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Mezzanine Gallery


Gail Husch

Characters

On view May 6-30, 2022

The banner shows detail of a few of Gail Husch's sculptures.

The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents artist Gail Husch’s exhibition, Characters, running May 6-30, 2022. Her exhibit will also be part of Art Loop Wilmington — the monthly self-guided tour of art in and around the city.

A sculptor of whimsical figures and forms, Husch has been named a 2022 DDOA Emerging Artist Fellow in the Visual Arts discipline of Crafts.

After growing up in New Hampshire, Husch attended the University of South Florida, earning a BA in Art Education. She then moved on to Amherst College in Massachusetts for a Masters in Art History. In 1984, she and her husband made the trek to Delaware, where she pursued a PhD in Art History at the University of Delaware. She’s been a “Delawarean” ever since. Husch also taught art history at Goucher College near Baltimore from 1989 until her retirement in 2017.

Her imaginative creations are primarily small clay people who, as Husch describes, “…teeter on the edge of the ridiculous without losing their humanity.” Her figures are heavily inspired by literature and history, and by people she encounters or finds in pictures.

“…a smorgasbord of body shapes and movements, facial structures, and expressions,” Husch says. “I find characters from literature (especially Charles Dickens) and earlier historical periods especially compelling.”

Her love of this distinctive medium came one day over 40 years ago in a ceramics course that emphasized abstract vessels and forms. “I played with a lump of clay that turned into the crude figure of a woman in a bustled dress,” she recalls. “I was exhilarated by the transformation of malleable earth into a creature with its own expressive life.”

In her work, she favors such subjects that invite exaggeration in expression and pose. She’s drawn to the foolish and the extreme, and to characters who remind us that we might not see ourselves as others do.

“I gain immense satisfaction when I manage to achieve the right expression on a figure’s face, the right attitude of its body. It might take five, ten or twenty tries before the curl of a mouth, the flare of a nostril, or the tilt of a torso conveys something I intended. Each piece is the result of an immersive process of discovery.”

This exhibit not only features her small ceramic figures of literary and historical subjects, but also selections from a 32-piece chess set — a king, a queen, a bishop, a knight, two rooks, and two pawns — which she created in 2019. All the sculptures are stoneware; those in white clay have a black underglaze; acrylic paint adds color to the red and white clay figures.

The chess pieces are of particular curiosity; does she enjoy a good game of chess, we asked?

“I am not, in fact, a chess player, but the range in a set offered a rich field for exploration,” Husch says. “I tried to put into each piece some aspect of humanity, with a twist of humorous exaggeration — arrogant kings, condescending queens, belligerent knights, desiccated bishops, monstrous rooks, supplicating pawns.”

The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. Guests are invited to attend the Artists Opening Reception on Friday, May 6, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Image (L-R): Revolutionary Woman (2020); clay, underglaze, acrylic paint; 9”h x 5.5”w x 6”d; Dickens’ Uriah Heep (2020); clay, underglaze, acrylic paint; 9.5” x 5” x 5.5”; French Fop (2021); clay, underglaze, acrylic paint; 9” x 5.5” x 6”.


Mezzanine Gallery Application

The Mezzanine Gallery, located in the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, features one-person exhibitions of Delaware artists in disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, folk, and media arts.

To be considered for an exhibition, artists may submit a Mezzanine Gallery Application before the annual deadline of March 15.


Individual Artist Fellowship Application

Delaware’s Individual Artist Fellowships recognize artists for their outstanding quality of work and provide monetary awards. Individual Artist Fellows are publicly acknowledged and benefit from the additional exposure to their work. Visual artists who receive Individual Artist Fellowships are also given the opportunity to exhibit in the Mezzanine Gallery.

To be considered for a Fellowship, artists may submit an Individual Artist Fellowship Application before the annual deadline of August 1.

 

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Visit the Gallery


Hours

Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Photo ID required after 4:30 p.m.


Parking 

On-street and garage parking available


Admission

Free and open to the public.

 

About the Gallery

The Mezzanine Gallery presents solo exhibitions of work by Delaware artists in disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, folk, and media arts.

This opportunity is available to Delaware’s emerging and established visual artists who have won Individual Artist Fellowships, or have been chosen by the Division’s annual Gallery Panel.

 

Opening Reception

Held the first Friday of the month from 5-7 p.m. Dates are subject to change.

 

Upcoming Exhibitions

Gail Husch*

Crafts
May 6-30, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, May 6 from 5-7 p.m.

Samara Weaver

Mixed Media
June 3-24, 2022
Opening Reception: TBA

Forest Red

Painting/Mixed Media
July 1-29, 2022
Opening Reception: TBA

Katie West*

Photography
August 5-26, 2022
Opening Reception: TBA

 

Division logo with puzzle piece effect

Our annual exhibition schedule runs from
September to August, with a new exhibition
every month except in January.
*2022 Individual Artist Fellow

 

 


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Contact Us

Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street,
     4th Floor
     Wilmington, DE 19801
  302.577.8278  | 
302.577.6561
delarts@delaware.gov
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