BY CAROLINE POWELL
Whether you’re bored on the weekends, looking for somewhere to go that’s within walking distance or looking for a date to take yourself, friends or partner on, the university has upgraded six new exhibitions all over campus to explore, including “Focus on Painting, The Artist’s Book in Our Times,” “Seeing Textiles in Painting, Printing, and Papermaking, 1960-Today,” “Ground Minerals from Pigments to Palette,” “First and Last: Delaware’s Fraught History with Slavery and Abolition” and “A Small but Mighty Press: The University of Delaware Press 100th Anniversary.”
I will preface by saying I have only gone to two of the six exhibits, but I will make time to see them again with friends as well as the other four exhibits.
First, I went to Mechanical Hall, right next to Lil Bob, to see the textile exhibition titled, “Seeing Textiles in Painting, Printing and Papermaking, 1960-Today.” Since there was a decent amount of modern and contemporary art on display, I felt like I was in a mini museum. I could’ve spent hours in there just staring at all of the pieces.
I have many favorite pieces from this exhibition, including Imaniah Shinar’s “Ebony Queen,” Malaya Akulukjuk and Olootaa Veevee’s “Dancing Bird” and more. But three pieces stood out to me above the rest.
First, David Stephens’ “Eight Four (B)” (1980) caught my attention immediately because of the composition of colors and the texture of the artwork. Stephen created this silkscreen print by weaving and coiling strands of different colors into the final composition. I was in awe of how the inspiration of textures from woven baskets transformed this piece into what it is.
This next piece made my top list for similar reasons. I found myself standing in front of it and staring at all the details for what seemed like hours. Frank E. Smith’s “Be Bop Vamp” (1986) was absolutely mesmerizing due to the shapes, colors and patterns he used. The vibrancy of the piece made me wish it was made into a quilt. The description next to the art stated that Smith was a member of the African Commune of Black Revolutionary Artists (AfriCOBRA) and worked across media to make art resembling quilts. So, my wish wasn’t far off from Smith’s inspiration.
Lastly, my most favorite piece from the entire gallery had to have been Leamon Green Jr.’s “Quilt Man” (1999). There was no information given near the display on its history, other than it being an offset lithograph, but what was amazing to me was the use of lines to create texture, shadows and highlights. I was staring into the Quilt Man’s eyes for a while because they seemed to have an emotion I couldn’t discover. The picture doesn’t do it justice, so I highly recommend seeing it for yourself. Overall, it was fascinating to see how these artists took inspiration from textiles and translated their inspiration into a unique display of their own talents.
Next, I traveled to the Mineralogical Museum inside Penny Hall, and was greeted with a room full of crystals and minerals displaying the collection of George F. Kunz, an American mineralogist and vice-president of Tiffany & Co., which was purchased by Irénée du Pont.
The displays contained beautiful minerals with intricate details. Part of the exhibition also included regional minerals, some of which were from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Some minerals I found to be particularly intricate included Uranocircite from Brazil, Malachite from Russia, Wulfenite from Mexico, Azurite from Arizona and a slab of Rhodochrosite from Argentina.
George F. Kunz’s exhibition was physically smaller than the textile one, but had so many different crystals and minerals to look at. I was fascinated to see and know that the university holds so much of the beauty found in places all over the world.
Although I only got to see two of the many exhibitions across campus, it was a fun way to pass some free time, explore campus and learn about creative history.
We’ll done! Thank you.