whole world just how much it relies on essential workers. The initial focus was on thanking first responders such as doctors, nurses, and emergency personnel. But it quickly became evident that so many other kinds of workers—bus drivers, grocery cashiers, farmers, dry cleaners, and more—are essential to supporting our communities.

This photography project, Essential Workers Photography Campaign, created by Operation Technician Iz Balleto and Teaching Artist and Curator in Residence JaQuanne LeRoy, shows the faces and voices of the many people who have kept our Wilmington community going since the start of the current health crisis. It will combine portraits with personal stories of working on the front lines, exploring what essential work entails and honoring those individuals who continue to dedicate their lives to their work every day.

Balleto, who lost a cousin to COVID-19, was inspired by his own experience as an essential worker at the Delaware Art Museum to create the campaign. Even a closed museum has critical operational needs.

“I was looking at empty walls in the Museum. I was essential, and still report every day. Apart from that, I thought about everybody else who was going to work. Not everyone had the opportunity to work from home: we had to get up no matter what.”

Balleto added, “What’s essential to a community is different than the definition of first responders. I wanted to highlight the people out here in Wilmington, the heroes in our community, who are more than just doctors and nurses. There are people who take care of children and the elderly; people who make sure we have food, from the bodega to the grocery to the bakery – they all matter. This is a love and a sacrifice.”

LeRoy was selected to curate the campaign, tapping photographer Luna Visions to shoot the subjects, and creating a questionnaire for the subjects as a way to collect information for the captions. Luna Visions’ work can be found on Instagram under @lunavisions.

LeRoy said, “Corner store bodegas represented an area of essential work that stood out for me. Growing up in Wilmington, the bodega was a staple, meeting your immediate needs without having to go to a grocery store.”

He added, “Understanding most of those are small businesses run by families and the risk they undertook to be open for the community, I thought that was very special and was happy to see as a part of this campaign. Those decisions where you might have to groom someone else to step up and be more involved when elderly people are at risk changes that family dynamic.”

Like Balleto, LeRoy experienced the effects of COVID-19 in his family. His uncle works for the Wilmington Port Authority, where fresh fruits and food supplies come into the community, and upon learning his uncle was in the hospital with the coronavirus, LeRoy’s perspective on who an essential worker was changed.

Molly Giordano, Interim Executive Director, said, “So many people have supported us in 2020, ensuring that our needs are met and our families remain healthy and cared for. We believe art is an essential resource, and by utilizing the arts, we connect and celebrate our community.”

The exhibition is set to open on Veterans Day. The Museum is open every Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hours extended to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

Sponsors

Sponsored by M&T Bank. Support provided by Center for Interventional Pain & Spine. In partnership with Guerrilla Republik. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Press Contact

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art on display outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

The Delaware Art Museum (DelArt) has received a $20,000 grant from Bank of America to support the arts in our community. This generous contribution will help the Museum connect people with the arts and each other through virtual and hybrid programs.

This fall, DelArt plans to continue providing safe arts engagement to our community. Programs like virtual school tours and art activity kits will provide standards-based arts education for youth in Wilmington. Other programs like our Healing through the Arts help participants heal from trauma through virtual slow art tours. In addition, we are extending our popular Happy Hours into the fall season and showing drive-in movies with DelArt Cinema. These and more innovative programs can be found on our website: delart.org.

Bank of America’s gift along with donations from DuPont and the National Endowment for the Arts’ CARES Act are supporting DelArt as we provide invaluable, community-centered programs during this pandemic. “Bank of America has been advancing the arts in our community for over 20 years,” says Molly Giordano, Interim Executive Director at DelArt. “We really appreciate Bank of America’s continued support–especially during this difficult year.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on many cultural organizations, and it is important to provide our support to ensure their continued viability,” said Chip Rossi, Delaware market president for Bank of America. “The Delaware Art Museum plays a significant role in our community and we are committed to assisting their mission of connecting people to culturally enriching experiences.”

This enduring partnership helps make Wilmington a more vibrant place to live. The 2017 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report for the state of Delaware from the Americans for the Arts calculates economic impact of arts institutions. According to this study, each year DelArt creates 160 full-time equivalent jobs, $4,508,167 in resident household income, $67,096 in local government revenue, and $338,248 in state government revenue.

The grant is part of Bank of America’s philanthropic giving efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs, medical response, and workforce development for individuals and families, in particular during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sponsors

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences.

Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

About Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.

Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts. www.bankofamerica.com

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A Museum is more than what’s inside its walls and from September through November, the Delaware Art Museum will connect people to art both outdoors and online.

Happy Hour on the Museum Terrace takes place every Thursday from 5–7:30 pm through October 15 (weather permitting). These free events feature cool beverages from the cash bar and live music and performances such as Joseph Whitney on steel drums (September 24), Toni “Big Cat” Smith Quartet (October 1) and Dance Works in Progress (October 15). Food provided by Los Taquitos De Puebla, with a menu that includes several kinds of tacos and vegetarian offerings. Following Happy Hour on September 24, Spokey Speaky reggae concert will perform a free concert at 7 pm which will also be live streamed.

On September 26 and 27, Delaware Shakespeare will present Shakespeare in the Garden; theatrical selections performed in the Copeland Sculpture Garden. At 4:30pm and 6pm each night, Delaware Shakespeare actors will perform in front of six sculptures during a 60-minute walking tour of the Copeland Sculpture Garden. Tickets are $25 for Non-Members. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Alternating Thursdays in September and October also invite movie lovers to drive-in for classic films presented in partnership with DelArt Cinema: The Maltese Falcon, September 17, The Birdcage, October 1, North by Northwest, October 15, and Frankenstein, October 29. Rain dates are on subsequent Friday nights. Start times vary from 8–8:45 pm. Tickets begin at $17 and include popcorn and soft drinks, with upgrades available. Advanced purchase only.

Marking the change of season, the community is invited to take a special meditative walk through the Museum’s labyrinth at the Anthony N. Fusco Reservoir on the annual Fall Equinox Labyrinth Walk, September 22 from 10­–11 am.

On Family 2nd Sunday, October 11, families are invited to enjoy a Story Walk in the Copeland Sculpture Garden. The children’s story Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold will be installed along the Museum’s outdoor pathways for families to discover.

To honor ancestors and lives lost to COVID-19, the Museum is hosting a free outdoor Día de los Muertos event on Saturday, October 31 from 1–4pm. We will observe the holiday with a ceremony and labyrinth walk, ofrenda installations for guests to contribute pictures and quotes to, Azteca dancers, vendors, and food by Los Taquitos de Puebla.

While outdoor events are mostly taking place on evenings and weekends, online events offer opportunities to foster creativity throughout the week.

Every third Thursday at Noon, Art Chats take place on the video platform Zoom. The topic of Plant LIFE in the City is planned for September 17. Environmental Social Scientist Dr. Jame McCray and JaQuanne LeRoy, Teaching Artist and Curator in Residence for the Delaware Art Museum, Delaware College of Art and Design, and Chris White Gallery will discuss an art-science exploration that engaged local artists in the subject of environmental justice. Additional Art Chats are planned with curators and other special guests on October 15 and beyond. Art Chats are free for Members, and $7 for non-Members.

The Museum’s monthly slow art tour goes virtual, and adds a meditative artmaking experience. Healing Through the Arts: Virtual Slow Art and Artful Meditation takes place September 20. Registration is free, and participants will receive a Zoom link upon registration.

Experience the Delaware Korean Festival from the comfort of your home starting October 2. The Museum will virtually co-host this year’s free festival through on our website and social media. The 30-minute program includes how to make Japchae (Korean noodles), Korean martial arts, an introduction to the Korean language, and a short film about a second generation Korean-American’s life. This program is produced by the Delaware Korean Association with support from the Korean government.

Other opportunities to take a deep dive into art, virtually, include Art is Tasty on the first Friday of the month at Noon and two Inside Look discussions in November. The October 2 Art is Tasty will discuss the Museum’s Labyrinth over a 30-minute Zoom chat. Free for Members; $7 for Non-Members.

Inside Look: Parade de Paysans takes place virtually on Friday, November 20, Noon, and Sunday, November 22, 2 pm. This free, in-depth dialogue will focus on Loïs Mailou Jones’ painting, led by University of Delaware Art History graduate student Kristin Nassif.

Even free events may require registration, so visit each event’s page on delart.org for further details. Events may have capacity limits and Zoom events require registration in order for participants to receive their Zoom links.

Acknowledgement of Support

This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. Support provided by Art Bridges.

Press Contact

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art on display outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Event on October 1 features an in-person panel with a professional film crew

WILMINGTON, Del. — Since 2018, the Conversations with Women Making a Difference series has brought audiences to the Delaware Art Museum for vibrant discussions among women leading change and breaking boundaries. The Museum is one of the recipients of funds raised by this event.

The Delaware Art Museum is committed to expanding their collection of art by female artists and to increasing solo exhibitions by female artists. This reflects the Museums mission to address race, gender, and diversity gaps within the museum field and to represent more fully the range of individuals that shape the history of art.

For the first time, on Thursday, October 1, 2020, Blue Blaze Associates will present a virtual conversation.  Carol Arnott-Robbins, founder of series sponsor NEWS4Women,will moderate the in-person panel and discussion will be streamed live on Zoom by a professional film crew at The Mill.

Virtual attendees will enjoy a live discussion and Q&A session followed by networking opportunities with the panelists. Tickets are $25, and all 2020 proceeds benefit the Delaware Art Museum and Fund for Women. Visit www.BlueBlaze.org for tickets and event details.

“We have received rave reviews for the unscripted and candid conversations we’ve hosted in the past,” comments Wendy Scott, co-founder of Blue Blaze Associates. “Our priority in moving to a live stream environment is to preserve the authenticity of these events. With the panelists and facilitator together in real life, we’re looking forward to the same engaging and thought-provoking experience our audiences have come to appreciate.”

