Art for All at The Delaware Contemporary

Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald

Nov. 11 showcase for artists offers works for any budget

On Saturday, Nov. 11, The Delaware Contemporary hosts an event that is not only a fundraiser but also a call to action for the community to become art owners as well as art appreciators. The event, SABA III, creates a convivial, arty atmosphere focused on the promotion of art collecting for any budget or environment.

SABA III’s goal is twofold: To provide an opportunity for artists of all ages and stages to showcase their work, and to ignite community interest in collecting by providing affordable pieces for every level of interest.

The event is built around the aura of mystery—the artist of each work in the event is unnamed until the piece is purchased. “The excitement is in the ‘anonymous factor’—whose work are you actually purchasing?” says Kathrine Page, interim Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art. “Works range from those by local art students to emerging and established artists, Contemporary Studio Artists and staff members. The artists’ names will not be revealed until after the artwork has been purchased.”

Each participating artist is tasked with creating a 6×6-inch piece. That size, Page notes, is the “sweet spot” for art donations as well as art collectors. More work can be displayed and accommodated in a variety of spaces in that format, and it’s also easy to install. She says several other galleries and museums use a similar model in their events.

SABA III is more sale than auction—all artwork will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at a flat price of $25 per piece. The competitive element will be centered around who can get to the artwork first.

Executive Director Joseph J Gonzales is looking forward to the first major fundraising event under his tenure. He’s hoping it will create energy around art, artists and the art of collecting in a competitive environment. “Many arts organizations host events like this not only because they are mission-related and good fundraisers, but equally imperative as fun, festive ‘awareness’ occasions,” says Gonzales. “And bringing people together who love art to compete for ownership makes for an exciting evening.”

“We’re looking forward to a fun frenzy of purchasing during the event,” says Tatiana Michels, The Contemporary’s marketing manager.

Artist Delona Seserman will be participating. “The piece I donated depicts a geographical symbol of our state. It also represents my token of appreciation for the mission of The Delaware Contemporary,” she says. “Come to SABA to see what it is!”

Seserman has been an active studio artist, docent and teaching artist of The Contemporary since her move to Delaware in 2012. She observes first-hand that the organization delivers a complex art experience through annual exhibitions, artist studios and residency, and cultural events that promote the importance of a strong community. “There are not many organizations that can compel so harmoniously the essence of contemporary art in our society as The Delaware Contemporary,” she says.

The evening also includes live music and catering from food truck Pizzeria Pronto. Tickets range from $25-35 with a limited $100 patron preview option available, offering patrons the early chance to preselect works. Get tickets at decontemporary.org.

City Theater Company’s Reverence for Sondheim

The founders of City Theater Company (CTC)—Jon Cooper, Michael Gray and Tom Shade—launched the company in the early ‘90s with a nod to their “dramaturgical touchstone,” Stephen Sondheim. Now, more than two decades (and many tributes) later, CTC presents yet another Sondheim classic with Sunday in the Park with George.

The musical was inspired by French painter Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It takes the audience into the world of George (a fictional Seurat), who is fixated on the creation of his masterpiece, and his great-grandson George, himself a cynical contemporary artist.
Brendan Sheehan stars as painter Seurat in a stripped-down take on what it means to create art for both artist and audience. Founding Artistic Director Tom Shade returns to direct alongside Producing Artistic Director Michael Gray.

CTC’s production runs Dec. 1-16 at The Black Box on the Wilmington waterfront. Tickets are $15 (youth to age 15); $20 (students and military personnel with ID) or $40 (VIP) and are available now at city-theater.org.

Filling the Square with Noontime Music

Market Street Music’s venue, First & Central Presbyterian Church, sits on Rodney Square—one of the busiest business and social hubs in our city. Yet many of the countless workers, students, visitors and Wilmingtonians who traverse the square are unaware of the diverse and affordable mid-day musical menu available to them each week.

Now through May of next year, Market Street Music offers a respite from the weekly grind in the form of Thursday Noontime Concerts. The series delivers plenty of musical diversity: Center City Chorale; violin & piano duo Dina Nesterenko and Oksana Glauchko; countertenor Augustine Mercante and pianist Hiroko Yamazaki; Brandywine Harp Orchestra; Cartoon Christmas Trio, and much more. And best of all, it’s free (a suggested $5 donation is welcomed).

Music Director David Schelat notes that the series was developed to help introduce different genres of music. “Thursday Noontimes provide such a sampling of musical styles, listeners can enjoy a half-hour ‘taste’ and see if it’s to their liking,” he says.

The doors are open every Thursday at 12:30 p.m., and all are welcome. For more, go to marketstreetmusicde.org.

So, what do you think? Please comment below.