Ellen Priest to Display Paintings Inspired by Jazz in the Mezzanine Gallery in March

Date Posted: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Categories:  News The Arts

Ellen Priest, Individual Artist Fellow in Painting, will present an exhibition of recent work in the Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery from March 1-28, 2013. The Gallery, open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Friday, March 1 from 5-8 p.m. as part of Wilmington’s Art Loop.

This solo exhibition of Ellen Priest’s work will showcase mid-sized drawings and layered paintings from two series: the ‘Up Jumped Spring’ series based on Freddie Hubbard’s lyrical jazz waltz, and the Berklee Series “Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for Song.” The Berklee Series is the result of a joint painting/jazz project with student composers at Berklee College of Music’s elite Global Jazz Institute.

Priest’s paintings are layered relief constructions made with superimposed layers of opaque and translucent papers, cut away in some sections, collaged with additional forms. The artist listens to the music many times and studies the score to create abstract brush studies painted while the music is playing; almost “choreographing” the forms. The resulting paintings embody a multi-layered space, sometimes open, sometimes dense, depending on the specific musical subject matter, full of color and light.

Priest, a Wilmington-based artist, graduated from the Yale Divinity School, CT and from Lawrence University, WI. She has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the region and is included in many private and public collections. To read more about the artist, visit her Individual Artist Fellowship page.

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit or call 302-577-8278.

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