Make Art Every Day!

2019 Artist Interview - Melanie McKay

Added on by Meredith Keating.

For our fifth interview of the 2019 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Melanie McKay a.k.a. Magical Mel Mel about Valentine’s Day, creating art you love, arts in education, and the power of color! Thanks, Melanie!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware Fun a Day -  are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found being in the exhibit?

 A few years back, while I was attending Cecil College, one of my best friends (and now organizer of fun-a-day) Meredith, told me that she was going to participate in a local art show called Fun-A-Day and asked if I wanted to participate as well. It sounded like a really fun idea and a great way to get back into creating art, so I signed right up! I’m originally from North East Maryland and now live in West Chester Pennsylvania, but still love to participate in the Fun-A-Day art show!

 This is going to be your THIRD year participating! Can you describe your favorite past Fun-A-Day project? 

When it comes to my Fun-A-Day projects, I like to create art based on themes that are close to my heart. I love both of my previous projects for the same reason… the subject matter was of someone I really love! <3 The 1st year I participated in Fun-A-Day, my project was called “Nappy the Cat”. The entire project was based around my cat! What’s not to love about that!?

Last year, my project was also very special to me because my baby nephew was the center of the project! I called it “Happy-Birth-Day”. The maker month last year just so happened to fall on the month of his very 1st birthday, so I decided to make a photo album documenting him growing up until his 1st birthday party at the end of the month! It was really cool to see how much he grew by the time I was putting the finishing touches on my project for the show!  

As an educator that works with elementary students, what art projects or activities have you had students do during your years of being an educator?  

There are 2 things you should know about me: I love the arts and I love little kids! Being an elementary school teacher has been the best of both worlds! Over the years I am proud to say that I have incorporated the arts into many of my lessons! As teachers, it’s our job to teach our classes certain curriculum, and generally it doesn’t require the arts.

Sometimes I try to find creative ways to sneak art projects into lessons that typically wouldn’t have an art component. For example, back when I was student teaching, I snuck in an art project into an Earth Day lesson. I taught all about the importance of recycling, then had the class write a persuasive essay to a friend, family member, or school staff member persuading them to begin recycling based off of all the information they learned through the lesson. Then, right at the end, I snuck in an art project where the students all got to make their own planet earth out of paper plates, tissue paper, and markers. They got to decorate them however they wanted.

I think it’s very important to include the arts into lessons taught in school! It’s because of that belief that I am known to find creative ways to sneaking the arts into my lessons, like with the Earth Day lesson. I have also been known to bring my trombone into school and perform Disney concerts for my students. They get such a kick out of little things like that!

Please describe your 2019 project "Happy-Valentine's-Day".

 Since the maker month this year was February, I decided it would be fun to have a Valentine’s Day themed project this time around. I have done photography for the most part in my previous 2 shows, so decided to change things up this year and incorporate different kinds of art as well… to really push myself and showcase all the different types of art I can make.

I have recently taken up sewing lessons and a major part of my project this year is little sewn valentine hearts. I have also tried beading for the first time for this project and am eager to showcase some beaded valentine hearts this year! Of course photography is my go-to medium, so you can look forward to seeing Valentine’s Day themed photos as well! Apart from those main pieces to the project, you can also look forward to seeing decorations made out of conversation hearts and other heart themed 2D and 3D items!

 As a seasoned Delaware Fun-A-Day participant, what advice can you give our newcomers? Is there any piece of advice that you believe would be a top priority for rookies to take a hold of?

 To be very honest here, I myself am still learning a lot when it comes to managing the maker month for Fun-A-Day. I would say what has been most helpful to keeping me on track with creating my projects over the years is to start off with a clear vision of what you want to make and how you want the finished product to look. Sometimes I get a little too ambitious with my ideas and have to scale way down to make the project more obtainable in the end. Starting with a clear vision can help avoid this process. Also sticking to concepts that can be done quickly can also help you keep the project moving, because remember… you’re creating a new piece of art every day for an entire month! It has to keep moving!

We’d like to take a trip back in time with this next question. Back in 2013, you did your first Delaware Fun a Day project (which was on Market Street). In the space, the artists had complete freedom and creativity to use the space, which was being renovated at the time. Can you explain your experience that year and why it was special? 

