Downtown Reimagined is a new sidewalk photography exhibit featuring works by local photographers Joe de Tufo of Moonloop Photography, Shakira Hunt of Sharika Hunt Creative, and Andre Wright Jr of The Original Coloure Collective. The artwork is installed at 417 N Market Street and will remain available for the public to view through spring.
Downtown Reimagined is a collaborative portrait series illustrating Wilmington through a new lens. The exhibit captures the creative and vibrant culture of downtown Wilmington from each photographer’s unique perspective. The sidewalk exhibit will be accompanied by a speaker series at MKT Place Gallery, where the artists will share the inspiration behind their submissions. The dates for the speaker series will be announced at a later date on Facebook @MKTPlaceGallery.
Downtown Reimagined is a part of Wilmington-based developer The Buccini/Pollin Group’s ongoing efforts to support the downtown arts community and provide exposure to local artists. This is the second sidewalk art exhibit powered by BPG Cares. In 2020, BPG provided retail space for the Storefront Mural Arts Project, which connected local artists with businesses boarding up their windows after riots occurred in downtown Wilmington. Rather than discard the murals when the businesses repaired their windows, BPG, in collaboration with Flux Creative Consulting and Moonloop Photography, created a sidewalk gallery to display all of them for public viewing at The Residences at Mid-town Park (116 W. 9th Street). Because of this preservation, the murals were recently on display at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts in Longview, Texas as part of the “Addressing the Moment: The Artist’s Voice” exhibit.
MKT Place Gallery, located at 200 W 9th Street within the MKT Place apartment building, features monthly exhibits curated by Sara A. Crawford of The Original Coloure Collective. When renovating the vacant building into apartments, BPG recognized the need for a community art gallery downtown and concluded that the heavily trafficked corner of 9th and Orange Streets would be an ideal location. MKT Place gallery was opened in October 2017 and has been providing local artists with a public gallery to display and sell their work ever since.
“The idea for this collaboration came when I started seeing these rich, sophisticated portraits being taken around town – many in our spaces – that positioned a modern look at diversity in a downtown that has seen a lot of changes,” said Sarah Lamb, Vice President of Design, Marketing, + Community Engagement for The Buccini/Pollin Group. “I was overwhelmed to see how photographers were viewing our city as a place of culture, diversity, and finesse, a landscape that we are used to seeing attributed to the larger cities that surround us.
“When I reached out to everyone to introduce the idea, I was met with an immediate ‘YES!’. I feel so much energy and collaboration happening in the local art scene right now, and we hope to support this energy as much as we can through BPG Cares.”
Joe del Tufo, Moonloop Photography
Joe del Tufo has been a full-time professional photographer for over 20 years. Joe currently runs Moonloop Photography out of Wilmington, DE in a partnership with Jim Coarse. He has worked on a number of books, national magazine covers and features, and projects that capture the beauty and diversity of Delaware.
Shakira Hunt, Shakira Hunt Creative
I am a Wilmington, DE based creative, lifestyle photographer, and influencer. I graduated from Moore College of Art & Design, earning a BFA in Interior Design and have worked with A+D firms as a commercial designer for 4 years, prior to taking the leap of faith into full-time entrepreneurship. As a local creative, my ambition and optimism has completely outgrown my local roots. I have a strong desire to create and cultivate community, to thread creativity and excitement through the fabric of Wilmington.
Collaboration and developing a network of strong resources from local artists, creatives, influencers, designers, and developers has been the driving force in my cultivation of a consistent and thriving following. As a result, I have gained access and network within the creative community and other local businesses.
As a strategic artist, my background in architecture, interiors and photography gives me a unique perspective on project work and the finished product. I highly value social interaction within the creative and design community, seen through my committed affiliations with IIDA and the ACE mentoring program and now new initiatives with local creatives within the creative community. I believe collaboration and mentoring to build upon the present and pave a successful path for future designers and creatives. Recently, stepping into full time entrepreneurship as a creative, lifestyle, and branding photographer, I focus on capturing the culture and essence of community within brands and organizations.
The Original Coloure Collective
The Original Coloure Collective was created in January 2021 to highlight, engage, and promote black creatives and minority-owned businesses. Co-Founders André Wright Jr. and Sara A. Crawford used their unique vision to solve some of the problems brought about by the pandemic. During the pandemic, the Small Business community suffered tremendously, and many businesses lacked the digital presence they needed to sustain. Businesses and Solo-preneurs needed to communicate and engage with their audience and that’s where The Original Coloure Collective was born. The Collective has been able to:
- Increased Creative traction by 40%
- Promoted each Business/Creative with a tailored Digital Branding Strategy
- Provided a creative platform for increasing visibility
- Secured Local and National Press
- Curated 5 Art Exhibitions & 5 Editorial Shoots as of 2021