The three panelists for October 1 will be:

Colleen Perry Keith – President of Goldey-Beacom College

Colleen Perry Keith is the new president of Goldey-Beacom College and the first woman to hold the position in the school’s 133-year history. In addition, she was the first woman president at the last two colleges where she worked.

Before coming to Delaware, Colleen served as president at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina and as president of Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina. Under her leadership, Pfeiffer significantly increased enrollment, created the Office of Digital Transformation and Technology, launched two graduate health science programs, and moved the University from NCAA Division II to Division III athletics. Her strong financial management also led the institution to substantial debt reduction and significant support from USDA for capital projects and debt refinancing.

Colleen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton; Master of Education Degree, Education Counseling from University of Pittsburgh; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. She is also a breast cancer survivor.

Melody Phillips – Director of Operations for The Warehouse

Melody Phillips is the director for a new teen center being developed in northeast Wilmington. Run for teens and by teens, The Warehouse will offer comprehensive after-school opportunities for up to 700 teens in one of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. Teens are empowered to lead, prototype, and design programming that they believe will have the greatest impact on their success as they transition from adolescence to adulthood.

The Warehouse is part of a multi-million dollar community revitalization project planned by REACH Riverside. In addition to her DOO role at The Warehouse, Melody serves as Chair of the Workforce Development Committee for REACH Riverside.

Melody is also the Co-Founder and Board Chairwoman of I Am My Sister’s Keeper, an organization that provides rites of passage curriculum, leadership development, and social-emotional skills training to girls 12 to 18 years old.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph’s University and a Masters of Arts in Forensic Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In 2019, Delaware Today honored Melody with a Women in Business award.

Latifa Ihsan Ali – CEO and Head Designer of LiaWear Action

Latifa Ihsan Ali is a Muslimah American fashion designer and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping women get active and keep modest. Her company, LiaWear Action, was born out of the desire to empower Muslim women to pursue the activities they love. The hijab solutions she designs allow women to strengthen themselves through exercise, travel, and adventure. She launched her line of modest swimsuits and sportswear in 2011 and has been encouraging women to get out and run, jog, kick, bike, hike, swim, splash, dive, and dance their way to fitness.

Latifa’s designs are inspired by her travels abroad, including Middle Eastern countries, as well as popular American trends in athletic wear. Her creations were showcased in the Haute and Modesty Fashion Show of DC Fashion Week, the Faith and Fashion Forum held at F.I.T. in New York, the International Sisters Network Annual Fashion Show in Maryland, and the Annual UMM Sisters Fashion Show in Philadelphia. She was awarded the Golden Minaret Award for Best in Fashion from the Academy of Muslim Achievement in 2017.

Latifa is from Wilmington and graduated from John Dickinson High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Apparel Design from the University of Delaware.

Conversations with Women Making a Difference in Delaware is a series presented by Blue Blaze Associates and sponsored by NEWS4Women. Each event features a different panel of inspiring women discussing a variety of topics including career highlights, life lessons, and hard-earned wisdom. Proceeds are donated to nonprofits.

For additional updates, find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConversationswithWomenDE/.

Presenter: Blue Blaze Associates is a full-service marketing & design agency. We’re a certified Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) serving a variety of clients in the for-profit, nonprofit, and government sectors. We’re passionate about building distinctive brands that are authentic, relevant, and memorable.

Panel Facilitator & Series Sponsor: Carol Arnott-Robbins is the founder of NEWS4Women (Network to Encourage Women’s Support 4 Women), an initiative to build collaborative community and economic opportunities for women, and to support local nonprofit organizations. She is also a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach.

2020 Partners & Beneficiaries: Delaware Art Museum, Fund for Women Delaware, and Spur Impact

2020 Media Sponsors: Delaware Today, Delaware Business Times, and Delaware Business Now

Wilmington, DE — In a continuing effort to connect people to the arts during COVID-19, the Delaware Art Museum has partnered with DelArt Cinema to offer biweekly drive-in movies on the Museum’s grounds in the Copeland Sculpture Garden. Film buffs can enjoy socially-distant, crowd-pleasing classics in genres ranging from noir to spy to comedy to vintage horror. The movies, which take place every other Thursday (with subsequent Friday evenings dedicated to rain dates), are scheduled through October 29, weather permitting. Admission is $19 per person and includes food and beverage, with a discount extended to Museum members; admission by advanced purchase only.

The September selections are Pulp Fiction and The Maltese Falcon, and the movies begin at approximately 8:45 p.m. October selections are The Birdcage, North by Northwest, and Frankenstein, and begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. After check-in, guests select food and drinks, which are handed to them in their vehicles. Moviegoers are asked to arrive no later than 20 minutes before show time; late arrivals will be parked at the Museum’s discretion. Gates open at 7:45 p.m. for all shows. FM radio transmission is required to hear the movies, and masks are required for interaction with staff and restroom visits.

Marion Jackson, Director of Operations for DelArt Cinema, described the film selection process, “With so much of the world in disarray, it makes the current day feel morbid. We wanted to offer a selection of films that allows our guests to break out of that headspace. We tried to pick stories that are strong enough to make the world around them melt away, if only for an hour or two.”

Lauren McMahon, Delaware Art Museum’s Event and Rentals Manager, said, “While the Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday for visitors, these outdoor, after-hours events align with the Museum’s commitment to balancing relevance and sustainability. We are offering our beautiful campus in a safe way to community members for whom film is a source of enjoyment and bonding.”

Dates and synopses for each film:

Pulp Fiction, September 3. This 1994 neo-noir black comedy features innumerable stars, most notably, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman. It won the Palme D’Or at Cannes and took Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscars, landing it on the National Film Registry. The source for scores of humorous memes and an iconic dance routine, the movie also prophetically introduced the realities of opioid use into the common American vernacular. Rated R.

The Maltese Falcon, September 17. Continuing the noir theme, this 1941 film showcases Humphrey Bogart as a private eye, with John Huston at the directorial helm. Bogart’s Sam Spade navigates the criminal underworld in search of a bejeweled bird. It was one of the first 25 films on the National Film Registry, and is considered by some to be the first major film noir. The studio asked for Bogart’s lines to be delivered faster, thus setting the stage for the noir genre’s signature “rat-a-tat” speaking pace. Said blinged out bird was sold to a movie memorabilia collector for $4 million in 2013. Not rated.

The Birdcage, October 1. While by no means noir, this 1996 film, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, nonetheless relies on secret identities to drive its plot: boy’s two “out” dads meet girl’s conservative mom and dad. The introduction of gay and drag culture into conservative settings as a punchline may strike some as dated in 2020, but in 1996, as in 1983 when La Cage aux Folles became a Broadway hit, it was groundbreaking. Mainstream films that delved into the humanity of gay couples were few and far between, as were drag performers portrayed through something other than the man-in-a-dress gag. The Screen Actors Guild awarded the cast an Outstanding Performance award. Rated R.

North by Northwest, October 15. Sure, this 1959 Hitchcock spy thriller hits all the genre’s important buttons: mistaken identity, a conflicted femme fatale, smuggling a microfilm (a “MacGuffin”) of government secrets on a moving train, kidnapping, and murder. But it’s a don’t-miss for another reason: Cary Grant and James Mason may have two of the most recognizable voices in movie history. Another National Film Registry pick and number 40 on American Film Institute’s 100 greatest movies of all time, it’s the first movie to feature extensive kinetic typography in its opening credits and has a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. GQ magazine named Grant’s movie costume the best suit in film history and the most influential on men’s style. Not rated.

Frankenstein, October 29. This 1931 film features Boris Karloff as Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. It is on the National Film Registry and sits at number 87 on the American Film Institute’s 100 greatest movies of all time. While the film’s subject is widely known and its horror may seem tame to modern viewers, Kansas censors requested as many 32 scenes cut from the reel due to accusations of blasphemy. Rated PG.

Reflecting on previous Delaware Art Museum drive-in movies, Jackson added, “We have gotten some great feedback from our guests. A couple that came to see Some Like It Hot gleefully remarked that, in their younger years, their first date was a drive-in. We’ve had parents, excited to relive a piece of their childhood, introducing their own kids to drive-in films for the first time. Evoking those kinds of feelings and bringing some light into these dark times was exactly what we hoped for when we chose our films.”

Every paid ticket entitles the guest to a popcorn and a soda or water. Ticket upgrades include candy or snacks such as chocolate bars, gummies, pretzels, nuts, cookies, crackers, or chips, as well as beer or wine.

No sitter? While not all of the movie topics are family fare, kids ages 6 and under are free, so they could, theoretically, snooze in the back seat. Museum restrooms will be available in the studio wing.

This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Delaware Art Museum and DelArt Cinema Present Drive-in Pulp Fiction
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020 (rain date Friday, Sept. 4), approximately 8:45 p.m., gates open 7:45 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum Copeland Sculpture Garden, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free—$19 (food upgrades available; discount for members)
INFO: delart.org

WHAT: Delaware Art Museum and DelArt Cinema Present Drive-in The Maltese Falcon
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 (rain date Friday, Sept. 18), approximately 8:45 p.m., gates open 7:45 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum Copeland Sculpture Garden, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free—$19 (food upgrades available; discount for members)
INFO: delart.org

WHAT: Delaware Art Museum and DelArt Cinema Present Drive-in The Birdcage
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 (rain date Friday, Oct. 2), approximately 8:30 p.m., gates open 7:45 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum Copeland Sculpture Garden, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free—$19 (food upgrades available; discount for members)
INFO: delart.org

WHAT: Delaware Art Museum and DelArt Cinema Present Drive-in North by Northwest
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 (rain date Friday, Oct. 16), approximately 8:30 p.m., gates open 7:45 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum Copeland Sculpture Garden, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free—$19 (food upgrades available; discount for members)
INFO: delart.org

WHAT: Delaware Art Museum and DelArt Cinema Present Drive-in Frankenstein
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 (rain date Friday, Oct. 30), approximately 8:30 p.m., gates open 7:45 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum Copeland Sculpture Garden, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free—$19 (food upgrades available; discount for members)
INFO: delart.org

The Delaware Art Museum is pleased to announce the Creative Spacers Youth Art Contest, a continuation of the Creative Spacers project. Delaware residents between the ages of 6-19 can submit works of original art that creatively convey a theme of hope, love, social distancing, or pandemic safety. The contest, which will be open from July 20 to August 10, is intended to spread awareness of safety practices as well as encourage, engage, and celebrate young artists during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“All submissions must be original, 12 x 12 square 2D works.” The five works in each age category (6-13 and 14-19) that are most effective and creative at conveying the themes will be compensated with a gift card to a local art supply store. Scans of the artwork will be displayed at the Museum in late August. The originals will be retained by the Museum for use in the 12 x 12 Student Exhibition in 2021.

