UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE MFA STUDENT, DUSTY JAMES!!!! Out of the 12 amazing artists featured in the 2013 MFA Biennial, the DCCA is pleased to announce that Mr. James received the most number of votes by the conclusion of the exhibition on March 9, 2014.

As the winner of this People’s Choice Award, Dusty James will receive a solo exhibition at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in 2015. Congratulations, Dusty!

Dusty James


Stop by the DCCA from noon to 1pm for Art Salad, this Thursday to hear Contraption artist, Lauren Ruth, address themes explored in her work.

Art Salad is a free lunchtime lecture series that features multi-point perspectives into the world of contemporary art from artists, historians, educators, and curators. For more info, check out the DCCA website.

Read what C. Grant Cox III has to say about play and his creative process in his artist statement below.

Play is the common thread that duct tapes our
imagination and the real world together. My practice is
a playful improvisation of combining found objects. As
a result, materials are ratchet strapped, clamped, bolted,
tied, and tacked together like IKEA furniture without
the instructions. Through these actions I present makeshift
machines that perform happenings of the everyday.
With this consumer residue I create contraptions
that explore notions of the grandiose and the pathetic.


Hear Contraption artist, Tim Eads, talk about his studio practice and interactive sculpture during this week’s Art Salad.

Art Salad is a free lunchtime lecture series held at the DCCA on Thursdays from noon to 1 pm. For more info, check out the DCCA website.

Check out this interview with Tim Eads in Open Letters Monthly. Here’s an excerpt:

OLM: Could you tell us a little about Twenty? That’s not the butter-churn piece, is it?

Tim: Twenty is a piece I made in 2009 for my degree show. Since then I installed it at the University of Delaware Gallery Crane Arts building in Philadelphia. It was great to see the installation take on a new form in a different location. A video of the installation can be seen here. Twenty is an interactive installation where the viewer pumps one of two bike pumps in the room. After twenty pumps, the air travels through 400 feet of air hose and blows a small pinwheel. The piece brings up another common theme in my work which is the idea of inefficient mechanisms. Twenty falls into this category because it takes twenty pumps to get enough air to blow the pinwheel — quite ridiculous if you ask me.

The pedal-operated butter churn that generates electricity to run a toaster is titled 3,178 minus 366. 3,178 is the approximate number of calories in a pound of butter, 366 is the approximate number of calories burned to make the butter on the bike (about 30 minutes) A video of the piece can be seen here. I made the piece using funds that I raised on During the show I schedule butter making events where viewers can pedal to make butter. Monday was one such event — we made over 10 pounds of butter in 2 hours. The piece is currently on view through June at the Princeton Arts Council in Princeton, NJ.

Curious about what Joanie Turbek has to say about her creative process and social interaction? Check out this article about her 2009 show, Joanie Turbek: Minor Malfunction, at The Clay Studio where Turbek is a resident.

Here’s an excerpt:

Turbek is a sculptor, installation, and performance artist and a maker of objects. She describes her work as “pieces that function both as sculpture as well as props for social interaction. The viewer must perform with the piece in order to use it. Through lowbrow materials and simple, transparent mechanics I encourage the viewer to approach the work with the same candor that they might approach exercise equipment.”

The DCCA’s new show Contraption is filled with a wide array of Rube Goldberg-like machines and interactive devices including Tracy Featherstone’s wearable sculptures. Here’s what Featherstone has to say on her website about these sculptures:

Wearable works take the metaphor of home equals relationships mobile. Structure becomes fashion accessory. By forcing the body into uncomfortably structured situations it is evident how stability and structure are a facade. The wearable works reference construction techniques but are fashioned in an unstable and chaotic manner. They are a frenzied attempt to create order from an ultimately unpredictable surrounding. The mobile element of the wearables works to subvert the attempts of control.

It’s a busy year for Cynthia Norton. Not only does her work appear in Contraption, but also in the exhibit, Cynthia Norton: Freedom Rings Placed Within, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The exhibit, which runs from March 3 – May 27, 2012, juxtaposes PAFA’s fine art collection with references to Norton’s Southern upbringing and Kentucky culture. Check out the full exhibition description on PAFA’s website.

Check out this article about Young Country which appeared in the Delmarva Daily Times at the end of January. Here’s an excerpt:

“Young Country” is a cutting-edge show featuring about two dozen recent works by younger American artists, primarily from rural areas of the South, Midwest and Southwest. In addition to a region, “country” also refers — in this case, ironically — to an outmoded aesthetic position, implying that such art consists of forms and ideas that are no longer current.

The show’s curator, Maiza Hixson, who is the curator of contemporary art at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, believes that all too often, bi-coastal elites (and especially the New York art establishment) assume that artists from the “country” make “country” art; and, more often than not, dismiss such art as unoriginal and provincial, even when they haven’t seen it.

The irony, of course, is that the artists that Hixson has selected for this show are all extremely sophisticated (and some have even shown their work in New York). They’re keenly aware of what’s taking place on the national and international art scene, and use similar media — including staged photographs, video, assemblage, installation, and unconventional materials — to explore some of the same ideas and concepts as their big city peers.

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Want to learn more about Contraption and the themes explored in the show? Here’s your chance. This Thursday, Feburary 16th, artist and Assistant Professor of Visual Communications at the University of Delaware, Ashley John Pigford, will speak about Contraption and the themes found in interactive works of art during Art Salad. Art Salad is a free lunchtime lecture series held at the DCCA on Thursdays from noon to 1 pm. For more information, check out the Art Salad page on the DCCA website.