My experiences with the past 2 times that I participated in Fun-A-Day have been very different from each other. I remember the first year that I participated when I was back in college. The space we were given to host the big show was an old apartment right across from the DCAD art school. Having the show there was cool because us artists were literally allowed to display our projects however we wanted, and when I say “however we wanted” I really mean we could do ANYTHING we pleased! I remember some people painted the walls by their displays to showcase their projects better. I remember people straight up hanging their projects on the walls with nails, since the walls were all going to be fixed up after the show anyhow.

I myself displayed my “Nappy the Cat” project in a window. I hung mini clotheslines across a window frame and hung my photographs of Nappy on them. I used tacks to hang them up (which is definitely not allowed anymore in these new venues!!). I also was allowed to bring in my own table to display the rest of my photographs and sculptures on. At the time, each artist had their very own space to display their work. Now that we have more participants, we have to share tables and wall space with other artists, so we have to keep that in mind when planning how to display our work.

Your prior two Delaware Fun a Day projects have involved things that you hold dear and close to your heart. With one being your wonderful cat Nappy and the other spotlighting your nephew, can you tell us why you center your work around family and loved ones?

When it came to planning out my 2 prior projects showcasing my cat Nappy and baby nephew I thought about how I wanted to capture them as they are in everyday life. That inspired me to take the photographic approach when creating my pieces. With both of those projects, I would go to my subjects with my camera and take pictures of them living their daily lives. I also tried to keep each photo shoot very short keeping in mind that babies and cats don’t quite grasp the concept of sitting still and posing for pictures!

I chose to aim towards capturing both Nappy and baby Hadley in their natural environments because I wanted these shoots to be very personal to them and show each of them in the places they love, doing things they enjoy, and with the people they love. The best advice I could give about doing a project showcasing loved ones is to capture the essence of them in your projects, because it makes for a more authentic and overall fun piece!

We know you are fascinated with color, you've expressed this through your personality and work. What challenges do you think doing an exhibit based around Valentine's Day is going to create in regards to working with all the colors and not the traditional holiday colors?

 Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the rainbow queen! We all associate Valentine’s Day with the colors red and pink, so I kept that in mind for some of my pieces. However, again, I love color so decided not to limit myself strictly to those classic Valentine’s Day colors for my project. I branched out and incorporated pastel colors as well, trying to keep things dainty and frilly. You will see that I used lots of pastel pinks, purples, and blues together, as well as a lot of pearls and crystal-like gems. I also tried to include the pastel colors of conversation hearts to my project. When it came to the photo shoots, I let the couples participating choose what they wanted to wear, as I was giving them the finished products at the end of the show. Overall though, I tried to stick to a pastel color scheme to keep the overall project more dainty and frilly like old school valentines. 

Where can people see more of your work?

 Well, to be honest, I primarily participate in the Fun-A-Day show simply for fun! I typically don’t sell my artwork after the shows, instead I give my projects to family members and friends, or keep pieces to display in my own home. I am not really into social media either, so it can be a little hard to keep up with me and my work. You will see more from me next year at Fun-A-Day and can also see more of my sewing when I wear my handmade Vanelopee Von Schweetz costume in the Cecil Con Cosplay Contest at Cecil College this April!

2019 Artist Interview - Mary Targonski

Added on by Meredith Keating.

For our fourth interview of the 2019 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Mary Targonski about photography, exhibiting in Delaware, and some art galleries you HAVE to check out. Thanks, Mary!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found here?

I moved to Delaware for work in my mid- twenties – I have lived here ever since – almost 40 years!

I have had no formal art education but I have seen and learned from so many great art shows through the different venues – The Delaware Contemporary, Delaware Art Museum, the Wilmington govt buildings, Brandywine and Philadelphia Art Museums, some of the local galleries like Colourworks and others that have come and gone such as the Susan Issacs gallery. Art on the Town has been a favorite too.

This is your THIRD year participating in DEFAD. Can you describe your favorite past Fun-A-Day project?   

SO MANY awesome artists and projects – it is impossible to pick a favorite but I will mention the one artist who made me cry last year, Yasmin Pedroza-Ocasio. Her theme was: I Love, Adore and Hate a Day – it was the drawing of a Bull and Matador. The Bull was dying but standing bravely and strongly. WAH – I am tearing up now!

This year's project involves digital illustration. This is different from the many works and mediums you've shown at exhibits before, so what made you excited to work on this craft for the exhibit?

I have always been attracted to doing “art” but felt that I did not draw well, which is why I started in photography –LOL - which was a technical struggle all its own. Recently, I have been dabbling with Illustrator and I thought that this would be a good impetus to practice. It does not work the way I think at all - but I like the look!   Although -- because of my early February Schedule, I have been leaning on good old Photoshop to get it done.

