WILMINGTON, DE (March 26, 2015)  

The Delaware Art Museum is pleased to present Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990, on view June 27 – September 27, 2015. This exhibition celebrates two dynamic decades of flourishing artistic activity in the City of Wilmington, Delaware, and features artists who emerged as key participants in the Wilmington art community during the 1970s and 1980s.

Beginning in the early 1970s, a number of commercial galleries, city-supported arts initiatives, and dedicated federal funding for outreach programs were established in Wilmington and its surrounding communities. Within this encouraging climate, artists collaborated to create organizations such as the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and the Delaware Theatre Company, many of which continue to support contemporary art in Wilmington today.

The creative energy extended further in the 1980s as Art on the Town, the citywide art loop launched in September 1988 and sponsored by the Wilmington Arts Commission, created a network to connect the multiple performing and visual arts organizations around the city. By the early 1990s, economic crises and the scrutiny of government funding of the arts led to a decrease in creative energy. In the wake were two of the most artistically vibrant decades of the 20th century.

This landmark exhibition plots the development of artistic trends within the Wilmington community and their relation to national creative tendencies, showcasing craft and design, drawing, painting, performance art, photography, and sculpture. More than 50 artists, including Mitch Lyons, Tom Watkins, Mary Page Evans, and Flash Rosenberg, are included in the exhibition. A catalogue featuring artist recollections and scholarly essays, a revival of the popular Dreamstreets arts and literary magazine, and a rich schedule of live arts programs and events will accompany the show.

“With the recent resurgence of development in the downtown Wilmington area, spurred by groups like Wilmington Renaissance Corporation, we are very excited to showcase the historical precursors from the 1970s and 1980s of Wilmington’s lively art community,” explains Delaware Art Museum’s Margaret Winslow, Associate Curator for Contemporary Art. “There are many exciting connections between these decades and artists working in the city today.”

To view large images and caption information, click below.

Related Publications

Exhibition Catalogue

A comprehensive catalogue for the exhibition Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990 brings together key artists, historians, and writers–Joyce Brabner, Dr. James E. Newton, and Rick Rothrock, among others–to document Wilmington’s creative community during the 1970s and 1980s. The catalogue will be available in the Museum Store and at

Dreamstreets #51 Literary Magazine

In honor of the summer exhibition Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990, the Delaware Art Museum has collaborated with the original Dreamstreets magazine editor, Steven Leech, to create the 51st issue of this legendary arts and literary journal that ran from 1977 to 2006. This collection of poetry, fiction, and contemporary art will be available for free at the Museum and at select locations throughout Wilmington, Delaware. Dreamtreets #51 will also be available for download at after June 1, 2015.

Oral History Project

Thanks to a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, the Museum will launch a major oral history project for the exhibition Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990. Between August 2010 and November 2013, interviews were conducted with 63 individuals-artists, musicians, arts advocates, and former politicians-whose activities impacted the contemporary art scene in Wilmington in the 1970s and 1980s. The transcriptions will be made available for research purposes in the Museum’s Helen Farr Sloan Library and Archives and through a new oral history collection online at

Partners and Sponsors

Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990 is made possible by DuPont and the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund. This exhibition is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support is provided by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Delaware Art Museum

Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is best known for its large collection of works by Wilmington native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators, a major collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, and urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle. Visitors can also enjoy the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden and a number of special exhibitions throughout the year.

The Delaware Art Museum is located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806. Hours: Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Friday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: Closed. Admission fees are charged as follows: Adults (19-59) $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (7-18) $6, and Children (6 and under) free. Admission fees are waived Thursdays after 4:00 p.m. and Sundays thanks to support from generous individuals and the Longwood Foundation. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll free), or visit the website at


For more information, contact:

Jessica Jenkins
Manager of Marketing & Public Relations