A Sense of Place 47° — 80° N

Bethany Springer

NOV 2, 2018 ⇀ JAN 9, 2019 | Beckler Family Members' Gallery

A Sense of Place 47° — 80° N explores issues of habitation and identity in Springer's multi-media aesthetics. Using the camera or constructed pieces of metal, Springer transforms the gallery cube into a vessel of discovery. Her work investigates the space between romantic idealism and stark realism. With heightened influence by history, heritage, globalization, and the current age of information overload, Springer's work presents the contours of systems and constructs with which we often surround ourselves to create awareness and dialogue.

Unidentifiable constructed floor pieces commingle with familiar found objects; photographs offer a sense of familiarity, yet dotted with apparently random structures or items to generate consciousness of the constantly accelerating world. Her installations ask if it is possible to experience that sense of being set adrift into an abyss in a society that is increasingly connected? In the quest to plant a dialectic between "lost-ness" and "found-ness" Springer's work examines how place is established, reinforced, and abandoned through the juxtaposition of seemingly disparate historical and contemporary images.

Written by Morgan Hamilton


Linda Celestian & Linnea Tober

JAN 16, 2019 ⇀ MAY 12, 2019 | Beckler Family Members' Gallery

Flow is a joint Friends exhibition featuring artwork by local artists Linda Celestian and Linnea Tober. Together, they accentuate the flow of matter and bring attention to our natural world using contemporary techniques and traditional processes. Flow celebrates low and high-tech studio practices, from painting to Photoshop, to express their love and appreciation for the natural world and their relationship to it. Flow comments on the fluidity with which artists navigate media and thought, like ideas forming a river, picking up experiences along the way, eventually leading to a body of artwork. Celestian and Tober use that sense of "flow" to guide them through their creative expressions.

Written by Morgan Hamilton

Introduction To Fourth Dimensionalism

Timmy Graham

SEP 4, 2018 ⇀ JAN 2, 2019 | Marc Bieber & Carole Ham Gallery

Philadelphia-based artist Timmy Graham exhibits his large-scale paintings in Introduction To Fourth Dimensionalism, a forum where theoretical science and visual art meets. Graham's paintings dwarf the viewer with towering mosaics of seemingly chaotic checks and pocks of color. On close inspection, it might read like a Seurat, pointillized, pixelated, but from farther away, a system of gods and goddesses, snakes, dagger-wielding archetypes appear. He is inspired by the methodical approach to painting of artists such as the Van Eyck brothers, Rembrandt, and Da Vinci. In his research, he realized that he needed a production system of his own, and with the help of Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, he found his way to Fourth Dimensionalism.

In his masterpiece of thought experimentation, The Theory of Special Relativity, Albert Einstein discovered that light is not only a wave, but also a particle: the photon. The photon is a massless particle that travels at the speed of light, our Universal speed limit. To the photon, no time passes; the moment it begins its existence in the core of the sun is the same moment it reaches our eyes here on Earth. We can think of Graham's systematic paintings as a particle, a point, a fixed artwork in our gallery, but it is also a wave which carries meaning outside of The Delaware Contemporary and interacts with minds far and wide. Fourth Dimensionalism describes the relationship between the impossibly minute wavelengths of energy that our brains translate as color. The colors Graham combines and layers create waves of particles that interfere with each other, ebbing and flowing, adding and subtracting, to send a specific vibration of energy to our eyes, a microscopic vibration we may not feel, but we nonetheless experience.

That vibration is the wave of influence visual art has on its viewers; Graham is using mathematics, not magic, to translate the fourth dimension, but using the fourth dimension to translate magical thought. For every color we see in his paintings, billions of photons trace their path and journey from the beginning of our universe to the present.

Written by Morgan Hamilton

The Creative Act

Michael Lindeman

AUG 3 ⇀ October 24, 2018 | Beckler Family Members' Gallery

Australian artist Michael Lindeman presents a series of large-scale, text paintings designed specifically for a U.S. audience on display at The Delaware Contemporary. Titled The Creative Act, Lindeman's exhibition references Marcel Duchamp's lecture (also titled The Creative Act) in Houston at the meeting of the American Federation of the Arts in April of 1957. "The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act."

Lindeman's paintings consider the realm of the internet as a venue for buying, selling, and exchanging commodities. They question how financial and cultural value is attached to various branches of creative activity and examine the area of meta-art. The exhibition shines a light on Cyberspace through the old media lens of painting, while seeking innovation and attempting to push at the edges of the field. The core works featured in Lindeman's The Creative Act replicate genuine online classifieds advertising art for sale from various locations across the U.S.

The use of text and deadpan humor is central to Lindeman's practice, facilitating an inquiry into applied cultural meaning, value, and the commodification of art. Of course, the irony is that Lindeman is a willing participant of the commodity culture that increasingly dictates contemporary art.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

The Little Things

Neal Breton & Haley Lauw

JUL 6 ⇀ SEP 12, 2018 | Constance S. & Robert J. Hennesy Project Space

The Little Things zooms in on the ordinary, small moments of the day when something finally clicks, or is rendered obscure. Normal experiences often go on unnoticed, only when things veer in a different direction do we pay attention. The Little Things presents a catalog of the details that challenge the "normal experience." An object's shortcoming is either its undoing or its strength, we'll never know which until it is tested. The experience of "making" can often be an isolating one as an artist pours her or himself into a peice, exposing insecurities in the hope of overcoming them.