In past exhibits, you have shown a range of work that would be part of a theme or a story that is told through the elements of the art. Can you guide us on your thought process for creating these stories and how you come to understand them during the creation of your art?

Well there is not often a conscious thought process – I find it difficult to think ahead, because making art is an extremely right brain process for me.   

For instance, when I am photographing, I use a small mirrorless camera that fits in my hand and allows me to shoot more or less spontaneously.  When I see something that attracts me visually, I can think quickly of how to adjust the technical aspects and then shoot quickly from many angles or just once if that is all I got.  

Some days I am seeing photographs every minute – other times although my day maybe filled with beautiful moments and light, I am not called to try and make an image.  It just won’t be what I want.

It is later when I am in post processing and looking at images created in a span of time do I start to see similarities and themes that may tell me something.   

Interestingly I also notice this in my students work.   Looking at a semester long series of photographs – a style or attraction to certain design elements or way of organizing visual information seems to happen.   Could be the color red, triangle shapes, fractals, strong centers. It is fascinating.

The Choreographer Twala Tharp wrote a great book that describes this: “The Creative Habit – Learn it and Use it For Life.”   I think I may want to re-read it.

As a seasoned Delaware Fun-A-Day participant, what advice can you give our newcomers?

Fun-a Day for me, could be described as an art gym. It is a great venue to practice a new medium or develop a theme for another art show.

Pick your parameters – try to organize your materials and space.   And don’t worry about every day being a masterpiece - - stay amused and you could be amazed at what the muse delivers.

We heard you are an educator at multiple institutions. Currently, where are you teaching and what classes do you offer? 

I am currently teaching at Cecil College and Cab Calloway Summer Camp.  I teach Basic Photography as an art elective at Cecil. Cab Calloway is a range of camps for younger and older kids. We offer Basic, Portrait, Photoshop Techniques. We are not offering it this summer but we did a build your own Big Shot digital camera camp that was lots of fun for me because it included dissecting already broken lenses and cameras. For more info: https://cabsummer.org

We have been seeing your work at many exhibits around the area and beyond. So, we have to ask, what are your top 5 favorite exhibits that you've been a part of?

Ooooo – A question that is making me think! My Artistic AHDH gives me too many ideas and once I have made it – I kind of forget about it because something else is pushing it out of the way.  

BUT OK here goes:

1 & 2  Colourworks Gallery on Superfine Lane Shows. It is a gallery that is dedicated to showing Photography and I have seen some really wonderful exhibits there through the years. I started to work with them curating shows featuring some of the excellent work of our Cecil College students and faculty.

Curating could sometimes be described as being a nagging art mommy - - so I finally thought, why not direct some that energy to motivating myself? So, I started to include some of my work. It was satisfying to see it on the walls – plus the openings are fun parties and they serve sushi.

3. Science and Art at the Henry Gallery at Penn State Great Valley: I was asked to participate in this exhibit by an artist that I admire, Gina Bosworth. There were different mediums that loosely represented different branches of science, Physics, Meteorology, Psychology, Biology, and Horticulture. My science was Entomology. Everyone’s work was imaginative and worked well together. It took me way longer than I wanted to decide what science and what work and there was some panic because of the Caliber of artists, but in the end, I was happy with how my work meshed.

4. Milburn Stone Gallery – speaking of some panic – this show was an installation type exhibition that featured a mix of photographic images and scientific glass. This was my first solo show in a very long time and I wanted to use the space itself as part of the vibe. It was a different way of thinking for me. I wanted it to be minimalistic, spare and empty without feeling like it was lacking. t was somewhat industrial but also about the thin veil and working out grief.

5. Rehobeth Art League Photography Group Show:  Mostly because the caliber of work that explored the many dimensions of the medium in beautiful and technically adept ways and I have admired the juror’s work, Adilia Fish for many years.

We can see the expansive albums and portfolios that you have developed over the years in photography. What elements/skills of photography have you been able to carry over into other disciplines and use to your benefit? 

Knowing that - - Practice Makes Perfect - - and there is always something new to learn and struggle with – it is part of the process-- not what defines your self-esteem.    

Enjoying the Pleasure and Zen of not just looking but also seeing.   I can almost always be happy when I am feeling/doing this.

Anything else you'd like to share?

