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Friday’s Field Trip: A Day of Play in a Sculpture Garden

After weeks of bad weather, (rain, snow, freezing rain, winter mix, sleet) we finally had a sunny day on Friday. I decided to head over to the Delaware Art Museum, walk their Labyrinth and enjoy their sculpture garden.

Several of the sculptures in the Copeland Sculpture Garden are immensely popular in Wilmington, probably because they are so accessible. The Crying Giant by Tom Otterness is a perfect example. Children love, love, love this piece. They sit on the feet, swing around the legs; make up stories about why the giant is crying, and try to make the giant feel better. That level of interaction between artwork and its audience is hard to find.

Crying Giant Image  by Tom Otterness  Image Copyright Gail A. Sisolak 20123

Trickster Joe Moss, Delaware artist and Newark resident, creates art pieces equally engaging. His sculptures frequently have both a sight and sound component. Orifice II, his bright red disks, is a perfect example. The center directs the viewers gaze to a specific point, while the bowed shapes reflect sound.

Orifice II by Joe Moss Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

Orifice II by Joe Moss Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

In these two videos, made by the Delaware Division of the Arts, Moss shares some of his work and his design processes.

My personal favorite is a kinetic sculpture by George Rickey called Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III. Gyratory? I love new words, so I was immediately intrigued. It only takes a few seconds for the wind to shift and the TRHJG to whirl, creating an entirely new work of art. This would make an ideal gorilla art project. I’d love to sneak in the gardens in the dead of night, and put stickers on the rectangles saying “Oz,” “Narnia” and “Neverland,” and turn the sculpture into a dancing signpost. I’ll have to Photoshop one of my photos some day, since I’d never REALLY destroy another artist’s work.

Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III by George Rickey  Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III by George Rickey Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

At least I am constant in my affection. I saw Rickey’s Two Red Lines at the Oakland Museum sometime prior to 1973, and it made a lasting impression on me. If fact, it is one of only two pieces I remember seeing.

He’s a video of his work.

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Breakfast with the Arts: Part 3

 Weekday Breaks for Art

Wikipedia: DelawareArt Museum: Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

Wikipedia: DelawareArt Museum: Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

Those looking for light bite to start the day should check out the Thronson Café in the Delaware Museum of Art. The café and its terrace both overlook the Copeland Sculpture Garden. Assorted coffees, muffins, bagels, juices and the popular fruit parfait provide the perfect art beak in a busy day.

The Thronson Café is open Wednesday though Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday noon to 3:00 p.m.

The Delaware Art Museum’s collections are predominantly drawn from late 19th and early 20th century American illustration, as well as works from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The basis of the museum’s collections is the works of Howard Pyle and his pupils, N.C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, and Stanley Arthurs. Starting in 1961 Helen Farr Sloan, the wife of artist John French Sloan, began donations that eventually totaled 5,000 objects.

Since the 1970s the museum has added works by modern artists, such as Jacob Lawrence, Louise Nevelson, Robert Motherwell, George Segal and Jim Dine.

For More Information:

Delaware Art Museum

2301 Kentmere Parkway

Wilmington, DE

(302) 571-9590

This story was first published in the News Journal in 2008, under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All copyrights reserved.