The Creative Spacers Youth Art Contest aligns with the Museum’s commitment to civic engagement through community outreach and participation. “Aside from commissioning a diverse group of local adult artists for the Creative Spacers project, we wanted to include a younger generation of aspiring artists during a time when many are stuck at home,” says Lillia Schmidt, Community Engagement Intern, who is working closely with Jonathan Whitney, the Museum’s Manager of Performance Programs and Community Engagement, on the contest.

For more information on eligibility, requirements, and submission instructions, click here.

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Scheduled for late March, the opening of Layered Abstraction: Helen Mason and Margo Allman was delayed due to Covid-19 and the Museum’s subsequent closure. Now, with our recent reopening, Layered Abstraction is on view for the public.

For more than 50 years, Margo Allman and Helen Mason have challenged traditional expectations for contemporary art in the greater Wilmington area. The Delaware Art Museum celebrates these two pioneering artists with a Distinguished Artist Series retrospective in its premier exhibition gallery space through January 17, 2021.

Both Allman and Mason have dedicated their artistic careers to exploring the infinite possibilities of abstraction. Margo Allman’s work was first exhibited at the Museum during its 43rd Annual Delaware Show in 1956. Since then, Allman has participated in countless juried and curated shows at the Museum and throughout the region. Her prints, paintings, and sculptures, which are inspired by nature, bring form to the invisible. Layered Abstraction will feature more than 50 of Allman’s works of art, including her early 1950s avant-garde prints; her sculptures in marble, wood, concrete, and synthetic fiber from the 70s and 80s; her signature series of ovoidal paintings; and her graphic drawings dating from 2004 to 2019.

Helen Mason, who arrived in Delaware in 1967, has exhibited at the Delaware Art Museum and played an active role on the Delaware State Arts Council—all while teaching generations of students at the Tatnall School in Wilmington. Materiality is a consistent inspiration for Mason, as is Minimal art and the Japanese techniques of layering, bundling, gathering, knotting, and folding. Layered Abstraction will feature more than 80 works of art by Mason, including her jewelry, paintings, and ceramics from the 1970s through today, and selections from her 1988 Delaware Art Museum./

About Margo Allman

Margo Allman is an abstract artist who works in painting, printmaking, and sculpture. She attended Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia where she studied with the abstract expressionist artist Leonard Nelson. She also pursued further study with Hans Hofmann. Since 1954, Allman has participated in countless solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at the Delaware Art Museum, the Biggs Museum of American Art, and the West Chester University Art Gallery. Her work is also featured in many regional collections, including the Delaware Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“My life in art and its driving preoccupation is to both explore and form my emotions, my yearnings and the mysteries of nature,” says Allman. “My never-ending goal is to enrich others with the quality of my true and unique talents.”

About Helen Mason

Helen Mason received her MFA from the University of Delaware and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design/Brown University. Among her many honors are a National Endowment for the Arts/Delaware State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, a Gulbenkian Foundation Grant, and a Delaware Art Museum Purchase Award. She was appointed by the Governor to the Board of the Delaware State Arts Council serving two terms, served on the Board of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, and directed the Art Program as Chairman at the Tatnall School in Wilmington. Mason’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the American Craft Museum (MAD) in NY, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC, the Biggs Museum in DE, the Delaware Art Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Vonderau Museum in Germany, Takashimya Gallery in Japan, and the Aaron Faber Gallery in NY. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Delaware Art Museum, the Hercules Powder Co in DE, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art in MI, and the High Museum.

“As a sculptor, I see myself constructing shapes that are self-contained, uncompromising, and singular, often thinking in different scales to explore an idea,” says Mason. “My inspiration is drawn from Minimalism and the stability and refinement of geometric forms. The color black is always a constant, incorporating a strong influence of the East, symbolizing mystery, serenity, and elegance. My motivation is a search for innovative ways to test convention, always with the desire to break the boundaries between art and craft.”

Press Contact

Media interviews with both artists are available upon request. Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302.351.8514 To to request and interview.

Acknowledgement of Support

Layered Abstraction: Margo Allman & Helen Mason was organized by the Delaware Art Museum. This exhibition is made possible by the Emily du Pont Memorial Exhibition Fund and is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

In 2018, the Museum partnered with 19 organizations throughout the city of Wilmington to mark 50 years since the powerful and community-changing public response that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968. The civil disturbances in Wilmington, which were followed by a nine-month occupation by the Delaware National Guard, left an indelible mark on the community.

Artist Hank Willis Thomas was commissioned by the Museum to respond to the events of 1968 through the creation of a new work of art that shed light on this complicated moment in the city’s history. Following the 2018 exhibition, the Museum acquired Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot from Thomas for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Two years later, Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot has been reinstalled and is on view now through September 27. 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 that is titled Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot.

The Delaware Art Museum rehung this poignant work of art in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests happening in Wilmington and around the world. The Museum is committed to supporting its community as it grapples with the emotional anxiety and strain of the violent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others as a result of systemic racism. As is laid out in its strategic vision, the Museum will continue to work with its partners to address critical social issues affecting its communities through civic discourse and creative expression.

The Delaware Art Museum reopened on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Museum Members received two weeks of exclusive access before opening to the general public on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The Museum will be free to the public from July 15-August 1.

To keep guests safe, Plexiglas shields have been installed at the front desk and in the Museum Store and all transactions are cashless, so visitors are encouraged to remember their credit cards. Guests are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The Thronson Café is be closed until further notice. Maps and brochures are only available electronically for the time being.

The Museum has returned to its regular operating hours, which are as follows: Monday and Tuesday: closed; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm; Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm.

Acknowledgment of Support

This exhibition is organized by the Delaware Art Museum. This exhibition t is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Press Contact

To request an interview, please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

Top: How to Live through a Police Riot [Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot] (detail), 2018, Hank Willis Thomas (born 1976), Screen print on retroreflective vinyl with aluminum backing, 62 x 48 inches. Delaware Art Museum, F. V. du Pont Acquisition Fund, 2019. Commissioned by the Delaware Art Museum. Photograph of Wilmington Riots and National Guard Occupation by Frank Fahey, 1968. Courtesy of The News Journal. Text from Northeast Conservation Association, Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot, c. 1960s. Daniels Collection, courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society. © Hank Willis Thomas.

Award-winning, best-selling author Erin Entrada Kelly to give virtual keynote address

The Delaware Art Museum is hosting its fourth annual Wilmington Writers Conference, but this year all events will be offered online. The theme of Untold Stories will be explored through the virtual keynote address, a full slate of craft sessions via Zoom, and online networking opportunities.

“The Wilmington Writers Conference has been popular in the past, but this year, since everything will be offered online, we are looking forward to broadening our audience and including participants of all experience levels and backgrounds from Delaware and beyond,” said Eliza Jarvis, Manager of Youth Learning and Creative Partnerships and Conference Chair.

The virtual conference will kick off at 7 pm on Friday, July 17 with a virtual keynote address by acclaimed author Erin Entrada Kelly, who received the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe, the 2017 APALA Award for The Land of Forgotten Girls, and the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird Fly, among other honors. She is a New York Times bestselling author whose work has been translated into several languages. Her fifth book and first fantasy, Lalani of the Distant Sea, received six starred reviews and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Public Library, The Horn Book, Booklist, BookPage, and others. All of Erin Entrada Kelly’s books are Junior Library Guild Selections. In 2018, Hello, Universe and You Go First were both acquired for adaptation. Hello, Universe is being adapted by Netflix, and You Go First is being adapted for the stage. Kelly’s keynote address on Friday, July 17 will be free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration. Signed copies of Erin’s books, including We Dream of Space, will be available for sale at the Museum Store.

Writers and aspiring writers of all backgrounds are welcome to register for up to two craft sessions on Saturday, July 18 at the rate of $15 for Members of the Delaware Art Museum, $20 for Non-Members, and $10 for students.

The craft sessions on Saturday, July 18 feature a diverse range of offerings:

  • Lois Hoffman, The Happy Self Publisher—Write! Publish! Sell!
  • Cass Lewis—Fighting Fear Through Voice
  • Gary Zenker—Jumpstart Your Creativity Using Flash Fiction
  • Carol Maurer—Using a Labyrinth as a Creative Tool
  • Caroline N. Simpson—Exercising the Mind’s Eye
  • J. Bryan Tuk, Esq.—Copyright Law: The Artist’s Best Friend
  • Dennis Lawson—Turning Lemons into (Fictional) Lemonade
  • Maria J. Keane—Mary Magdalene: Sinner and/or Saint—Let’s Get it Right!
  • Jacinta S. Fontenelle—A Perspective on Immigration in the United States: Untold Stories
  • Margaret Montet—The Charms of Travel Writing

The conference will conclude at 5 pm on Saturday, July 18 with an all-conference share-back, a series of breakout groups in which participants will be invited to share stories from the day, read pieces of new writing, and network. Bring a drink and a snack and make it a virtual happy hour!

For more information about the Wilmington Writers Conference, including artist biographies, session descriptions, and registration, please visit delart.org.

This program is sponsored by the Art Bridges Foundation and The Happy Self Publisher. This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Grant to support 2021 restaging of the 1971 exhibition “Afro-American Images”

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved an Art Works award of $25,000 to the Delaware Art Museum for the 2021 restaging of Afro-American Images 1971. This is one of 1,015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.