If you can – see this show multiple times with different people. One of my favorite things is to split up and look as much as you can and then gather back and discuss with each other your favorite things while looking at that particular work. You are always going to get some cool and different perspectives and catch some obvious things that you missed. Kids and non- artists can make this activity especially interesting.

It is also a unique opportunity to buy and support local artwork. I gave Tina Marabito’s - Vegetable Prints as Christmas gifts.

My daughter bought me two embroidery hoop pieces by Courtney Messina for Mother’s Day that I love!

Where can people see more of your work?

I will be curating and participating in a Photography Exhibit for the Wilmington June Art on the Town at Colourworks on Superfine lane. http://www.colourworks.com

2019 Artist Interview - Tegan Clark

Added on by Meredith S. K. Boas.

For our third interview of the 2019 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Tegan Clark about her FIVE YEARS as a DEFAD participant, fantastical and macabre inspiration, book suggestions, and Arty Authors. Thanks, Tegan!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found here?

My family and I moved to Delaware when I was six so having spent the majority of my life here Delaware is definitely home. I attended Cab Calloway, School of the Arts, and pursued visual arts in both middle school and high school. I’ve found our state’s art scene to be very welcoming, and I’ve participated in several local art shows.

Are you an artist by trade or do you have a profession that informs your art?   

Unfortunately I’m not a professional artist although that’s the dream! My job is more administrative so I try to incorporate at least one creative activity into each day. It’s how I satisfy my artistic urges in my day-to-day life.

This is going to be your FIFTH year participating! Can you describe your favorite past Fun-A-Day project? 

It’s hard to choose a favorite so it’s a tie between 2017’s “Fairytales and Fantastic Creatures” and last year’s theme “The Art of Horror.” The Fairytales and Creatures theme was inspired by my interest in cryptozoology. I had a lot of fun researching the folklore of different cultures and then painting my own interpretation of each mythic creature. Last year’s theme was the first time I utilized a different medium for my fun-a-day project. I traded watercolor painting for multimedia.

Last year you did multi-media vignettes in a display you named "Art of Horror". What was it about the horror theme that intrigued you? Which character, if they were alive and in person, do you think would have appreciated having their portrait done the most?

I just love horror films. I love how diverse of a genre it is because it encompasses everything from the mundane fears of our everyday lives, such as a fear of the dark, to the darkest dimensions of our minds, the stuff nightmares are made of. From the unstoppable killer to the monsters of the abyss, horror films offer something to scare each of us. I really enjoyed trying to capture the feel of each film.

Please describe your 2019 project "Arty Authors". Are you a very literary person? Any good books suggestions for us?

I can’t think of a more likely candidate for a portrait then Prince Prospero, the selfish and decadent villain of the 1964 film adaption of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.” He locks himself away in his castle and reveals in depraved parties as the plague ravages the peasants in his countryside. Interestingly enough, Prospero was portrayed by horror icon Vincent Price, who was an avid art collector. He even donated pieces from his own collection to establish the Vincent Price Art Museum.

“Arty Authors” is going to feature portraits of some of some of my favorite authors. I’m going to incorporate a motif in each portrait that I feels best represents their lives and their work.

To me there is nothing quite like a good book. My parents installed in me a love of literature early on. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include my mom reading the works of L. Frank Baum and Laura Ingallas Wilder to me every night. That love of the written word inspired me to major in English in college.

If you are in need of a good book to lose yourself in I highly recommend “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. Part travelogue, part true crime novel, it’s a real page turner.  Another I like is “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King. It’s incredibly suspenseful, and he really makes you care about the young heroine as she struggles to find her way after becoming lost in the woods.

Can you list a few of your favorite authors?

  1. Stephen King: He redefined the written horror genre and remains its “King.”

  2. Oscar Wilde: His wit is untouchable and his fairytales are lovely.

  3. Erik Larson: His true crime novels are well researched and he does a fantastic job at capturing the era he’s writing about.

  4. Bill Byrson: Jovial and folksy, reading his books is like catching up with an old friend.

  5. L. Frank Baum: There is no place like the wonderful world of Oz.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m so excited to be part of such an awesome group of artists. I look forward to participating in fun-a-day every year and it’s always so awesome to see the creativity out there.

Where can people see more of your work?

www.nationalartsprogram.org/users/tegan_clark

  

2019 Interview - Ashley Messatzzia

Added on by Meredith S. K. Boas.

For our second interview of the 2019 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Ashley Messatzzia about her SIX YEARS as a DEFAD participant, doppelgangers, bar tending as artistic inspiration, and horror movie rivals. Thanks, Ashley!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found here?

