The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “Characters” by Gail Husch

On view from May 6-30, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (April 28, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents artist Gail Husch’s exhibition, Characters, running May 6 through 30, 2022. Her exhibit will also be part of Art Loop Wilmington — the monthly self-guided tour of art in and around the city. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception to be held Friday, May 6, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. 

A sculptor of whimsical figures and forms, Husch has been named a 2022 DDOA Emerging Artist Fellow in the Visual Arts discipline of Crafts.

After growing up in New Hampshire, Husch attended the University of South Florida, earning a BA in Art Education. She then moved on to Amherst College in Massachusetts for a Masters in Art History. In 1984, she and her husband made the trek to Delaware, where she pursued a PhD in Art History at the University of Delaware. She’s been a “Delawarean” ever since. Husch also taught art history at Goucher College near Baltimore from 1989 until her retirement in 2017.

Her imaginative creations are primarily small clay people who, as Husch describes, “…teeter on the edge of the ridiculous without losing their humanity.” Her figures are heavily inspired by literature and history, and by people she encounters or finds in pictures.

“…a smorgasbord of body shapes and movements, facial structures, and expressions,” Husch says. “I find characters from literature (especially Charles Dickens) and earlier historical periods especially compelling.”

Her love of this distinctive medium came one day over 40 years ago in a ceramics course that emphasized abstract vessels and forms. “I played with a lump of clay that turned into the crude figure of a woman in a bustled dress,” she recalls. “I was exhilarated by the transformation of malleable earth into a creature with its own expressive life.”

In her work, she favors such subjects that invite exaggeration in expression and pose. She’s drawn to the foolish and the extreme, and to characters who remind us that we might not see ourselves as others do.

“I gain immense satisfaction when I manage to achieve the right expression on a figure’s face, the right attitude of its body. It might take five, ten or twenty tries before the curl of a mouth, the flare of a nostril, or the tilt of a torso conveys something I intended. Each piece is the result of an immersive process of discovery.”

This exhibit not only features her small ceramic figures of literary and historical subjects, but also selections from a 32-piece chess set — a king, a queen, a bishop, a knight, two rooks, and two pawns — which she created in 2019. All the sculptures are stoneware; those in white clay have a black underglaze; acrylic paint adds color to the red and white clay figures.

The chess pieces are of particular curiosity; does she enjoy a good game of chess, we asked?

“I am not, in fact, a chess player, but the range in a set offered a rich field for exploration,” Husch says. “I tried to put into each piece some aspect of humanity, with a twist of humorous exaggeration — arrogant kings, condescending queens, belligerent knights, desiccated bishops, monstrous rooks, supplicating pawns.”

The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. 

Image (L-R): Revolutionary Woman (2020); clay, underglaze, acrylic paint; 9”h x 5.5”w x 6”d; Dickens’ Uriah Heep (2020); clay, underglaze, acrylic paint; 9.5” x 5” x 5.5”; French Fop (2021); clay, underglaze, acrylic paint; 9” x 5.5” x 6”.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


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 arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.


The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “Painting in the Presence of Change” by 2022 Artist Fellow, Mia Muratori

On view from April 1-29, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (March 30, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents artist Mia Muratori’s exhibition, Painting in the Presence of Change, running April 1 through 29, 2022. Her exhibit will also be part of Art Loop Wilmington — the monthly self-guided tour of art in and around the city. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception to be held Friday, April 1, from 5-7 p.m.

Muratori is an abstract creator, named a 2022 Established DDOA Fellow in the discipline of Painting. Born in Germany, she has lived and worked in both New York City and Los Angeles. Muratori earned her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware in 1996 and moved to Delaware permanently in 1998.

She knew she wanted to be an artist from the age of 6. And, even though she’s worked in high-profile environments like Wall Street, Muratori has always incorporated some form of artwork into her world. She began her artistic endeavors in clay media, switching to painting around 2001.

Her current work — a mix of media including oils and encaustics — reflects her day-to-day experiences but also illustrates what she sees in the psycho-socio-politico-metaphysical world.

Muratori says she’s invested in capturing both the familiar and non-ordinary. “…that which is seen with the third eye, neurological imagery,” she says. She finds it most rewarding to visually capture thoughts, emotions, the zeitgeist: “…recording essences of persons, things, places, space and time.”

“I create to make something visually arresting, satisfying, and meaningful to myself and to others,” she says. “Making thoughts visible and the workings of the mind is what I find most compelling.”

The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.

Image Credit: VIGILANT, Acrylic Charcoal Ink/Paper, 36”x 48”, 2021.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


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 arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.


Natalie Kim Ramos to Represent Delaware in 2022 Poetry Out Loud Virtual National Semifinals

Wilmington, Del. (March 10, 2022) – From a field of ten Delaware high school students, Natalie Kim Ramos, a senior from Saint Mark’s High School, earned the title of 2022 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the virtual state finals held on March 10. The first runner-up was Kai Schmiedel from Delaware Valley Classical School and the second runner-up was Aiden Morris from Mount Sophia Academy.