The exhibition, on view October 23, 2021 through January 23, 2022, will reunite 130 works of art in various media by 66 artists of color from an exhibition that took place in 1971 in the Armory in Wilmington. This restaging marks the 50th anniversary of the original exhibition, organized by the local arts organization known as Aesthetic Dynamics. The Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art, Margaret Winslow, and Aesthetic Dynamics’ Vice President, Arnold Hurtt, have organized the exhibition with support from an extensive community advisory committee.

The exhibition explores the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on major influencers such as James A. Porter, Percy Ricks, and Aesthetic Dynamics. Visitors can expect to examine different definitions of Black art through a critical lens and to learn about local contributions to the national Black Arts Movement. Accompanying the visual art is a digital humanities project that aims to collect oral histories from community members. The Museum encourages anyone interested in sharing their knowledge or experience concerning the original 1971 exhibition, the Black Arts Movement, or Wilmington’s artistic history to contact our Curator of Contemporary Art at mwinslow@delart.org or at 302-351-8539.

“Through this restaging, we are combatting historical amnesia and doing everything that we can to ensure that the archival record is as complete as possible,” says Winslow. “With the 2021 presentation of Afro-American Images, we have a remarkable opportunity to look back at how Wilmington played a role in the Black Arts Movement. What were the reasons for Ricks’ exhibition then and what stories does it tell today? Why was the Delaware Art Museum not an active partner with Aesthetic Dynamics in 1971? Today, the Delaware Art Museum seeks to bring art into the lives of the community in ways that support myriad interests and involves authentic civic engagement. Restaging the original exhibition, 50 years later, addresses numerous historic gaps such as the biased archival record and lack of local institutional support. By collaborating with Aesthetic Dynamics members 50 years later the Delaware Art Museum is afforded the opportunity to investigate its engagement with the Black community. As we certainly see in the Museum’s own renewed focus on acquiring work specifically of women and artists of color, this is still such an important aspect of the curatorial work that we do at this museum.”

The lack of research about this historic exhibition relative to its artistic merit is one reason the Museum is embarking on this exhibition. This restaging will reunite works by nationally established artists such as Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, Faith Ringgold, Raymond Saunders, Alma Thomas, and Hale Woodruff. This exhibition is not to be missed.

Acknowledgement of Support

Afro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks was organized by the Delaware Art Museum and Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Delaware Art Museum is sponsored by DuPont, by Bank of America, by Corteva, and by M&T Bank. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Press Contact

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

About the Delaware Art Museum</>

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art on display outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences.

The Delaware Art Museum is thrilled to announce that it will reopen on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Museum Members will receive two weeks of exclusive access before opening to the general public on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

To keep guests safe, Plexiglas shields will be installed at the front desk and in the Museum Store and all transactions will be cashless, so visitors are encouraged to remember their credit cards. Guests will also be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The Thronson Café will be closed until further notice. Maps and brochures will only be available electronically for the time being.

The Museum will return to its regular operating hours, which are as follows: Monday and Tuesday: closed; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. The Museum will be closed on Saturday, July 4 in honor of Independence Day.

The Museum has extended its two spring exhibitions through the remainder of the year, including Layered Abstraction: Margo Allman and Helen Mason, on view until January 17, 2021, and Julio daCunha: Modernizing Myths, on view until November 1, 2020.

“These exhibitions examine and celebrate the artists and histories unique to the greater Wilmington area but applicable to the nation and abroad,” says Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art, who curates the Distinguished Artist Series. “Years in the making, these two Distinguished Artist shows are the result of intensive research and collaboration, and it is a joy to be able to share these three artists’ prolific careers with our audience.”

The Museum is also reinstalling Hank Willis Thomas’s commissioned piece, Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot, in Gallery 9, where it was originally exhibited as part of the Wilmington 1968 series of exhibitions in 2018.

“Two years later, we share this poignant work of art as we grapple with the emotional anxiety and the strain of the violent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others as a result of systemic racism. Parts of this series have been on view in the contemporary gallery, but this is the first time since the Museum acquired the work that it will be on view in its entirety,” says Winslow.

Happy Hours will also be returning to the Museum. The Museum’s first Happy Hour on Thursday, July 9, 2020 will be for Museum Members; the next Happy Hour on July 16, 2020 and Happy Hours thereafter will be for the general public. All Thursday evening Happy Hours will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Museum has already begun offering the public opportunities to engage with the building and grounds. The Museum Store has been offering curbside pickup since mid-May. The Museum’s first drive-in movie event will take place on Thursday, June 18, 2020, with a rain date of Friday, June 19, 2020.

“Our staff have worked hard to provide many virtual offerings during our three-month shutdown, including emails spotlighting our collection, musical performances, a spoken-word open mic event, artist talks, art workshops, and a virtual bookstore,” says Molly Giordano, the Museum’s Interim Executive Director. “Now, with Governor Carney easing restrictions, we are excited to return to our core mission: connecting people with art in person.”

Individuals who wish to become a Member prior to the July 1, 2020 Members-only opening date may do so via the Museum’s website, delart.org, or by calling the Museum during open hours prior to their visit. Memberships will not be processed at the front desk. Visitors can show their membership confirmation on their phones at the front desk.

The Delaware Art Museum is sponsored by DuPont, by Bank of America, by Corteva, and by M&T Bank. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences.

The Delaware Art Museum is pleased to announce Creative Spacers, a project that encourages social distancing through art, in the coming months. The Museum has commissioned local artists to each create a series of five works of art, which are then converted into vinyl decals and installed in spaces where social distancing is required. The intent of this project is to bring beauty into the everyday lives of residents, support local artists, and artistically encourage social distancing amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. “The Creative Spacers project grew out of a conversation with Charlie Vincent, executive director of Spur Impact, concerning ways to support artists and inspire the community at a time when COVID-19 was the focus of the national narrative,” says Jonathan Whitney, the Museum’s Manager of Performance Programs and Community Engagement.

Local visual artist Jo Redbird and Wilmington-based abstract artist JaQuanne LeRoy are the first two artists commissioned for Creative Spacers. Their work will be installed outside of food banks, restaurants, and cultural institutions that are integral to Wilmington’s infrastructure. The use of the urban environment, local artists, and local organizations continues the Museum’s mission to redefine public space, reach more diverse, local audiences, and become a civically engaged institution that plays an active and relevant role in Wilmington. “Knowing my art skills are able to positively impact the circumstances with effective visual communication brings me great joy and fulfillment as an artist,” says Redbird. “I was happy to contribute to this project,” says LeRoy. “It’s given me a chance to spread hope in this time.”

The Museum has partnered with the Creative Vision Factory to aid in the installation process. The pilot has been installed at Green Box Kitchen on Market Street and West End Neighborhood House, with an upcoming pilot installation at the Latin American Community Center (LACC). Spacer decals will also be installed throughout the Delaware Art Museum.

The Creative Spacers Project pilot was made possible with support from Spur Impact. This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences.

Anyone who has visited the Delaware Art Museum Store over the past two years has noticed the store’s evolution from a traditional gift shop to a vibrant community bookstore, selling a variety of books for children and adults right alongside a unique selection of gifts, stationery, work from local artists, and other ephemera. With the Museum’s temporary closure, the Museum’s retail operation was faced with an immense challenge: how does the store continue to serve the community? Fortunately, the Museum Store had recently signed up to be an affiliate with Bookshop, an online platform dedicated to supporting independent bookstores through a partnership with the American Booksellers Association. Store Supervisor Jeanie Robino was optimistic about the opportunities Bookshop provided before the Museum’s temporary closure due to the COVID-19 crisis, but she realizes this new platform has become more of a necessity than ever. “I am excited to create new shopping experiences with our members and staff and to partner with the community,” Robino says.

The Museum Store Bookshop page (https://bookshop.org/shop/delartstore) was designed to emulate the selection and personality Museum visitors have come to expect from the store. The page features much of the Museum Store’s book inventory, including art books and catalogs from recent exhibitions, literary fiction, stories of all genres Museum supporters are sure to love, and a limited selection of stationery and art supplies. You will also find some of the store’s signature items in sections such as “Witchy Wisdom,” featuring beautifully designed tarot and oracle cards, and “Local Stories,” a celebration of local authors such as Chet’la Sebree, David Teague, Marisa de los Santos, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Julianna Baggott. The Museum Store staff and store collaborators such as Rachael DiEleuterio, the Museum’s Librarian and Archivist, lend their bookish expertise and explore their unique passions through their staff lists, while those looking to tell their own stories will find guidance and tools in “Inspired by the Wilmington Writers Conference: Writing Guides and Stationery.”

The Museum Store also has placed a special focus on recent exhibitions honoring contemporary artists, including Angela Fraleigh, Julio daCunha, Margo Allman, and Helen Mason. These collections, which include books, stationery, and puzzles, were designed to allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of these artists and what drives them to create. “The thoughtful selections from the Museum Store through Bookshop give our community exciting and interesting ways to connect with the Museum’s current exhibitions,” says Curator of Contemporary Art Margaret Winslow, who curated the exhibitions featuring the aforementioned artists. “You can learn more about the artists’ styles, read books by the authors who inspire them, and find beautiful stationery to use for your own artistic musings.” Of course, you’ll also find books by and about artists in the Museum’s permanent collection, including Pre-Raphaelite artists, Howard Pyle and John Sloan.

The store is also continuing to support virtual literary endeavors at the Museum. You can find all children’s books related to family programming, including the recent run of virtual Glory of Stories events, in the Kid Lit section: https://bookshop.org/lists/kid-lit. Anyone wanting to attend Zoom meetings of the Museum’s popular book club, the DelArt Readers, can shop for the club’s books in the DelArt Readers 2020 Selections list: https://bookshop.org/lists/delart-readers-2020-selections. (For book club times and dates, go to the DelArt Readers event page: https://www.delart.org/event/delart-readers/. Contact Eliza Jarvis, the Museum’s Manager of Youth Learning and Creative Partnerships, if you would like to join a meeting: ejarvis@delart.org.)