Technically, I was born in Chester, PA, but Ive lived in Delaware since I was 2. For being such a small state, I’ve found some great opportunities through it, including my degree from Delaware College of Art and Design.  

This is going to be your SIXTH year participating! Can you describe your favorite past Fun-A-Day project? 

I think my favorite project so far was my last one, the esoteric canvas work. It was so well received and it turned into a much bigger project after DEFAD. I’m still working on them and developing them today.

You seem to have gravitated toward portrait projects in years past. What is it about people as your subject matter that intrigues you?

Well, photography is my favorite medium, and I just seem to gravitate towards people in my work. It’s something about peoples eyes that draw me in.

Please describe your 2019 project "Doppelgangers".

"Doppelgangers" is going to be a portrait series in which "normal" portraits will be hand altered to become something else, something new, but still the same in a way. A doppelganger of the original.

As a well-seasoned Delaware Fun-A-Day participant, what advice can you give our new comers?

Don't over think it. It’s easy to want to do something big and extravegant, but remember that you’re working on one piece every day. Push yourself, of course, but just don't over think it. 

As a bartender at Bar XIII you must see a lot of strange and fantastical sites and meet really unique characters, can you describe some of your favorites? How has this profession worked as an inspirational tool in your artwork?

I've seen so many crazy and interesting things working at Bar XIII. We've had huge national music acts, midget wrestling, burlesque reviews... it’s something different every week. I'm actually going to be shooting a lot of people who work at and frequent the bar for this year’s DEFAD project. 

Tell us your top 5 favorite spooky things!

1. Halloween

2. Haunted Houses

3. Serial Killers/True Crime 

4. Michael Myers

5. The Paranormal

We can tell that you're a huge fan of horror movies. So tell us, in an Art Throwdown, who would win... Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees? And what would be their respective artist mediums/styles be?

Freddy Krueger, hands down! He lives in a dream world, he's constantly surrounded by surreal inspiration. He'd definitely be a painter. Oils, lots of reds. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

My husband Matt and I front the label Apollos Point, that’s what we do all of our work under. We are seeking to provide a wide variety of offerings, based on all fo the senses. Art, music, and more.

Where can people see more of your work?

You can check it out at facebook.com/apollospoint and Instagram under Spookyphoto. Our website will be up and running soon. 

2019 Artist Interview - Eva Fox & Brayden Terch

Added on by Meredith S. K. Boas.

For our first interview of the 2019 Delaware Fun-A-Day, Meredith S. K. Boas talked with mother and son duo Eva Fox and Brayden Terch about how they create art as a family, what makes their “weird hearts happy”, and the power of art. Thanks, Eva & Brayden!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware - are you multi-generational residents, born and raised? 
We are multi-generational residents Delaware born and raised. I was born at Christiana Hospital on September 27th 1986 and Brayden was born at Christiana Hospital on October 4th 2011. My parents were both born here and my grandparents came here from Poland.

Eva, tell us about your upcoming 2019 DEFAD project "Brought Back to Life" and the special meaning it will have for you and your son Brayden.

My upcoming project is special to me because with each year that I participate in Delaware Fun A Day it teachs me something new about myself. You bring something out that I honestly had no idea I was feeling. And this particular project is about how each day that I allow myself to be open to new experiences and learn new things about myself and my son - it's bringing me back to life. If you compare it to 2 years ago, I was in active addiction and I was dying. On Mother's Day 2017 I quit all opiates cold turkey and this project is going to be about how I came back to life one day at a time and how my son saved my life without knowing it, without it being his job but he did it. Oh we did it.

Eva, how do you feel that your art has positively influenced or impacted Brayden's development as a young artist?

I've always been a little bit strange. I've always liked the sad songs. Halloween is my favorite holiday and my house looks like a costume store exploded in it. I've always been drawn to the macabre and the things that the world shies away from, I was even training to be a mortician for the early part of my twenties. When Brayden found himself also being drawn to those things he looked at me one day and said "Mommy am I weird like you?" and I explained, “Yes you are baby and that's okay!”.

I showed him how to paint, he's a wonderful artist his drawings are life-like and animated and full of personality. The more that we work with him and the more that we let him know that it's okay to do the weird things in life, the more open and loving he becomes. The more understanding and kind he is with people around him the further he goes as an artist. He’s so advanced now because his mind was opened at such a young age and he was given total freedom on how to express that.

Brayden's 2018 project "Watching an Artist Grow" featured pieces that made his "weird heart happy". How does Brayden express that in his works?

