If you’re a fan of Billy Joel, or a fan of our own Joe Trainor and his trio, Saturday is your night. Joe and crew will play Billy Joel music at the baby grand in Wilmington to honor the artist, and to raise money for two local treasures: City Theater Company and The Arts Academy at The Grand. “For years I’ve wanted to find the right opportunity to pay homage to one of my greatest influences,” Trainor says. “To be able to do a show like this, at this theater, and have it benefit these great organizations while sharing the stage with my closest friends could not be more exciting.” The Arts Academy allows students to study music with professional musicians. City Theater Company wants to make itself into a nationally recognized producer of exciting works and as a voice in American theater. They are worthy causes, indeed. The show begins at 8 p.m. For tickets, go to ticketsatthegrand.com or call 652-5577. Learn more about The Arts Academy at thegrandwilmington.org/Education/Academy and City Theatre Company at city-theater.org.
Before the season ends, don’t miss the charming Rehoboth Beach Summer Children’s Theatre. It is currently performing “Peter Pan,” “Snow White” and “Toad’s Escape.” This is real theater, folks. No technical wizardry, no computer-generated special effects. It’s two actors, the audience and great plays together in one experience—authentic, old-fashioned, utterly delightful theater. Shows are at Clear Space Theater, 20 Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth Beach on Mondays (7 p.m.) and at The Baycenter in Ruddertowne, 124 Dickinson St. in Dewey Beach on Tuesdays (11 a.m.) and Wednesdays (7 p.m.) 227-6766, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you an artist or crafter? The Downtown Dover Partnership is seeking Delaware artists and organizations for its new “star-studded community art project” to celebrate Delaware’s capital and its new image of a “bright and shining” star. “We encourage artists, students and organizations to get involved with this project, not only to demonstrate their creativity, but to also support the arts initiatives for downtown Dover,” says Bill Neaton of the DDP. “The finished products will help us launch our new brand, sponsor arts initiatives and decorate the downtown area.” Artists will paint or decorate 3D metal stars that are 24 inches long. Stars will be displayed around town from fall through the holidays. “Meet the Artists” receptions will be a feature of the Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 First Friday celebrations. At the January 6 First Friday, stars will be auctioned during a party at the Dover Art League. Interested? Register at the DDP office and Forney’s Too, both on Loockerman Street, or the Biggs Museum at 406 Federal St. in Dover. Call DDP at 678-2940.
Don’t miss the September issue for highlights of the coming arts season. We couldn’t fit everything, so here’s more on one of the most significant events of the year: the 100th birthday of the Delaware Art Museum. Because the museum was established in response to the death of artist Howard Pyle in 1911, several upcoming exhibitions honor him, as well as greats such as N.C. Wyeth, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. The Centennial officially begins on Nov. 12, 2011, with the opening of the major retrospective exhibition “Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered.” The party will last well into 2013, so plan now. Some of the major exhibitions described, direct from the museum:
Nov. 12-March 4
A comprehensive retrospective of one of America’s most popular illustrators and storytellers during a period of explosive growth in the publishing industry. Pyle’s illustrations appeared in magazines like Harper’s Monthly, Collier’s Weekly, St. Nicholas and Scribner’s Magazine, gaining him national and even international exposure. This exhibition presents a fresh perspective on Pyle’s familiar images, by exploring his interaction with the art and culture of his time – effectively re-positioning him within the broader spectrum of 19th-century art.
Nov. 19-Jan. 8
The museum’s signature holiday exhibition. This year’s theme, the work of Howard Pyle, complements the Centennial Celebration with works in miniature by local artists inspired by Pyle.
Dec. 2-Jan. 15
This exhibition will present a variety of works by members of the Studio Group Inc., an association of artists founded in Wilmington in 1935. This exhibition will include about 40 works of art, showcasing a selection of members’ styles, media, and subject matter.
Jan. 28-April 22
Between 1892-1898 Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) created a series of circular images, each inspired by the name of a flower. In 1905 (after the artist’s death) these images were published as individual, hand-colored collotypes that are so brilliantly printed they are often mistaken as original watercolors. Only 300 editions of this publication were printed. This exhibition will feature all 38 images from this series.
Feb. 18-Sept. 9
Katharine Pyle (1863-1938), Howard Pyle’s youngest sibling, emerged as one of Delaware’s most prolific women authors and illustrators. Between 1898 and 1934, she published over 50 books—many of them stories about folk, fairies, animals, and children’s tales. This exhibition serves to reintroduce the works of Katharine Pyle to present-day audiences.
March 31-May 27
Wilmington-based painter Mary Page Evans works directly from nature, seeking to capture a specific landscape, figure, tree or sky. She is engaged by particularity, making an effort to establish the locale, the time of day, and the quality of light. Her influences include the French impressionists and post-impressionists, as well as the abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell. Evans has worked at Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny and names Cézanne as an inspiration. The painter Gene Davis described her paintings as “hymns of unadulterated joy,” and this exhibition promises to be a gorgeous celebration of nature and the human form, as well as a retrospective covering more than 40 years of the painter’s distinguished career.
June 23-Sept. 16
The exhibition will feature works of art acquired during the first 100 years of the museum’s existence, as well as promised future gifts. The exhibition will focus on the development and growth of the museum’s permanent holdings, in addition to highlighting the generosity of those who have enriched the collection through donations. The exhibition will spill into the permanent collection galleries, with individual works highlighted throughout the museum and Copeland Sculpture Garden.
There’s more, but that should whet your appetite. Learn all at delart.org.