“We love being able to curate a selection in the store based on the art around us, the stories our staff loves, great new releases, and the many programs at the Museum,” says Jessa Mendez, Lead Museum Associate, who assists Robino with merchandising the store. “Thanks to Bookshop, we are able to continue to offer this to our community. We’re so grateful for the support we’re receiving as we navigate this strange time. I miss the store so much, but I’m so grateful Bookshop is giving us a way to connect with people.”

Head to the Delaware Art Museum Store’s Bookshop to get started: https://bookshop.org/shop/delartstore.

For book reviews, inside looks at the Museum Store Bookshop page, and more, follow the Museum Store on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delartstore/.

For information on the Museum’s virtual programming, check out the Museum’s Online Resource Portal: https://www.delart.org/connectwithartfromhome/.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SUPPORT

This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. The Museum Store is a member of the American Booksellers Association.

PRESS CONTACT

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

The Delaware Art Museum is proud to present a robust slate of virtual programming, much of it free and family friendly, to support people of all ages during the Museum’s temporary closure. The Museum has always been a place where people can enjoy art and connect with others, so the Learning and Engagement team found ways to continue programming that Delawareans have come to love. Their tenacity and hard work have resulted in online resources that truly offer something for everyone.

“Museums around the world are adapting their onsite programs and using online platforms to serve their communities,” says Saralyn Rosenfeld, Director of Learning and Engagement. “Our virtual programs highlight our unique collection, feature local artists, and offer an educational, creative, and entertaining experience.”

Families missing Glory of Stories, the Museum’s popular storytelling program that incorporates works of art from the Museum’s collection, an art activity, and an exciting array of children’s literature, can head to the Museum’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/delawareartmuseum) for lots of kid-friendly art fun! Four recorded sessions of Glory of Stories are available here until June 1, 2020. The sessions, led by Assistant Director of Learning and Engagement, Amelia Wiggins, have featured works of art such as “The Mermaid” by Howard Pyle, accompanied by classic children’s book Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, and “March” by Charles Burchfield, paired with Worm Weather by Jean Taft. Wiggins has also created a further modified version of Glory of Stories; while this version won’t feature video content, the Museum will still post a work of art accompanied by a fun art activity and a book suggestion. “Creative outlets are more important than ever during this time of dramatic change in families’ lives,” says Wiggins. “We hope these resources help kids and their grownups explore art and create together at home.” Upcoming art and book pairings include “An Attack on Galleon” by Howard Pyle with Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, the sculpture “Rain Forest Column XX” by Louise Nevelson paired with Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg, and Edward Burne-Jones’s fairy tale masterpiece “The Council Chamber” paired with Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett. These books are all available to purchase via the Museum Store’s Bookshop page: https://bookshop.org/shop/delartstore.

The Museum will also be releasing a special Art Museum Babies video—a popular monthly activity for parents and infants that usually takes place during the Museum’s Family Second Sundays program. This is a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to bond with children under the age of two.

Those of you who are missing the Museum’s studio art classes or have always wanted to try your hand at creating with the Museum’s instructors, Studio Programs Manager Rebecca Howell has a treat for you! She is currently coordinating a video series of art projects and tutorials featuring a stellar lineup of art instructors. Howell says, “We really miss our art students and I know they miss us. Instructors are eager to connect with students virtually and help feed their creative life while at home so they’ve provided inspiration by giving project ideas, assignments, and demos, or even just showing a peek of what they are working on in their own studio!” One series will be led by beloved Artwise instructors Sam Mylin and Kate Mylin. These videos, around 5-10 minutes in length, will show kids and adults how to use whatever they have around the house, from old credit cards to junk mail, to create original works of art!

When it comes to continuing the Performance Series, Jonathan Whitney, the Museum’s Manager of Performance Programs and Community Engagement, had to get creative. The result of his massive coordination efforts is a series of 20-minute videos showcasing an exciting roster of performance artists and musicians, including singer-songwriter Jea Street, Jr., and Jeff Knoettner, pianist from the Cartoon Christmas Trio. The Museum is celebrating these performances and encouraging community connections by hosting virtual watch parties on Friday nights for each video’s release on the Museum Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/delawareartmuseum. See below for the full lineup and schedule. “Through this series of virtual performances, or watch parties as we are calling them, we are able to highlight some of the amazing musicians in our region and support them as they adapt to a more virtual existence,” says Whitney. On May 21, the Pyxis Piano Quartet, the Museum’s ensemble in residence, will present a 50 minute watch party of solos. As per the Museum’s values, all artists are being paid for the performances they present. Donations are being accepted to offset this cost to the Museum.

FULL LINEUP FOR WATCH PARTIES

All parties begin at 6:30 pm

Shawn Qaissaunee (guitar) – April 24, 2020
Rob Swanson (bass guitar) – May 1, 2020
William Fields (algorithmic improvisation) – May 8, 2020
Jea Street, Jr. (singer-songwriter) – May 15, 2020
Jeff Knoettner (pianist) – May 22, 2020

More online programming is on its way. For the latest updates and links to this content and much more, head to the Museum’s online resource portal: https://www.delart.org/connectwithartfromhome/.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SUPPORT

This project is sponsored by the Amphion Foundation. This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. The Museum would like to thank the following individual donors for their support of the Pyxis Piano Quartet performances:

Anonymous
Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Fleming
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Bayard, IV
Mr. and Mrs. K. Peter Hurd
Dr. and Mrs. R. Bertrum Diemer, Jr.
Mrs. Nancy G. Frederick
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Lonie
Ms. Virginia S. Mayforth
Mr. and Mrs. P. Coleman Townsend, Jr.
Dr. Suzanne Collins
Dr. Margaretta S. Frederick and Mr. Michael Martin
Ms. Gwen Fuller and Mr. Ralph Fuller
Mrs. Mary C. Goodrick
Ms. Jan Jessup
Mrs. Barbara N. Reilly
Mrs. Roberta Y. Smith
Dr. Noble L. Thompson, Jr.

PRESS CONTACT

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

The Delaware Art Museum may be closed, but you can still visit the Museum and its collection of over 12,000 works of art through a variety of innovative tours across email and social media.

The Museum recently launched “The View from DelArt,” an email highlights tour of the collection, in which staff, members and friends of the Museum share their favorite works of art. The tour kicked off with member Steve Gregg’s meditation on “Water Willow” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a popular painting from the Museum’s extensive Pre-Raphaelite collection. Gregg expressed his love for the painting and dropped this fun fact: “The view is of Kelmscott Manor, in the 1870s, a retreat in England where Jane Morris lived with her husband William, but more importantly the site of Rossetti’s liaison with Jane Morris, which adds intrigue and a bit of scandal to the painting.” The emails have also featured an illustration by John Sloan, glass art by Dale Chihuly, and a sculpture by Domenico Mortellito.

Meanwhile, the staff is taking over the Museum’s social media feeds with their favorite works of art, offering insight into the people who make the Museum a vital hub for the community. Lead Museum Jessa Mendez shared her love for “The Spring Witch,” George Wilson’s Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece. Meanwhile, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art Heather Campbell Coyle highlighted the bright blossoms featured in Howard Pyle’s murals because “they capture spring in this area so perfectly.”

The Museum is also celebrating what would have been the opening of the exhibition, Layered Abstraction: Margo Allman & Helen Mason, with a virtual tour. “So many individuals have worked together over the past several years to create this exhibition in celebration of the careers of Margo Allman and Helen Mason,” says Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art, who curated Layered Abstraction. “One of the joys of being a curator is seeing the response visitors have when they enter the gallery and see the results of such a large project. I’m eager for that moment but excited to share a sneak peek through our virtual tour of the gallery.” Head to https://www.delart.org/ for this video and other online resources. For snippets of the Layered Abstraction virtual tour, follow us on social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delartmuseum/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/delawareartmuseum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/delartmuseum

The Museum continues to be a place where people can come together, enjoy art, and find community. Whether our doors are open or closed, we are always here for you. Sign up for our newsletter for all the latest information from the Museum: https://www.delart.org/about/e-news/

Acknowledgement of Support

This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on https://www.delawarescene.com/.

Press Contact

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Wilmington, DE (March 4, 2020) – The Delaware Art Museum is excited to announce the reinstallation and reinterpretation of eight main-floor galleries housing its permanent collection. This project encompasses the Museum’s spaces dedicated to American art and illustration, Howard Pyle, John Sloan, and the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art. Between April and November 2020, over 8,000 square feet of exhibition space will be renovated and rehung. Working with community and professional input, gallery layout and interpretation have been completely reimagined to connect better with today’s visitors and conserve the collections for future generations.

According to Chief Curator and Curator of American Art Heather Campbell Coyle, “This isn’t just fresh paint! We’ve been working behind the scenes for over two years. There are new works to show and new stories to tell. Entire collections are being relocated to improve visitor experience.”

This will be the first comprehensive rehanging since the Museum opened its renovated building in 2005. Since then, thanks to significant study and audience feedback, the collections have grown to include key pieces by women and artists of color that introduce new narratives and tell a more inclusive story of the visual arts. These new works, including a bust of Frederick Douglass by Isaac Scott Hathaway, and Botticelli’s Studio, a painting by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale on loan to the Museum, will join masterpieces by Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Raphaelle Peale, Frederic E. Church, George Inness, John Sloan, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Violet Oakley, and Frank E. Schoonover. This reinstallation will also bring focus to the role of local artists and collectors in the narrative of national art.

As part of the Museum’s strategic vision for community engagement, the Museum embarked on this project with an inclusive and visitor-centered approach. Community collaborators who participated in focus groups and left responses in our galleries have been integral to helping design a better Delaware Art Museum.

“Our local community’s input at every step was critical to this project,” says Amelia Wiggins, Assistant Director of Learning and Engagement, who worked closely with curators on gallery reinterpretation strategies. “We are grateful to those who helped guide us in early focus groups, as well as to visitors who responded to the prototyping of new ideas in our galleries. Direct feedback from our audiences helped us create bridges between the collection and the contemporary experiences of Delawareans. We look forward to learning what fresh connections our visitors make with the art as galleries reopen later this year.”

