Local Distiguished Artists Recognized in New Exhibition Series

Three artists spotlighted in two 2019 exhibitions at the Delaware Art Museum

Wilmington, DE (February 8, 2019) — The Delaware Art Museum is delighted to announce the innaugral year of the Distinguished Artist Series-a core part of the Museum’s strategic vision to highlight local artists and welcome diverse audiences. This new program celebrates artists who have-for fifty years or more-impacted contemporary art in the greater Wilmington area through their artistic practices, teaching, and support for the community and its various institutions. Through unique exhibitions and associated programming, the series will examine these artists’ legacies as they relate to local, national, and international artistic trends.

The Distinguished Artist Series will begin in March 2019 with a two-person exhibition of paintings by Edward Loper, Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr., followed by a showing of the late Mitch Lyons’ clay monoprints and vessels. Future shows will present the work of Margo Allman, Julio daCunha, and Helen Mason.

The Lopers on Film
March 23 – May 12, 2019
Gallery 9

Edward L. Loper: Prophet of Color. Directed and produced by Sharon K. Baker, 35 min., Teleduction, Inc., 1999. 2000 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Production.

Recollections of Edward Loper, Jr. Produced by Richard Weisgrau and Senior Artists Initiative in association with the Delaware Art Museum, 26 min., 2019.

The Loper Tradition: Paintings by Edward Loper, Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr.
March 23 – August 4, 2019
Galleries 11 and 12: Ammon Memorial Galleries)
Select works will be on view in Galleries 15 and 16: The Lynn Herrick Sharp
Galleries Gallery 17

The Distinguished Artist Series opens with the first comprehensive museum exhibition to showcase the paintings of Edward Loper, Sr. and his son, Edward Loper Jr. and their continued artistic impact on this region. On view March 23 through August 4, 2019, The Loper Tradition: Paintings by Edward Loper, Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr. will feature more than 30 paintings assembled from the Museum’s collection, private individuals, and other public institutions.

Edward Loper, Sr. is one of Delaware’s most celebrated artists. He lived his entire life in Delaware and taught generations of local artists. His son, Loper, Jr. was equally prolific. He was formerly the head of the Visual Arts department at Christina Cultural Arts Center and participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the region. Their styles, though distinct, share an approach to form and color and acknowledge modernist traditions from the turn of the 20th century.

“The community and my family are very excited that this exhibition is taking place. It’s long overdue,” says Jamie Loper, son of Edward Loper, Jr. “Spending the last two years really learning about my father’s and grandfather’s art has awakened a hopefulness in me… We can look at a broken down house and might feel sad or depressed. But they can take these subjects and scenes and reintroduce them to us in celebration so that they can be seen as beautiful.”

Programming dedicated to The Loper Tradition will include:

3/23 (2 p.m.)
Book signing by Marilyn A. Bauman, author of Edward L. Loper, Sr.: The Prophet of Color. Bauman also contributed to the catalog accompanying the exhibition.

3/24 (2 p.m.)
A Life in Painting with Edward Loper, Jr.
Edward Loper, Jr. shares his memories of people, places, and his life in Wilmington through his paintings on view in The Loper Tradition: Paintings by Edward Loper Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr.

3/31, 4/7, 5/5 (11 a.m.)
Local community members taught by Edward Loper, Sr. will share their stories and memories of the artist and his works.

4/9 – 5/28 (6 p.m.)
Painting in the Loper Tradition with Thomas Del Porte

6/27 (5 p.m.) (curatorial talk 6:30 p.m.)
Friends of Loper Happy Hour and Conversation
Join us for drinks on the terrace and then join Contemporary Art Curator Margaret Winslow, scholar Dr. Leslie Wingard, and supporters of the Loper Tradition who will discuss the paintings by both artists, Edward Loper Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr., on view in the exhibition.

Research for this exhibition was conducted by Dr. Leslie Wingard supported by the Alfred Appel, Jr. Curatorial Fellowship.

Mitch Lyons: The Hand Translated
September 7 – February 2, 2020
Galleries 11 and 12: Ammon Memorial Galleries

In its second 2019 exhibition, the Distinguished Artist Series will feature the late Mitch Lyons, a pioneer in the local arts community and the field of print-making. Over the past five decades, Lyons-who passed away in 2018 during the planning of this exhibition-developed a truly innovative form of print-making from clay.

Lyons received his undergraduate degree in graphic design from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and continued his studies at Tyler School of Art where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics in 1971.

Lyons worked as a traditional potter until 1980, the pivotal point in his career when he refined his method of printing directly from clay. Like most traditional potters, Lyons was motivated by a love for the material and described himself as a “clay person making prints.” Instead of firing the clay to a permanent state, Lyons captured a lasting two-dimensional image of the clay’s surface. In a celebration of his life’s work,

The Hand Translated surveys the developments and experimentations in Lyons’ 50-year-long journey to inventing the clay monoprint.
Each of these exhibitions is organized by the Delaware Art Museum. Additional support is provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
For more information about these exhibitions, please contact Ti Hall, Manager of Communications and Storytelling, at thall@delart.org or 302-351-8558.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.