Delaware Fellowship Awards Arrive at CAMP Rehoboth!

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A new exhibition at CAMP Rehoboth celebrates the accomplishments of 17 Delaware artists each with their own unique artistic medium. These include choreograph, painting, writing, blacksmithing, sculpting, among others. Delaware’s Individual Artist Fellowships recognize artists for their outstanding quality of work and provide monetary awards. Individual Artist Fellows are publicly acknowledged and benefit from the additional exposure to their work. Four of the artists — Jack Clemons, Maribeth Fischer, Leah Beach and Robert Waters — come from Sussex County.

This year, work samples from 124 Delaware choreographers, composers, musicians, writers and visual artists were reviewed by out-of-state arts professionals, considering both demonstrated creativity and skill in their art form. Seventeen artists were selected for Fellowships and four Honorable Mentions.

The exhibition started its journey at the Biggs Museum of American Art in June. It will remain here at CAMP Rehoboth through August 26 and then it will travel to the Cab Calloway School of the Arts in September, thus reaching all three Delaware counties.

The Biggs Museum sent this show to CAMP Rehoboth once before. “I think that the selections that Leslie Sinclair made this year and the way that she has brought things together are especially good,” says Ryan Grover, curator at the Biggs Museum. “They look great in this space and I think the artists are really happy and I think it is a good use of this project.”

One of the four award winners from Sussex County is Fischer. “I am a writer and I love to write and getting this award just keeps me writing,” says Fischer, who writes about serious non-fiction subjects ranging from grief to sorrow and similar issues. But now she has been focusing on writing about happiness and small ordinary moments in everyday life. Happiness, she points out, is not something that most writers write about. “Because what’s the story? There is no story to happiness. There’s no drama,” she observes. “So it’s been a challenge.” Fischer also runs the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild.

Ellen Durkan, from Wilmington, is a blacksmith who usually works with steel and copper. She creates forged fashion and runway performance pieces. Next month she will do a full runway show at The Delaware Contemporary. “I started working in metal when I was in grad school and then I just kind of kept going. Now it’s this!” She says she makes her works more for performance than to sell. “I just make the pieces that I want to make, and I want to present them the way I see them,” she adds.

Beach, another Sussex County artist and co-founder of the Dewey Artist Collaboration, is a photographer. Her thought-provoking works on exhibit come from her Global Dementia Project. “I am on a journey to tell the story of global dementia from all corners of the globe,” she explains. “I’m here to change the global perspective of dementia through my lense… I am here to show the world that dementia is everywhere… From the most rural areas, to urban cities, to people in your community.” Her photographs have been used as presentation aids for the World Health Organization, as well as marketing resources for many international dementia organizations.

Lauren Peters from Wilmington, poses in front of her self portrait. “I have been painting self portraits for a few years,” Peters says. “I put on different wigs and costumes to somewhat change my appearance,” she explains. She paints herself only in oils and has been painting only for the past three or four years.

Visit this special exhibition in person this month at CAMP Rehoboth and see the Delaware Division of the Arts website for details on all of the artists.

Appearing in the group photo are Leslie Sinclair, Ryan Grover, Thomas Del Porte, Lauren Peters, Jack Clemons, Paul Weagraff, Maribeth Fischer, Jen Epler and Rob Waters.

Photo courtesy Leslie Sinclair