The Museum will remain open during these changes, with galleries closing and reopening on a rolling basis. Starting in early April and running through mid-July, a limited selection of works by Howard Pyle and his students will be on view; these galleries will be closed entirely from July through late November. Galleries dedicated to American art before 1900 will be closed from April 20 through the end of June. The Pre-Raphaelite Collection will be off view from July 6 through mid-August. Please check delart.org for details and updates.

FULL SCHEDULE OF CLOSURES

March 30 – April 7: Howard Pyle and American Illustration closed
April 8 – July 7: Limited selection of Pyle and his students in Gallery 7 on view
April 20 – late June: American Art 1757–1900: American landscape closed
May 26 – late June: American portraits and Gilded Age/salon gallery closed
July 6 – mid-August: British Pre-Raphaelites closed
July 8 – late November: Howard Pyle, American Illustration closed
Late August: New Gallery! Sloan and the Eight opens

Sponsors

The Museum’s reinstallation is fully funded by generous foundations including an anonymous donor, the Starrett Foundation, the Richard C. Von Hess Foundation, and the Sansom Foundation. This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. To transform our galleries, the Museum is working with exhibition designer Keith Ragone Studio and local and regional fabricators.

PRESS CONTACT

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Wilmington, DE (March 2, 2020) — Music and dance have always been closely linked, but what if your body became the music? This is the thrilling concept behind Drumfolk, the latest work from dance company Step Afrika! The Delaware Art Museum, as part of its Performance Series, is hosting Step Afrika! the week of March 29, 2020 for a residency in which the company will visit several sites in New Castle and Kent Counties for workshops, performances, and lectures.

The weeklong suite of events, which culminates in an April 3 performance of Drumfolk at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, provides an opportunity for as many Delawareans as possible to get to know Step Afrika! and this vital piece of American history. After the smash success of Step Afrika’s 2018 residency with the Delaware Art Museum, Jonathan Whitney, Manager of Performance Programs and Community Engagement, was eager to bring the company back for what is sure to be another brilliant series. “This year’s residency by Step Afrika! is a continuation of our mission to use art, in this case dance, to bring about change in our community,” says Whitney.

In Drumfolk, Step Afrika! focuses on the historical significance of rhythm, including how the forced removal of drums inspired people to use their bodies to create music as means to survive oppression. Drumfolk explores the Stono Rebellion of 1739, a revolt that took place in South Carolina, and the aftermath of that event, particularly the Negro Act of 1740, in which drums were outlawed for Africans. This birthed forms of dance in which the body became an instrument and is seen today in dances such as stepping. In fact, Drumfolk includes multiple stepping pieces, as well as other forms of dance including the Ring Shout, a centuries-old style of dance, and a new exploration of African masquerade traditions..

A particularly exciting aspect of this residency is the level of youth involvement. “Students from across New Castle and Kent Counties will experience stepping taught by members of the company,” says Whitney. “The community event in Wilmington is being planned by teens through a partnership between the Museum, Jack and Jill, Inc. New Castle County Chapter, and the Warehouse (a new space for teens by teens), giving them invaluable leadership and project management experience.”

For more information on student events and to sign up, visit https://www.delart.org/education/school-teacher-programs/stepafrika/. For information on the Riverside Rhythm event for teens on April 1, please visit, https://www.delart.org/event/riverside-rhythm-with-step-afrika/?instance_id=17883.

Step Afrika! is also heralding the return of the Museum’s extended Thursday hours with a demo performance and a spring happy hour. Heather Morrissey, the Museum’s Director of Advancement and Operations, is thrilled to welcome Step Afrika! back with this special happy hour. “What a perfect opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate! The Museum will host a special indoor happy hour with live music and a pop-up performance by Step Afrika! Be sure to join us for this entertaining evening.” However, this goes beyond entertainment. Whitney is excited that “through this work, the Museum will continue to strengthen its role as an anchor in our community.”

The Delaware Art Museum would like to thank the many partners that have been vital to creating this residency: The Grand Opera House, Delaware Institute for Arts in Education, The Warehouse, REACH Riverside, Jack and Jill, Inc., and the New Castle County Chapter Men of Color Alliance from Delaware State University.

FULL RESIDENCY EVENT SCHEDULE

Monday and Tuesday, March 29-30, 2020 – Dancers from Step Afrika! visit 20 to 30 schools for “stepping workshops” in partnership with the Delaware Institute for Arts in Education: This was a highlight from 2018’s visit. The company will be split into groups of two and three dancers to visit schools throughout New Castle and Kent Counties to give immersive stepping workshops to students.

Monday evening, March 29, 2020, 7pm – Step Afrika! performs as part of the DSU pageant, in partnership with Men of Color Alliance (MOCA)

Wednesday evening, April 1, 2020, 6 pm – Community Event “Riverside Rhythm” at The Warehouse, Wilmington, DE: This event has been planned by teens for teens. The Museum brought together teens from Jack and Jill, Inc. New Castle Chapter and The Warehouse to plan and present a community event as part of Step Afrika’s residency. Riverside Rhythm will highlight the ways the rhythm survived in Wilmington. It will include performances by local drill teams, tap dancers, and drummers followed a performance by Step Afrika! After the performances, there will be a 30-minute Q&A with Step Afrika! around life after high school, attending and applying to HBCUs, and life after college. All of the dancers in Step Afrika! are college graduates and the teens saw this as an opportunity to learn from men and women not far removed from where they are now. This will be the first major event at the Warehouse.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 – Lecture and Demonstration with excerpts from Drumfolk performances for Students at The Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE (9:30 am and 12:30 pm): This program, which will serve approximately 2,400 students, will include excerpts from Drumfolk, combined with Step Afrika’s award-winning lecture-demonstration on the African-American percussive dance style of stepping.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 6 pm – Step Afrika! Happy Hour at the Delaware Art Museum: Experience Step Afrika! up close, and celebrate the Museum’s return to extended Thursday night hours with a special spring edition of our popular happy hour!

Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8 pm – Public performance of Drumfolk at the Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE: Back by Popular demand, Step Afrika! returns to Wilmington with its blend of the percussive tradition of stepping with African and contemporary dance. The Company’s newest creation, Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739, explores this little-known event in American history that forever transformed African-American life and culture. When Africans lost the right to use their drums, their rhythms found their way into the body of the people, the Drumfolk. New percussive forms took root leading to the development of some of our country’s most distinct performance traditions like the ring shout, tap, and stepping.

PRESS CONTACT

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE SERIES

The Delaware Art Museum’s Performance Series features bold, adventurous works from a variety of art forms. With a focus on social justice and cutting edge performance, this series brings artists to Delaware who push creative boundaries and respond to present day-events in innovative ways. Performances will take place on the Museum’s campus and out in the community.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

The Delaware Art Museum is proud to continue spotlighting impactful local artists with its latest exhibition, Julio daCunha: Modernizing Myths, which opens Saturday, February 29, 2020 and runs until Sunday, May 10, 2020. DaCunha, who originally hails from Bogotá, Colombia, has a storied history in Delaware, teaching at the University of Delaware for nearly 40 years and exhibiting at several local and regional institutions, including the Delaware Art Museum.

Julio daCunha: Modernizing Myths, located in the Ammon Galleries and comprised of 40 works of art, including paintings, prints, and drawings, promises to be an exciting retrospective of a prolific, innovative artist and community leader whose work spans different styles. The 2019 Alfred Appel, Jr. Curatorial Fellow Olivia Armandroff, who organized this exhibition, says in her essay accompanying the exhibition, “Coming of age in the mid-20th century, in a period when artists were so often described as figurative or not, daCunha refused to be essentialized,” noting later that, “[a]lthough never devoting himself entirely to one style or the other, the majority of his work, mid-career was figural while his later artistic production was primarily devoted to abstraction.”

It is no surprise, then, to learn that daCunha worked in many mediums, including acrylic paint, oil paint, and graphite, and that his influences are wide-ranging, featuring a number of artistic luminaries. He counts Spanish artists such as Francisco de Goya as stylistic influences, while writers such as Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe, along with femme fatale films, theater, music, and mythology—both classic and ones of his own making—largely inspired him thematically. In fact, daCunha was surrounded by art as a child. His mother was a musician, and his father was a diplomat, artist, and theater manager. It was through his father that he got to know the poet Pablo Neruda and famed artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In a 1984 interview in The Review, a University of Delaware publication, daCunha says, “I made a little drawing for [Rivera]…and he gave me a drawing of a clown’s head which is now one of my most valuable possessions.”

Armandroff is deeply grateful for daCunha’s influence on Delaware and hopeful that he will continue to be a part of the lives of Delawareans. Julio daCunha helped shape the University of Delaware’s art department, and his teaching left an indelible mark on generations of students who went through that program.

“After arriving at the University of Delaware, he immediately involved himself in teaching students by instituting a very active exhibition schedule that brought traveling exhibitions to the university,” says Armandroff. “I was fascinated by daCunha’s investment in the American tradition, despite the fact that he had not grown up with it. I loved stories about his involvement with the local theater groups on campus and his dramatic flair. Most rewarding was hearing from his students, and after I began reaching out and contacting some, word on the exhibit quickly spread. People began to contact me, eager to share their own memories of Julio and his generosity as a mentor. Such narratives helped me begin to see the huge impact he had on the Delaware art community.”

Those who want to know more about daCunha and his work can hear more from Armandroff on Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m. for a gallery talk. This event is free to attend. The exhibition is also accompanied by a free mini catalog featuring the aforementioned essay by Armandroff and full-color illustrations, available both at the exhibition gallery and in the Museum Store. The Museum Store will also be selling a selection of books by some of daCunha’s influences, including Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as two exclusive cards featuring works of art from the exhibition.

About Julio daCunha

Julio daCunha was born in 1929 in Bogotá, Colombia. Following the completion of his master of fine arts degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art, daCunha arrived in Delaware in 1956 to teach at the University of Delaware. The artist places himself within the Spanish tradition and cites the influences of Arshile Gorky, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Roberto Matta, and Francisco de Goya. While at the University, daCunha served as department chair from 1966 to 1969 and taught until his retirement in 1994.