Ramos’ recitation, “How To Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limón, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

As the 2022 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion, Ramos will receive $200 and the opportunity to compete in the virtual national semifinals on Sunday, May 1, 2022, which will be streamed on arts.gov. Saint Mark’s High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. Kai Schmiedel, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Delaware Valley Classical School will receive $200 for its school library.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

To learn more about the competition and for a full list of state finalists, please view our website.

Watch the full 2022 Delaware state competition below:

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. 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. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


The Delaware Division of the Arts to Host 2022 Virtual Poetry Out Loud State Competition

Ten Delaware high school students to compete for the state title and to advance to virtual National Finals

MEDIA ADVISORY
March 2, 2022

WHAT: Ten Delaware high school students participated in the taped state finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest that will premiere on the Delaware Division of the Arts’ YouTube channel. The winner of this competition will represent Delaware and advance to the national semifinals, to be streamed on Sunday, May 1, 2022 on arts.gov, with the top nine students advancing to the national finals, that will stream on Sunday, June 5, 2022. This program is sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.

WHEN: Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Delaware Division of the Arts’ YouTube channel

WHO: Finalists, Featured Speakers and Judges will be:

 

2022 Delaware State Finalists

Name School
Blessings Akanbi Hodgson Vocational Technical School
Joelle Caternor Smyrna High School
Robyn Goodman Woodbridge High School
Aiden Morris Mount Sophia Academy
Ololade Olubowale The Tatnall School
Natalie Kim Ramos Saint Mark’s High School
Kai Schmiedel Delaware Valley Classical School
Ashley Schnyder Sanford School
Kylie Short Milford High School
Carrie Van Hauter Sussex Central High School

 

Speakers and judges will be:

Speakers:

Jessica Ball, Director, Delaware Division of the Arts

The Honorable Jeffrey W. Bullock, Secretary of State, State of Delaware

Mistress of Ceremonies:

JoAnn Balingit, D. Teaching Artist

Judges:

Jamie Brunson, Executive Director, First Person Arts and 2022 Individual Artist Fellow – Playwriting

Kari Ann Ebert, Poetry and Interview Editor, The Broadkill Review

David Salner, Poet and Writer

Alyssa Watters, Teen Center Coordinator, Milford Public Library

Christian Wills, Poet, Teaching Artist, and Lyricist

Beverly Romain, Poet, Teaching Artist, and Writer will serve as Accuracy Judge

Production Team:

Director: Traci Currie, Ph.D, Teaching Artist

Film Editor: Kevin Muhammad, Advocate Media

Closed Captioning: Daniel Sato, Director of Multimedia, Government Information Center, State of Delaware

Program Staff:

Sheila Dean Ross, Program Officer, Arts in Education, Delaware Division of the Arts

Kaitlin Ammon, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing, Delaware Division of the Arts

Dana Wise, Administrative Assistant, Delaware Division of the Arts

OTHER: The 2022 Poetry Out Loud photos will be available the day after the event. Use hashtags: #POL22 and #iampoetryoutloud. Tag us at: @ArtsDelaware

Learn more

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. 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. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “Recycle, Repurpose…RE-IMAGINE” by Colleen Zufelt

On view from March 4-25, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (March 1, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents artist Colleen Zufelt’s exhibition, Recycle, Repurpose…RE-IMAGINE, showing March 4 through 25, 2022. Her exhibit will also be part of Art Loop Wilmington — the monthly self-guided tour of art in and around the city.

Zufelt spent over 15 years exhibiting her work throughout the U.S. In 1996, she stepped away from her studio to teach art in private and public schools. In fact, Zufelt was named Henry B. duPont Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2019. She has also previously taught classes and workshops at Delaware Art Museum, the Art Studios of New Castle County, Center for the Creative Arts, and Christina Cultural Arts Center. After retiring from public teaching in 2020, she returned to her studio full time.

Zufelt may be known to Delaware arts lovers more for her work in ceramics, but her full body of work includes not only ceramics but also clay compositions and vessels, and metal sculpture.

Her interest in metals came in 2016 after she attended a Marshall Bridge Workshop in Kennett Square with sculptor Stan Smokler. In that workshop, artists would search junk yards and scrap metal locations collecting tossed-away materials and “…envisioning what the next life would be for these pieces” through sculpture.

She continues that process, visiting junk shops, antiques stores, and the like, developing vessels that play with natural light and shadow when displayed outdoors. She is also working on adding elements of “illumination from within” to her sculptures.

Of her return to creating and her most recent works, Zufelt notes: “As I return to my studio full time, I strive to create a beauty from the discarded in my search for harmony.”

Her current series employs both metal and clay remnants — some Zufelt has saved over years of creating, and others that have evolved as she herself explored new processes.

“In our current fast-paced world, I hope to inspire viewers to slow down and contemplate the Spirit of Creation while at the same time, recycling, repurposing, and reusing,” she says.

The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. Guests are invited to attend the Artists Opening Reception to be held Friday, March 4, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. as part of Art Loop Wilmington.

Learn more about Zufelt and her upcoming exhibition with our YouTube Meet the Artist video series.

Image: Gatekeeper III (2020), Steel; plasma cut/welded recycled parts, 37”h x 18”w.

The Mezzanine Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. 

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Community Engagement
302-577-8282, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


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 arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.