Artist Haley Lauw presents her reality through facsimile; she uses all dimensions to create a space that feels familiar. Her deftness at rendering pushes the subject matter beyond mundane copies and into the realm of the sublime. In this exhibition, Lauw will be debuting faux-depression glass sculptures fashioned from the mouthpiece of brass instruments. These evocative objects are a communication device that substitutes language with music, which at once complicates communication, but hints at a truer meaning. Haley Lauw is a multimedia artist living and working in Tallahassee, FL. She received her BFA from The University of West Florida and her MFA from Florida State University. She is a printmaking and 3-dimensional art instructor at Florida State University.

Artist Neal Breton paints dazzling shards of color and pattern that are equally welcoming as they are distant. Bold greens, oranges, and blues meet at acute angles where natural forms are reduced to color silhouettes. Each painting hints at a different time and place, though on closer inspection, each painting suggests the here and now. Breton interprets the little things as over-the-top peaks and razor-sharp valleys; the only sense of softness comes from the cool gradients filling the pointed shapes. Neal Breton, a New Hampshire native, has been a professional artist for twenty years. He studied painting at Pasadena City College under Douglas Bond, a successful and published artist known for his realistic representations. His work is on display and can be purchased at Viva Paso in Paso Robles, CA, Fiona Bleu Gallery in Morro Bay, CA, and Goedicke's in Casper, WY.

Written by Morgan Hamilton

Guardians Of The Image Makers

Group Exhibition

APR 6 ⇀ JUN 12, 2018 | Constance S. & Robert J. Hennesy Project Space

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

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

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

Percy's Spirit

Statement by Morgan Hamilton

I was approached by Dr. James Newton to exhibit the artwork of Percy Ricks, a prominent African American artist, arts educator, and activist who led the Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc. Ricks was the catalyst for the artistic thrust of Christina Cultural Arts Center in 1968.

I was nervous to take on such a personal and local project, one that features people I've never heard of in a state that I just moved to. However, once I began to talk to artists, their friends and colleagues, the exhibition began to form. Curating is often just listening to stories, talking to artists, looking at artwork, and then stepping back to see the whole picture.

Though the impetus of this exhibition was Percy Ricks and his contributions to the art culture in Delaware, it has since evolved into a generational show that doesn't focus on the man, but on his ideology. In my research, I found that Delaware artists have a connecting mentality: use creative drive to give back to the community.

Guardians of the Image Makers is an exhibition that features local artists who have stake in Delaware, who work and live in Delaware, who breathe and defend Delaware. The story fell into place, and these artists, some of whom know and admire each other, came together to tell a bigger story about the legacy of African Americans in art and Delaware.

It has been 50 years to the week that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. The shot rang out across the country and drew ire from a subjugated and frustrated population. The riots in Wilmington lead to the longest occupation of a city by the National Guard in our history. This year, we are looking to the past to recall those injustices so that we can better respond in our present.

Percy Ricks' approach was to include all races, rich and poor, artist and audience, men and women, because he knew that only together would we be able to build a bridge to the future, hand in hand. His vision focused beyond the riots, beyond the occupation, beyond his time and into ours. With this exhibition, I hope to show him a future of progress, while acknowledging the hard work still to do. The first step is to come together. And here we are.

The Guardians of the Image Makers logo stems from a serigraph print made by Percy Ricks that can be found on the rack card. Though it evokes an ancient image of guardians, I realize it is meant to represent all of us: artists, curators, art appreciators. We are here to protect the image makers so that they can tell our story.

I believe our future is diverse, and until all tiers of society are recognized and heard, our work continues. I will be looking beyond today and focusing on a future that I can be proud of, as Mr. Ricks did decades ago. If I'm lucky, everyone will be an artist who works for one another, always remembering to give back and carry on Percy's spirit.

Related Events:

1968: Recall and Respond
On Art Conversation with Chad Cortez Everett
Art and Activism Educators Forum

Written by Morgan Hamilton


2018 MFA Biennial

NOV 30, 2017 ⇀ MAR 18, 2018 | Carole Bieber & Marc Ham Gallery

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

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

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

Written by Morgan Hamilton

Art As Information

Group Video Exhibition

NOV 30, 2017 ⇀ JAN 26, 2018 | DuPont I & DuPont II Galleries

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

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

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

Written by Morgan Hamilton

The Canada Option

Debut Exhbition of Rebekah Flake

NOV 1, 2017 ⇀ JAN 20, 2018 | Beckler Family Members' Gallery

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

Related Events:

On Art Conversation With The Artist
The Canada Option panel discussion to mark the end of the exhibition and the one year anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration.

Written by Morgan Hamilton


2017 Friends' Juried Group Exhibition

JUN 2 ⇀ AUG 26, 2017 | Beckler Family Members' Gallery

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

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

Written by Morgan Hamilton

State of the Union / State of Mind

Studio Artist Group Exhibition

JUN 20 ⇀ JUL 16, 2017 | DuPont I & DuPont II Galleries

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

State of the Union

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

State of Mind

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

Written by Morgan Hamilton

Show The People What They've Won

Jenny Drumgoole & Sister Spaceship

APR 7 ⇀ JUL 2, 2017 | Constance S & Robert J Hennesy Project Space

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

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

About The Artists

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

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

Written by Morgan Hamilton

We See The Stars

Group Video Exhibition

NOV 18, 2016 ⇀ JAN 26, 2017 | Carole Bieber & Marc Ham Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Morgan Hamilton