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.


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.


The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “On Display II” by Shari Dierkes

On view from February 4-25, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (January 31, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present artist Shari Dierkes’ exhibition, On Display II, from February 4 through February 25, 2022. Dierkes was named a 2021 Emerging Artist Fellow in the category of Crafts by the Delaware Division of the Arts. The artist will host a free opening reception on Friday, February 4 from 5-7 p.m. The opening reception will also be a stop on Art Loop Wilmington, the monthly self-guided tour of art exhibits in and around the city.

On Display II is a visual storytelling of Dierkes’ artistic journey that includes some of her previous work; her Artist Fellowship application collection; and new works created as a result of the Fellowship. She chose the title, she says, to play on the vulnerability she has experienced displaying her art — the graphic embodiment of her inner thoughts — in a public forum.

“My curiosity about the realities of human life include a deep dive into behavior, psychology, and relationships, and the conversations these elements have with each other,” she notes. “My hope is that viewers get a sense of how the parts of our existence work together, even if not always in harmony. We are imperfect systems.”

Dierkes’ work often uses plants as a metaphor for her experiences in the human condition. Her material choices are often driven by natural resources with malleable properties, such as wood, metal, and gemstones.

Dierkes says the act of creating art, for her, is like the need to eat. “I need to do some form of it to survive. Even more, though, it’s like eating a favorite meal. I not only need to create art, but I also thoroughly enjoy creating it.”

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

Image in banner: The Glorification of Motherhood (detail), 2021, mixed media, 7″ x 7″ x 7″

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.  All visitors are required to wear face coverings and maintain 3 feet distance from other individuals not in their household.

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Contact: Kaitlin Ammon, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications
302-577-8280, kaitlin.ammon@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 “Fleeting” by Siobhan Duggan

On view from December 3, 2021-January 7, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (November 23, 2021) – The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present artist Siobhan Duggan’s exhibition, Fleeting, December 3, 2021-January 7, 2022. Duggan was named a 2021 Emerging Artist Fellow in the category of Works on Paper by the Delaware Division of the Arts. The artist will host a free opening reception on Friday, December 3 from 5-7 p.m. The opening reception will be a stop on Art Loop Wilmington, the monthly self-guided tour of art exhibits in and around the city, which is making its return on the same evening after being shuttered for over a year.

Duggan’s work truly could be described as a visual love letter to Coastal Delaware. The artist’s exhibit of pastel drawings purely captures her fondness of the regional scenery, from farm fields to beaches. “My work is inspired by the varying landscapes and inspiring world that is Coastal Delaware,” she says. “I’ve always enjoyed drawing in quiet, open spaces, recording places I’ve been, connecting with my local community. I find it rewarding to notice those brief moments when the color changes in the landscape around me.”

Duggan’s technique reflects both realistic and abstract interpretations of her journeys throughout lower Delaware. “I’ve been exploring color, expanding scale, and experimenting with abstraction,” she says. “I’m focusing on fleeting moments of color as I travel Route 1.” This exhibit, Fleeting, encompasses those moments in between that she aimed to capture.

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

Image in banner: Intersection, Knit Together, June 2021, pastel, 12 x 23 inches

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.  All visitors are required to wear face coverings and maintain 3 feet distance from other individuals not in their household.

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Contact: Kaitlin Ammon, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications
302-577-8280, kaitlin.ammon@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.