PRESS CONTACT

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

ABOUT THE Distinguished Artist Series

The Distinguished Artist Series is a celebration of those artists who have impacted contemporary art in the greater Wilmington area through their artistic practices, teaching, and support of the community and its various institutions. Through unique exhibitions, the series will present exhibitions of these artists, surveying their legacies as they relate to local, national, and international trends.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

The Delaware Art Museum is thrilled to welcome Joel Ross Good Vibes as part of its celebrated Performance Series lineup this Thursday, February 13 at 8 p.m. Joel Ross Good Vibes is a jazz quintet led by Chicago native Joel Ross, a musician who has received accolades from noted organizations such as the Thelonious Monk Institute and performed with jazz icons, including Herbie Hancock.

Jonathan Whitney, Manager of Performance Programs and Community Engagement, can’t wait for Delawareans to meet this contemporary jazz band and its leader: “Joel is touring and recording with who’s who of the next generation of jazz legends,” says Whitney. “This is an awesome opportunity to catch a special player, who is maturing quickly, in an intimate setting before he is only able to play larger venues.”

Tickets are selling fast! Prices are $30 for Members, $35 for Non-Members, and $25 for Students with a valid I.D. For a sneak peek, check out the Joel Ross Good Vibes Event Page: https://www.delart.org/event/performance-joel-ross-good-vibes/.

PRESS CONTACT

Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514.

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE SERIES

The Delaware Art Museum’s performance series features bold, adventurous works from a variety of art forms. With a focus on social justice and cutting edge performance, this series brings artists to Delaware who push creative boundaries and respond to present day events in innovative ways. Performances will take place on the Museum’s campus and out in the community.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

In February 1971, the newly formed Delaware organization, Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc., presented its first major undertaking: the exhibition of over 130 works of art—drawings, prints, photographs, paintings, and sculptures—by 66 African American artists. Numerous factors led to artist Percy Ricks’ founding of Aesthetic Dynamics and their ambitious inaugural exhibition, most notably the trauma suffered from the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the subsequent nine-month National Guard occupation of Wilmington and Ricks’ desire to emphasize the influence of African American artists in Wilmington.

Now, on the eve of its 50th anniversary, Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc., the Delaware Art Museum, and current cultural leaders from Wilmington institutions are returning to this conversation with a restaging of the 1971 exhibition. Afro-American Images 1971, which will be on view at the Museum from March to June, 2021, will include most of the over 130 original works of art exhibited in the 1971 show at the Wilmington Armory (the space used by the National Guard in 1968).

Many of the works of art for the 2021 exhibition are being borrowed from museum collections, while others will be lent by individuals and artist estates. By trying to rehang the show as accurately as possible, the partnering organizations hope to examine the exhibition’s role in the Black Arts Movements 50 years ago, as well as question why was this seemingly successful event was neglected by historians in the decades that followed.

“Through this restaging, we are combatting historical amnesia and doing everything that we can to ensure that the archival record is as complete as possible,” says Margaret Winslow, the Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art. “With the 2021 presentation of Afro-American Images, we have a remarkable opportunity to look back at how Wilmington played a role in the Black Arts Movement. What were the reasons for Ricks’ exhibition then and what stories does it tell today? Why was the Delaware Art Museum not an active partner with Aesthetic Dynamics in 1971? Today, the Delaware Art Museum seeks to bring art into the lives of the community in ways that support myriad interests and involves authentic civic engagement. Restaging the original exhibition, 50 years later, addresses numerous historic gaps such as the biased archival record and lack of local institutional support. By collaborating with Aesthetic Dynamics members 50 years later the Delaware Art Museum is afforded the opportunity to investigate its engagement with the Black community. As we certainly see in the Museum’s own renewed focus on acquiring work specifically of women and artists of color, this is still such an important aspect of the curatorial work that we do at this museum.”

In an effort to accurately represent and fully involve all voices in its gallery spaces, the Museum—in addition to partnering with current institutional leaders—is seeking community members with memories of the 1971 exhibition or particular research interests in the restaging. Interested parties are encouraged to connect with Margaret Winslow at mwinslow@delart.org or 302-351-8539.

Helping coordinate the exhibition and its presentation are members of an exhibition Advisory Committee co-led by Arnold S. Hurtt, who has served as an officer of Aesthetic Dynamics since the organization’s inception in 1971, and Dr. James E. Newton, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware and the director of the Black American Studies program for over two decades.

“Percy Ricks served as a major advocate for the arts in general, in particular for African American artists,” says Dr. Newton. “His legacy continues with this historic exhibition.”

Hurtt agrees with the importance of preserving and promoting Ricks’ legacy: “Percy was an artist, educator, and advocate,” says Hurtt. “He saw the soul in creative expression and believed art links to humanities and culture.”

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

For more than 50 years, Margo Allman and Helen Mason have challenged traditional expectations for contemporary art in the greater Wilmington area. The Delaware Art Museum is celebrating these two pioneering artists with Layered Abstraction: Margo Allman & Helen Mason, a Distinguished Artist Series retrospective in its premier exhibition gallery space from March 21 through September 6, 2020.

Both Allman and Mason have dedicated their artistic careers to exploring the infinite possibilities of abstraction. Margo Allman’s work was first exhibited at the Museum during its 43rd Annual Delaware Show in 1956. Since then, Allman has participated in countless juried and curated shows at the Museum and throughout the region. Her prints, paintings, and sculptures, which are inspired by nature, bring form to the invisible. Layered Abstraction will feature more than 50 of Allman’s works of art, including her early 1950s avant-garde prints; her sculptures in marble, wood, concrete, and synthetic fiber from the 70s and 80s; her signature series of ovoidal paintings; and her graphic drawings dating from 2004 to 2019.

Helen Mason, who arrived in Delaware in 1967, has exhibited at the Delaware Art Museum and played an active role on the Delaware State Arts Council—all while teaching generations of students at the Tatnall School in Wilmington. Materiality is a consistent inspiration for Mason, as is Minimal art and the Japanese techniques of layering, bundling, gathering, knotting, and folding. Layered Abstraction will feature more than 80 works of art by Mason, including her jewelry, paintings, and ceramics from the 1970s through today, and selections from her 1988 Delaware Art Museum exhibition Form and Spirit, along with her recent sculptures in recycled black rubber.

About Margo Allman

Margo Allman is an abstract artist who works in painting, printmaking, and sculpture. She attended Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia where she studied with the abstract expressionist artist Leonard Nelson. She also pursued further study with Hans Hofmann. Since 1954, Allman has participated in countless solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at the Delaware Art Museum, the Biggs Museum of American Art, and the West Chester University Art Gallery. Her work is also featured in many regional collections, including the Delaware Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“My life in art and its driving preoccupation is to both explore and form my emotions, my yearnings and the mysteries of nature,” says Allman. “My never-ending goal is to enrich others with the quality of my true and unique talents.”

About Helen Mason

Helen Mason received her MFA from the University of Delaware and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design/Brown University. Among her many honors are a National Endowment for the Arts/Delaware State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, a Gulbenkian Foundation Grant, and a Delaware Art Museum Purchase Award. She was appointed by the Governor to the Board of the Delaware State Arts Council serving two terms, served on the Board of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, and directed the Art Program as Chairman at the Tatnall School in Wilmington. Mason’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the American Craft Museum (MAD) in NY, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC, the Biggs Museum in DE, the Delaware Art Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Vonderau Museum in Germany, Takashimya Gallery in Japan, and the Aaron Faber Gallery in NY. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Delaware Art Museum, the Hercules Powder Co in DE, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art in MI, and the High Museum.

“As a sculptor, I see myself constructing shapes that are self-contained, uncompromising, and singular, often thinking in different scales to explore an idea,” says Mason. “My inspiration is drawn from Minimalism and the stability and refinement of geometric forms. The color black is always a constant, incorporating a strong influence of the East, symbolizing mystery, serenity, and elegance. My motivation is a search for innovative ways to test convention, always with the desire to break the boundaries between art and craft.”

Media interviews with both artists are available upon request. Please contact Cynthia Smith at csmith@delart.org or 302-351-8514 to request an interview.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

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Image: Drawing #1, 2016, Margo Allman, Ink on clay board, 6 × 6 inches, frame: 7 1/2 × 7 1/2 inches, Courtesy of the artist. © Margo Allman.

On January 6, a Delaware native and his gorgeous painting by American illustrator Frank Schoonover were featured on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, which was filmed at Winterthur last year. The painting, originally published with the caption “At a Hail from the Boat He Went to the Rail,” is an illustration from the 1923 book Privateers of ’76, a tale of Massachusetts boy Stephen Claghorn and his adventures at sea during the American Revolution. The painting pictures the moment toward the end of the story when Claghorn, alone and adrift aboard a derelict ship, is rescued, improbably, by his Salem schoolmaster. The Delaware Art Museum is thrilled to announce that it will display the painting in its American illustration gallery for the next six months.

The owner’s family purchased the painting directly from the artist for $300 in June 1960. During the Antiques Roadshow segment, the owner described his father’s love of illustrated books, and how his mother saved for two years to purchase a work from Schoonover’s Rodney Street studio in Wilmington.

When the owner was told on air that his beloved family painting was worth approximately $125,000, he teared up and said: “My father would be so thrilled to know that people were being turned on to illustrations, and my mother would be really thrilled with what you just said.”

John Schoonover, grandson of the artist and proprietor of Schoonover Studios, agreed: “I was very pleased to see my grandfather’s illustration on Antiques Roadshow, and glad [Roadshow expert and art dealer] Debra Force acknowledged the increasing interest in American book and magazine illustration.”

The Museum has a robust collection of illustrations by Frank Schoonover (1877-1972). Schoonover, a prominent artist of the Brandywine School, studied with Howard Pyle in the late 1800s, even receiving a coveted scholarship to study with him in Chadds Ford, PA, in the summer of 1899. He later moved from his native Philadelphia to Wilmington to set up his studio, where he also conducted classes.

