by Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald – Delaware Arts Info Blog

Kentmere Parkway was abuzz last Friday night, lined with cars and people heading toward the glow of the Delaware Art Museum. Once hubby & I were inside, we were impressed not only by the large-scale installation greeting us on the entryway wall (part of the exhibition), but also the timeline running along the hallway to the Copeland Gallery. The dual timeline denoted highlights in the century-long history of the Museum as well as pop culture points of interest, such as the moon landing, the first test-tube baby, the death of Andy Warhol, divided by decade “lumps”. Patrons were encouraged to post their own memories on the wall with sticky notes. There were plenty of interesting observations, “love notes,” even intricate doodles, provided from art lovers from every age.

The Centennial Juried Exhibition features a variety of media—drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation—and includes artists living either in Delaware or within 100 miles of the Museum. The exhibition was guest-juried by John B. Ravenal, the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and it is available for viewing now through January 2013.

In January 2012, the Museum launched a call for artist entries and received nearly 450 applications of nearly 1,300 artworks by the March 2012 deadline. Twenty Delaware artists, including Michael Kaklmbach, Kevin Bielicki and Ken Mabrey, were in the mix along with artists from Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. All totaled, 96 works were selected for mounting from close to 100 artists. Many of the artists were on hand during the evening, and patrons were eagerly chatting each of them up and taking photos with them and their work.

Some of my favorite pieces, in no particular order:
• Meditation 38-Healing Energy, 2009 — Donna Usher
• Political Climates: Delaware, 2011 — Michael Kalmbach
• Venation (Rubber), 2011 — Wendy Ellen Wilkinson Gordon
• Cauda Equina, 2007 — Keith W. Bentley
• Into the Fold, 2011 — Delainey Barclay

It’s an amazing exhibit that shows us precisely what kinds of talent surrounds us in our 100-mile radius and throughout the 100-year history of one of Delaware’s greatest treasures.