It's wonderful to watch him work. He puts things into his artwork that come directly from his imagination. As a child it's a wide, vast, and wonderfully strange so I told him, “Anything you want to paint, anything you want to create it just needs to make your heart Happy” and watching the understanding of that freedom creep across his face was wonderful! He doesn't care about what someone's going to think about his artwork, he doesn't care if it's going to land him a solo show, he just cares that it feels good to make art and he embraces it to the fullest.

Eva, last year your 2018 project evolved from a Halloween piece each day, to anatomical hearts each day. What about the heart ultimately altered your project and captivated your attention?

I had gone to the Mutter Museum in Pennsylvania (The Museum of Medical Oddities) and seeing their display on hearts immediately grabbed my attention because it was so fine and I was able to get so versatile. The amount of things that a person feels thanks to their heart or what they're trying to convey through feelings is so expansive that it was almost overwhelming and it's one of my favorite aesthetics in my artwork.

I have done paintings of a heart as a vase, I have done a painting of the world only condensed into a heart, and I felt that I could make it be anything I wanted it to be and that challenge became something that I immediately connected to. It was weird and strange and beautiful and the different ways that you can connect to it really drew me to it specifically. Just the fact that it could be dark and scary and then the next day it could be something beautiful. Like how at one point my body had two hearts in it, and one day I had to paint about losing my parent, and all things that are supposed to be contained within our hearts. I felt was bursting at the seams.

Brayden, how did you decide on your 2019 project "More than that!". 

This is in Brayden's words - Because everybody said how great of a kid artist I was and I wanted to paint something that showed that I was a good artist whether I was 7 and a quarter or if I was as old as Mommy.

What advice would you each give to first time participants?

Brayden says to stick to it because it will seem hard at first but the art show was so cool. To see all my paintings all together made me feel very proud even if some of them weren't very good, other ones were awesome.

And strangely enough I, Eva, give very similar advice. It seems daunting and overwhelming and there are some days where the last thing you want to do is create art. But push yourself through it because looking back you see a chunk of your life displayed. Every emotion, every feeling, every great day, every low day, and you see the impact it has on not just your art and your life, but then for those who get to see it all, it's inspiring and it's a wonderful challenge. And that goes for children my son's age or as he puts it “People as old as his mommy”.

Tell us about how as a family you motivated each other to complete your projects?

Brayden is very steadfast that he would not paint unless I was home with him. He said we were doing this together so every day after school and after homework we would sit down and designate time to paint his projects. Most of the time I didn't assist or help with any technical execution and never with the ideas, I was just there for him to use as a sounding board. If he had any questions on how to do something and to operate the hot glue gun (because I'm a bit of a helicopter mom and will not have my son burning himself).

But because we did this together you couldn't just say “Oh today I don't feel like it, I'll double up tomorrow” you have an accountability between the two of you that if one of you slacks off you feel like you're opening the door for the other one to do so. He says that it's just more fun to paint with Mommy and that he wouldn't have wanted to do this if his mommy wasn't doing it with him.

Where can people check out more of your works?

This is the only public show that Brayden is involved in right now because of his school becoming more intense, he just landed all straight A's with his past report card. Aside from this art show he's already committed to other things, and he is focusing on his school work intensely.

As for me you can catch me at the Oddball Art Hall usually every other month or so. I am frequently showing with the Newark Arts Alliance and you can catch a lot of my work on Instagram under Black Widow Boutique.

Do you have anything additional for us?

Just create even if it's hideous, if it's wonderful, if one day you don't feel like it, just create! There is so much beauty in this world, be a contributor to it. Brayden says spend time with your mom's paint and laugh, because we laughed so much. Also come to his art show he says! He is ever the self-promoter although I have to admit I'm pretty proud of that.

See their work at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2019 March 8-17 at The Center for the Creative Arts in Hockessin, DE!

Hurrah (and Farewell from Colleen and Monika)!

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Hurrah! Over 190 artists and over 900 people in attendance on Friday night. Check out all the fun photos! Can’t wait ‘til next year. We hope you all stay inspired to keep up with the making!

It is time to say thank you and farewell! We are stepping down as co-leads and passing the Fun-A-Day torch to Meredith S. K. Boas and other organizers.

Organizing Fun-A-Day has been an honor and privilege. We love to be able to serve the artist and local community in Delaware. You continually impress us with your perseverance and creativity! Each year the show reignites the ambition and drive to keep Delaware Fun-A-Day alive another year. We took over the event from the original efforts of Leann Pedante (and many others listed below) and know that it will continue to flourish.

