The Biggs Honors the Award Winners, Hear “The Word”

Feting the Fellows

A highlight of every season at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover is “Award Winners,” an annual celebration of achievements of Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships recipients. “Award Winners XII” honors Newark violinist Xiang Gao, “a rare and soulful virtuoso,” according to The New York Times, who has performed for heads of state around the world, among other top-tier visual and performing artists and writers. They are: Mahasveta Barua, William Bretzger, David Brinley, Anne Marie Cammarato, Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe, Gary Hanna, Ramona Maziarz, Abby Millager, James Miller, Ellen Priest, Nicholas Serratore, Jessica Stephens, Sally Van Orden and Carol Woolworth. “Award Winners” is one of the Biggs’ most important annual projects, helping it achieve its mission of celebrating diversity, educating artists and building awareness of the arts. “The Fellowships recognize the best and most talented artists residing in Delaware. It is a fantastic opportunity for all of them to come together to be recognized in the museum setting at the Biggs, and for the public to get to know them through the Award Winners exhibition and related programs,” says Kristen Pleasanton, program manager with the Division of the Arts. Some will even lead workshops throughout the year. It’s an opportunity to see, hear and read the best, as well as study at their knees. See “Award Winners XII” through Oct. 21. 674-2111,

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What’s the Word?

See it now at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington: “And the WORD is…” is a group exhibition of work by four contemporary artists who use religious language in their work. That work ranges from humorous to revelatory. Stephanie Kirk’s photography shows messages on church signs, such as, “God wants full custody, not a weekend visit,” and “You think it’s hot here?” Blind sculptor David Stephens’ large wooden panels offer words from the Bible carved in Braille. Martin Brief’s 14-panel installation shows written book titles searched from containing the word “God.” Nick Kripal’s steel and salt installation takes center stage, spelling out “Epiphany.” All of it will make you think. “Kirk and Brief witness the public manifestation of contemporary religious expression while Stephens’ inclusion of text is more personal and private,” says curator J. Susan Isaacs. If you want The Word from the artists themselves, visit July 6, when Brief and Kirk will talk about their art. Stephens and Kripal will visit later in the year to lead talks of their own. See the exhibition through Oct.14 in the DuPont II Gallery. 656-6466,

Biding Time Till Bardfest

We’re counting down to one of the best events of summer, the annual Delaware Shakespeare Festival. To celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, the players will stage the hilarious “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” July 13-28 at Rockwood Mansion Park in Wilmington. During one enchanting forest night, a fairy king and queen duel for supremacy, young lovers fall wildly out of and into love, and the world’s worst acting troupe puts on a remarkable show. It’s a magical way to celebrate the season—and one very important event. Stay tuned for more. 415-3373,

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If you can’t stand the wait, see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as part of Shakespeare in the Garden at the Rehoboth Art League. Meet the New Faces of Shakespeare, a company of the Possum Point Players in Georgetown, on July 7. The old farm is the perfect setting for an evening of magic. 227-8408,

Get Marchin’

It’s a great week for lovers of brass music, military marches and other traditional forms. See Chesapeake Brass Band at The Freeman Stage at Bayside in Selbyville on July 5 for a program of traditional and contemporary brass. (436-3015, The First State Symphonic Band Summer Concert performs a free concert at Bellevue State Park on July 5. (793-3046, Also on July 5, The Newark Community Band presents its summer concert of military tunes and patriotic music at Dravo Plaza on the Wilmington Riverfront. (425-4890, July 7 brings a shifting of gears. See the Delaware Symphony Orchestra play the Freeman Stage. (436-3015,

The Shows Go On

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The start of Clear Space Theatre Company’s Summer Repertory continues in Rehoboth Beach with the opening of “Broadway at the Beach” on July 5, its popular revue of classic show tunes. It, with “Cabaret,” which opened June 28, and “Annie,” which opened June 30, plays in two-day rotations, Tuesday-Sunday through Sept. 2. “Broadway” features Katharine Ariyan, a seven-year veteran of Clear Space, who plays the iconic role of Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.” Ariyan began performing at the age of eight when she attended a summer theater camp at the Delaware Theatre Company. She joined Clear Space at age 12. “Since my first year of ‘Scrooge!’ I’ve been taught by the Clear Space staff in their Broadway Bound program, my high school theater classes, and in numerous productions as an actor, crew member, and even as an administrative intern.” Ariyan moved on to study theater at Towson University, where she just completed her freshman year. See what Ariyan brings to “Broadway,” as well “Annie.” We’re keeping an eye on her. 227-2270,

This one is almost finished, so see it soon. In “The Skin of Our Teeth,” the inventor of the wheel, his family and his saucy maid face calamity after calamity—war, flood, famine, climate change and economic collapse—yet somehow manage to pull through. Yes, there is hope. This uproarious Pulitzer winner even offers wooly mammoth. Need we say more? Catch the UD’s Resident Ensemble Players production at Roselle Center for the Arts through July 5. 831-2204,

Art is Long

First up at the Delaware Art Museum, “Once Upon a Time in Delaware/In Quest of the Perfect Book” explores decorative book covers through the eyes of artist Nina Katchadourian and local collector Mary G. Sawyer. Katchadourian used volumes from Sawyer’s collection of 2,000 rare books to makes photographs of books grouped so their titles can be read as a sequence. The results are both humorous and insightful. In commemoration of the museum’s centennial, “100 Works for 100 Years” displays a fraction of the 12,000 objects in its collection, each selected for its aesthetic merit, popularity or provenance. Each tells a unique tale. 571-9590,

You love to visit the beach and mountains during summer. So did some of the country’s most famous artists, and they created some unforgettable images while there. The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford presents them, along with scenes from Europe, Asia and the Mideast, in “Summer Sojourns: Art on Holiday.” See nearly 100 paintings, drawings and prints from its collection, including work from N.C. Wyeth’s visits to Port Clyde, Maine, including “Herring Gut” and Untitled (View of Eight Bells), and works that show how the ocean and dunes in Rehoboth Beach inspired some of Howard Pyle’s paintings of pirate lore. There’s more, of course. See it through Sept. 3. (610) 388-2700,

If ever you were even slightly disturbed by your own body, you may be interested in “Entropy” by Carson Zullingier at the DCCA in Wilmington through Sept. 9. The artist explores the inner self through a photographic examination of the body’s decline from birth till death. “We see metaphors for youth and age, dark and light, good and evil, and the spiritual and the physical,” says curator J. Susan Isaacs. “The gallery space represents a tomb and a laboratory,” reflecting Zullinger’s interest in both Egyptian funerary architecture and physics. How do our inner and outer selves relate to the universe? This is one way to look at it. 656-6466,

Cheers to Winterthur for “Uncorked! Wine, Objects & Tradition,” a celebration of 300 objects and imagery created in response to our love of wine. “Uncorked!” shows how wine was marketed and consumed in America and Britain from the 1600s through the 1800s. See unique wine bottles, decanters and cellarettes, lead figures of Bacchus, “Champagne Charlie” song sheets, advertisements and more. The exhibition will be on view through Jan. 6.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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