What Inspires us?

The artists in this exhibit - Susan Conner, Graham Dougherty, Charles Guerin,
Nancy Josephson, Jenna Lucente, Ken Mabrey, Lauren E. Peters, Roberta Tucci,
Samara Weaver, and Colleen Zufelt; have combined decades of creative
excellence and virtually hundreds of museum and gallery exhibits.
Please join us as we celebrate their inspiring work!

September 8-October 27, 2023
September 8, 5-8pm, September 9, 2-5pm
October 6, 5-8pm

Jenna Lucente

Influenced greatly by the pandemic, time spent at home, and a growing meditation practice, this is the practice of painting. In this series of small works, Lucente examines her household subjects with patience and presence, letting the paint, and knowledge of the paint, dictate the turn of events on the canvas. Each still life is painted in one sitting, offering an observation and frame of mind as perceived and painted on that day.

till life with plants, shell, and cat figurines, 20232023 Still life with 84th Street lamp, plants and Ginny's calendar, 2023

Nancy Josephson

I have spent large portions of my life embellishing my surroundings from whole rooms to every vehicle I’ve owned. I’ve “tricked out” my own cremation urn that reads “Does this make my ashes look big” on the back. My work is about transforming the mass mundane into celebration of the individual. Whether sacred or secular the mixed media sculpture is imbued with joy, beauty and an ironic touch of humor.

I have had the honor of mounting exhibitions in many places in this big wide world as well as being included in group shows in prestigious venues in this country and abroad. From a show entitled, ”Princess Layer Cake’s Vodou Boudoir” mounted in Paris, France to “Small Work, Big Spirit” which was shown in the Republic of Benin, West Africa I have had opportunities to reach a wide audience. In the United States I have created full room installations at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland and have had large pieces in exhibitions that have traveled to various museums including the Smithsonian.

Much of my work is based around the beauty and meaning of sacred objects. The spiritual connection of art and object is a constant source of interest and art making. My travels around the country and the world have been a profound source of information and inspiration. Telling visual stories, making visually compelling beautiful work is a passion and an honor.

Precious little holding me back Push Pull

Lauren E. Peters

Lauren E. Peters is a visual artist working with the concepts of identity and gender through self-portraiture. She began creating within this genre for a small exhibit in 2016 after an extended hiatus from painting, and two years later won the “Emerging Artist” fellowship by the Delaware Division of the Arts. In 2021, Peters curated a group exhibition, “Appearances,” at The Delaware Contemporary and saw the public installation of her portrait of "Wilma," namesake of the restaurant/bowling alley in downtown Wilmington. Peters attended the Soaring Gardens Residency in 2022 and this project was supported in part by a grant from the DDOA in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Lauren is currently the 2023 Delaware Individual Artist "Established Fellow" for painting.

“self-portrait (call my bluff)” “self-portrait (beaufille).”

Samara Weaver

I have always been fascinated with materiality, resulting in my artistic exploration of various materials, and using them to explore texture, color, and perspective. I combine large numbers of smaller often simple elements into multi-faceted compositions, gaining complexity and space from their combination. My work often invites touch and asks the observer to explore it further with multiple senses. I immerse myself in the mediums I work with exploring their different properties, effects and methods of working with them. Currently, my focus has been on a process which I created developing colorful paper pieces, composed of layers upon layers of painted paper. For this process I do tests to select a palette of colors and then paint yards and yards of trace paper with watercolor paint, in large sections or a continuous strip. The final pieces are composed of tens to hundreds of linear feet of hand-painted paper which I crumple, fold and arrange into the final piece.
Cape Henlopen Series #1 Cape Henlopen Serries #2 (diptych)

Roberta Tucci

I paint images that express how I perceive organic forms and the world of nature. To do this I develop personal meditative practices that enhance my awareness of nature: both particular details and living systems. I visually interpret this abstract awareness by using traditional indirect painting techniques. These techniques involve layering with varnish and glazing. This slow painting process allows me to accumulate ethereal levels of tone and color on which to create unique images. I then introduce and develop shapes, lines and patterns that represent the complexities of my natural subjects. The compositions that result invite viewers to perceive, connect and engage in a way that encourages their own with meditative contemplation.