Speaking of supporters. We would like to personally thank again, EVERYONE that has been a part of this organization: the artists, the volunteers, the SpaceBoy Clothing staff, the Talleyville Frame Shoppe &Gallery staff, W Films, the Jerry’s Artaroma staff, the DCAD staff, OddBall Art Hall, and the Oddity Bar staff. For the annual event, we want to thank The Delaware Contemporary staff, the DJs: DJ Skinny White and DJ Zip, family, friends, guests, and James Newby for facilitating a new feature this year - the Print Your Own Tarot session. You each play an important role in making Fun-A-Day what it is. We hope you will continue to do so while it evolves.

We would also like to thank those that made this organization what it is today, our past and present organizers: Leann Pedante, Kati Driscoll, Valeri Hazzard, Alan Brown, Sheila Master, Sarah Houghton, Amanda Theil, Joy Smoker-Liedel, Kerri Fitzgerald, Felise Luchansky, Sarah Dressler, Steve Ellis, Meredith Keating, and Sheila Sunshine.

And with that, we wish the new organizing team all the best!
Cheers to 2019!
Monika and Colleen

PS you can follow Monika and Colleen on Instagram

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WOW! What a night (and weekend)!

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We were thrilled with the Opening Night attendance - more than 900 people saw the art of more than 190 Delaware Fun-A-Day participants. Photos will be coming soon to the gallery, but for now - please check our Instagram Feed and Facebook page!

See entire Instagram Feed

2018 Artist Interview - Julia Jay Hardman

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Interview by Sheila Sunshine

For our last interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day, Sheila Sunshine talked with Julia Jay Hardman how she "geeks out", her art upbringing, and doing "cover art". Thanks, Julia!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found here? 

Delaware is my home, as I was born and raised here. I’ve lived in a few other places, and visited many. I have been back in Delaware for a few years, now. I’m starting to feel this weird pull to escape. It's the feeling Disney Princesses sing about when the want their lives to change. It’s conflicting, because there is so much I love here. So I’m starting to have shows in Baltimore. Which is a good start. I want my art to impact a wider audience. 

This is going to be your fifth year participating! Can you describe one of your past Fun-A-Day projects? 

Understanding the history of art is, I believe, key to being a dynamic artist. I do not shirk the influence of other artists. I want to venerate the greats.  Some I do despise. Like Warhol and Dali. However, I understand they had a profound impact on art. I might feel a certain way about them, but I also must respect them. So it goes. Since humans started making art, certain patterns and poses represent specific things. For example, legs depicted at different angles represents movement. As an artist I naturally create images in that custom, as so many artists have done before me whether they notice or not. I should learn how other artists did it before me. That was the key to my last Fun-A-Day project. I call that drawing style “covers.” I used to get jealous that my musician friends could take songs they loved and make them their own. I decided to do that with my art. Covers are a mix of homage and personal expression.

Your work typically features a bold, dark line, and soft color transitions. Did you always draw? How did you learn?

My great uncle would tell a story about me when I was three. I don't remember the details, but it involved waiting in a dentist's office and me just picking up some crayons and near perfectly drawing a picture of a swan. My great uncle would embellish stories. But drawing is something I have always done. It sometimes bothers me when people call my work "illustrations." Like, your art has to look a type of way in order to be called "Art." Is drawing just an illustration thing, or can drawings be seen as high "Art?" I think about this quite a bit. 

I have my own personal style, true. But it came from years of study and making everything from abstract oil paintings to prints off a press. I have my style because, in everything I have seen or learned about, I haven't seen are just like mine. I'm glad people seem to like it. 

You illustrate such a wide variety of subject matter! Last September you had an interesting show which is now at the Christiana Motel called “If they're in front of you they go too fast; if they're behind you they go too slow” which focused on tractor trailers and then for the Fun-A-Day show right after that you illustrated your version of famous artistic works. Do you have an overarching theme or idea? What draws you to these vastly different subjects?

The trucks were more of a collaborative series. I’m not sure whose idea it was to start photographing the ones that drove by Street Road Project Space. But I got very good at it. A year later I’m drawing the trucks from those random photographs. They are now in the Christiana Motel, which they are perfect for.

You participate in quite a few local venues such as Oddball Art Hall at Oddity Bar and the Street Road Artists Space. What are some of your favorite local art spots? 