Schoonover was renowned for his illustrations of stories featuring pirates, cowboys, historical heroes, and other romantic adventurers. He produced covers and illustrations for classics of young people’s literature, notably Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe, Heidi, Hans Brinker, and Swiss Family Robinson. Schoonover also produced images of coal miners and other laborers, especially in industrial northeastern Pennsylvania.

Schoonover was one of the founders of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts (the predecessor of the Delaware Art Museum) and remained closely involved with the Museum and its teaching studios throughout his life. At his death in Wilmington in 1972, after a career of over 60 years, he had produced about 2,200 illustrations for over 130 books and numerous magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post, Harper’s Magazine, Scribner’s Magazine, Outing, American Boy, The Ladies’ Home Journal, and Collier’s.

In addition to this loaned painting, the Museum currently has seven Schoonover illustrations on view.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media

STEP AFRIKA! DEBUTS NEWLY COMMISSIONED WORK ON NATIONAL TOUR BEGINNING JANUARY 2020

Drumfolk premieres in arts centers across the United States with performances in Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, New York, Delaware, Washington, Massachusetts, Iowa, Maryland and the District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. – Step Afrika! continues the celebration of its 25th anniversary into 2020 with an expansive national tour that highlights a newly commissioned work, Drumfolk. The piece, which is based on historical events that took place during the 1700s in the Deep South, debuts in selected arts centers and college campuses from January through November 2020. The tour also features the company’s highly anticipated return to New York City’s beloved Theater District and summer performances in venues across the Washington, D.C. area, Step Afrika!’s home base.

Drumfolk is the second work by Step Afrika! that celebrates and chronicles the African American experience in America,” shared C. Brian Williams, Founder and Executive Director. “This new production is grounded in extensive research and over 25 years of Step Afrika!’s percussive practice and investigation into the tradition of stepping. We’re thrilled to be sharing it with our audiences.”

A seminal addition to Step Afrika!’s dance canon, Drumfolk is inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 – an uprising of 20 enslaved Africans from Angola, who used their drums to start a revolt in South Carolina. Although the rebellion was suppressed, this little-known event in American history forever changed African American life and culture. When Africans lost the right to use their drums through The Negro Act of 1740, they began to use their bodies as percussive instruments in response. This act of survival and activism earned them the name of “Drumfolk,” as coined by famed folklorist Bessie Jones, and their percussive movement gave rise to some of the country’s most distinctive art forms, including the ring shout, tap, hambone and stepping. Step Afrika!’s Drumfolk explores this pivotal moment in history and honors the succeeding cultural evolution.

Drumfolk takes audiences on a journey from the 17th century, when the African drum found itself in the then-colony of South Carolina, to present-day America, where the instrument has shaped new art forms like hip hop and African American social dance. Highlights include: Step Afrika!’s first presentation of dance and drumming traditions from Angola; an exploration of the ring shout, which is a 200+ year-old African American dance rarely seen on our country’s stages; and a contemporary routine of stepping and vocal percussion to demonstrate the drum’s influence on other mediums.

Drumfolk debuts in Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts on January 31, 2020. The tour then travels to: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign from February 6-7, 2020; The Soraya at California State University Northridge (Los Angeles) on February 23, 2020; the New Victory Theater in New York City from February 28-March 15, 2020; the Delaware Art Museum on April 3, 2020; Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington from May 7-9, 2020; ArtsEmerson at Emerson College from July 22-August 1, 2020; and Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa from September 14-20, 2020. Step Afrika!’s residency in each venue will include feature-length performances for the general public, as well as student matinees, master classes and workshops leading up to the aforementioned dates. The summer 2020 performances in Maryland and Washington, D.C. will be announced at a later date at www.stepafrika.org.

STEP AFRIKA! DRUMFOLK 2020 NATIONAL TOUR

Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State/January 27-31, 2020
102 Eisenhower Road, University Park, PA 16802
https://cpa.psu.edu/events/step-afrika

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/Urbana, IL/February 4-9, 2020
500 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801
https://krannertcenter.com/events/step-afrika-drumfolk

The Soraya at California State University Northridge/Los Angeles, CA/ February 19-24, 2020
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8448
https://www.thesoraya.org/calendar/details/step-afrika-drumfolk

The New Victory Theater/February 28-March 15, 2020
229 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
https://newvictory.org/

Delaware Art Museum/Wilmington, DE/March 29-April 5, 2020
818 North Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
https://www.thegrandwilmington.org/productions/6492-step-afrika:drumfolk

Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington/Seattle, WA/May 7-9, 2020
4040 George Washington Lane NE, Seattle, WA 98105
https://meanycenter.org/tickets/2020-05/production/step-afrika

ArtsEmerson/Boston, MA/July 22-August 1, 2020
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
https://artsemerson.org

Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa/Iowa City, IA/September 14-20, 2020
141 East Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242
https://hancher.uiowa.edu/

Funding Credits

Drumfolk was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Lead Commissioning Support provided by ArtsEmerson, Hancher Auditorium, Eugene Lang Foundation and the Strathmore Performing Arts Center. Additional support provided by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, The New Victory Theater, Delaware Art Museum, Meany Center for the Performing Arts, The Soraya and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

About Step Afrika!

Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping—a polyrhythmic, percussive dance form that uses the body as an instrument. Step Afrika! promotes stepping as a contemporary dance genre through critically-acclaimed performances and arts education programs. Creatively engaging audiences in this nascent art form, the Company creates new full-length productions that expand on stepping’s unique American history.

With 14 full-time dancers and administrative team of 6, Step Afrika! is one of the top 10 U.S. African American dance companies. The Company reaches thousands each year through a 50-city tour of American colleges and theaters and performs globally as an official U.S. Cultural Ambassador. New work, such as The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence and Drumfolk, tour to major U.S. cities. Step Afrika! is featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture with the world’s first interactive stepping exhibit.

Media relations for Step Afrika!

Camille Cintrón Devlin/Bucklesweet
camille@bucklesweet.com
571-317-9317

Amanda Sweet/Bucklesweet
amanda@bucklesweet.com
347-564-3371

Black Iris Project’s solo ballet centers around one mother coping from the loss of her child to a racially motivated murder

The Delaware Art Museum is pleased to announce that it will host A Mother’s Rite, the Black Iris Project’s groundbreaking solo ballet, on Thursday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. Founded in 2016 by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle that creates new classical and contemporary ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. A Mother’s Rite, which is set to Igor Stravinsky’s iconic composition Rite of Spring, is a moving 38-minute solo performance about how a mother copes with the loss of her child to a racially-motivated murder by police.

Jeremy McQueen, artistic director and choreographer for the Black Iris Project, says about the inspiration of A Mother’s Rite, “I was first inspired to create A Mother’s Rite when I attended a Solange concert at Radio City Music Hall. Solange was performing a song called ‘Mad’ and started to increasingly appear physically and emotionally distressed. As I was watching this almost ritualistic shedding of pain, I started to think about what I and Black Americans have the right to be mad about and I started to think more and more about the senseless killings of Black men and women across our country. A Mother’s Rite is choreographed to illustrate a side of the story that is often kept very private, one that the public is not often exposed to.”

The Museum is offering A Mother’s Rite in conjunction with their participation in One Village Alliance’s Raising Kings 2020, a week of events (January 20 – 25) around Wilmington focused on empowering young Black men and their families. In addition to the January 23 Black Iris performance, the Museum will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 20.

“MLK Day of Service is a time for us to celebrate our many accomplishments around building equity in our city, but also for us to reflect on the work that still needs to be done,” says Jonathan Whitney, the Museum’s Manager of Performance Programs & Community Engagement. “We are inviting the community to join us on MLK day to make chess sets for youth, knit caps for infants, and drop off winter coats for the homeless, while also hearing flash talks about voting rights, the importance of census participation, the school to prison pipeline, and infant mortality. We hope people will then come back that Thursday for A Mother’s Rite to reflect with us on the effects of racially motivated violence on families and communities of color.”

Keeping in line with its vision to collaborate with local organizations, the Museum is also partnering with Pieces of a Dream, Inc., Christiana Cultural Arts Center, and Cab Calloway School for the Arts around A Mother’s Rite.

Leading up to the public performance, Pieces of a Dream, Inc. will offer a free ballet master class for dancers with the soloist from A Mother’s Rite on Wednesday, January 22 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at their Lancaster Avenue dance studio. Interested participants should pre-register at Delart.org.

During the first half of the public performance on January 23, ensembles of local dancers from both Pieces of a Dream, Inc. and the Christina Cultural Arts Center will perform. This will be followed by a brief intermission, then Black Iris Project’s 38-minute solo piece A Mother’s Rite. A Q & A between director Jeremy McQueen and the creative mind behind Raising Kings Week, Chandra Pitts from One village Alliance, will immediately follow the performance.

“The opportunity for the Black Iris Project to visit Delaware for performances and workshops is fundamentally important to the social and cultural development of our state,” says Ashley S.K. Davis, Executive and Artistic Director at Pieces of a Dream, Inc. “While there is no shortage of ballet companies in the region, there is a poignant lack of African-American bodies on these illustrious stages. For aspiring young Black ballerinas and ballerinos to see themselves represented in this genre can be inspiring and life-changing. It is also important for the community at large, dancers and non-dancers alike, to see this classical dance form centered on Black bodies and focused on Black stories.”

Both the MLK Day of Service in conjunction with Raising Kings and the Black Iris Project performance are part of the Museum’s ongoing effort to present forward-thinking artists who are addressing topics relevant to its local community.

The MLK Day of Service will take place on Monday, January 20, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is free, but donations are encouraged. A Mother’s Rite starts at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Tickets, which can be purchased at Delart.org or at the door, are $10 for students with a valid ID, $20 for Museum Members, and $25 for Non-Members.

Sponsors: This engagement of the Black Iris Project is made possible through the Special Presenter Initiatives program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Additional support was provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.