Roberta’s paintings are included in numerous private and public collections, including The Delaware Art Museum, The Bellagio Hotel, and the Charles Schwab Corporate Collection. Her work will be included in the upcoming book, ITALIANITA’: CONTEMPORARY ART BY ITALIAN-AMERICANS, by Joanne Matera

A Bend in the River #1 A Bend in the River #2

Graham Dougherty

Graham Dougherty attended Tyler School of Art at Temple University and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His paintings have been exhibited regionally since 1962 in both museums and commercial galleries and his work can be found in both corporate and private collections.

”We give shape to our rooms; then rooms give shape to our lives. We pass through rooms unseeing; walls, floors, ceilings, doorways become unnoticed, accepted, ordinary. It is light which transforms a commonplace enclosure into a metaphor of remembered or desired sensations. In these paintings the architectural elements become an abstracted structure of a remembered moment. Both rational thought and remembered sensations are unified. The measured proportions give stability; the color, sensuality; while the patterns of abstracted light, reasoned in their geometric forms and sensual and ambiguous in their colors, give release and relief to an moment remembered or desired.”

Jamaica Cherry Wheat

Colleen Zufelt

Numerous ancient philosophies teach us we should live in harmony with the natural world.  As I return to my studio full time, I strive to create a beauty from the discarded in my search for this harmony.  My current series explore both metal and clay remnants.  Some I have collected and saved throughout years of creating while others evolve as I immerse myself in new processes and exploration.  

In our current fast paced world, I hope to inspire viewers to slow down and contemplate the Spirit of Creation while at the same time, recycling, repurposing and reusing.
Antiquity Bowl RELIC

Susan E. Conner

Susan Conner intends her artwork to show the viewer some of the many beautiful and good things in the world. She loves color and paints landscapes, flowers, people, waves and whatever else strikes her eye. She paints in oils most often but has also worked in pastel, watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, ceramics, photography, and art quilting.

Susan studied art at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and University of Delaware, where she earned a BS in Graphic Design. She has worked in graphic design and teaching. She has taken and taught assorted additional classes.

Susan has shown her work in a variety of group and single-artist shows at venues such as DFVA, Hardcastle’s, Christina Cultural Arts Center, and Delaware Center for Horticulture. She accepts commissions as well.

At the Brandywine River Museum Hot Color

Charles Allan Guerin

Charles Guerin is an artist whose works on paper and canvas have spanned four decades and have been collected and exhibited widely.  His work is essentially "Photo Realist" in nature, inspired as a reaction to the Pop Art movement of the 1970's and by the camera itself.  He uses it as a sketch book of sorts, capturing chance still life arrangements, landscapes and other visual material  in and outside of the studio setting. Increasingly, his work captures the process of making art, and deals with the ambiguity that many artists encounter while working, separating the experience of making art in the studio or in the field from the final work of art itself.   It is a common question, one which the Abstract Expressionist grappled: is the act of painting the art, or is it the final work?  For Guerin, it is both.  He addresses the real and illusion in a Trompe-l'oeil expression of the studio process.
Yellow Iris with Green and Orange Pencils Angry Redwing Landing

Ken Mabrey

Ken Mabrey’s work documents the American scene in the tradition of Bellows, Bishop, Hopper, Marsh and Sloan. Taking mundane, everyday events such as playing, driving and shopping, he translates them into joyous celebrations braced with irony and tempered with fantasy:

"My work is conceived from an automatic painting method in which I mark the canvas, the page, or the litho-stone at random. These markings stimulate my imagination into visualizing abstractions of a locale or a figure. The process then becomes a problem-solving situation. A conversation between the artist and work evolves as follows: How do I populate this space? How can I bring it to life? What is the pivotal point or image upon which this work turns? How should the light fall and how will it best support the narrative elements? Will a cast shadow create another figure? What does it imply in the story line?

After this drawing process is far enough along, the locale is established, and characters are delineated. Then that fifth wheel of color comes into play, deliberately throwing the drawing off. How do I change the scene to compensate for these color shifts? What is the proper color weight and intensity to make this work hang together?

It is a constant back and forth, check and balance of color and drawing until the piece is complete, revealing something about this strange dance we call life. I obscure to reveal. One must sort through these paintings little by little, watching out for the barbs. Enjoy!"  
Echo and Narissu Beach Showers