Oddball Art Hall is the best thing to happen to local artists. Period. Oddity and 1984 are the only places I like. Mainly I draw at Brew Ha Ha when I’m not working behind the counter.

Please describe your 2018 Project:

What made my last show so successful was the variety of images I had. Thus, I went with a broad and metaphysical theme: Destruction. I went the melodramatic because I think it fits where the world is right now. So many people talk about how things are falling apart. There is an atmosphere of resignation to the ruin. Destruction is where we are. But it isn’t so bad. History flows from one fallen era to the other. Some must be forsaken in order for the world to evolve. Revolutions happen. Death breathes life and yada yada.

If you could experience a “day in the life” in a different person’s shoes, who would choose and why?

I would like to be a successful white male. Maybe an accountant. Something dull and sane. I would live in a rosy world where the worst thing to happen to me is my dog was hit by a car when I was 12. Everything smooth since. I would have done things like be a Prom Prince and gone on Spring Break. I would drink on weekends, and play point-and-shoot video games on the weekdays. I’m the type of guy who plays kickball with his office buddies and watches “The New Girl” to be edgy.  I would commonly be high-fived by my boss. I would eventually marry. I like to talk about how America’s golden age was the 1950s. And how it’s hard to be a white guy. I would be that guy for a day. That guy sucks. But I bet he’s stupidly happy. Otherwise, I just want to always be me. Just somewhere else.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I can draw. I am a master of one. But I can draw anything but horse’s legs and sleek machinery. I traveled with my family when I was smaller. That had a pretty profound impact on me. I saw the Mona Lisa and other famous works up close (as close as one can). I’ve seen the pyramids. But then, I also saw a random tour guide take a poo behind one of the blocks of the pyramid. I have a deep loving amazement at all the amazing things in the world. But I also know how crappy the world can be. On one hand, I was exposed to all this astonishing art and history. On the other hand, I was exposed to the darker side of things that come with exploring the world. I mean, I could have been a brat and ignored all the museums and historical locations we visited. I’m lucky I didn’t. I wouldn’t make the art I do if I wasn’t a history nerd from a tiny age. Now I'm just a nerd about everything. All my subjects come from things, I have in one way or another, geeked out over. 

Where can people see more of your work?

I am not very good at being “professional” when it comes to my art. I have no portfolio style photos of my art. I never want to frame my works. I don’t have business cards, nor a website. People kept asking me if I use instagram. So, I did get one. I'm JuliaJayHardman. Eventually I do want to be more economical. Now, I’m just focused on making the art. 

See Julia's work at www.instagram.com/juliajayhardman and at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

2018 Artist Interview - Wendy Mitchell

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Interview by Monika Bullette

For our fifth interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Wendy Mitchell how she brings together local artists at the unique shows at Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery, her own inspirations and causes, and canine employees. Thanks, Wendy!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware - are you a resident, born and raised?What has been your artistic path here?

I was born and raised in Delaware, although I do escape occasionally. 

I started drawing as a kid. Spent a good bit of time drawing in my dad's office at work. He kept a drawer of old paperwork that I would draw on the back of when I was there.

I had several teachers who encouraged my interest in art, Mrs. Guy in elementary school, Mrs. Glasgow, Mrs. Walton, and Mr. Thomas through high school. My art school education taught me a lot, but the working artists and illustrators I met through the years inspired me to do whatever art made me happy.

As a kid, I loved Beatrix Potter's gentle critter illustrations. I remember reading about her and realizing a girl could create her own world. Art at the Delaware Art Museum had a big impact on me, as well. Howard Pyle's The Flying Dutchman haunted me, and Dante Gabriel Rosetti's Lilith showed me a woman confident in herself, but Marie Spartali Stillman's self portrait showed me a woman as artist as well as model, in control of the image as well as the image making. 

You put on several shows in 2017 at Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery with co-owner Ric Frane (who will be participating this year as well!). Please describe the most surprising piece in each of these shows? Wicked Winter - The Coffin Ball -   Portrait Pollyanna - Big Little Art Show:

We have hosted a lot of unique art shows at the Talleyville Frame Shoppe. I am always amazed by the range of ideas our artists come up with, as well as how they interpret and execute them.

Wicked Winter, on March 2, 2018, is our annual "dead of winter, sick of winter" art show. It's loosely winter themed, art with a dark side. There are usually a few humorous pieces as well, like Tina Marabito's Haunted Telephone piece from last year. It's an eclectic mix of painters, sculptors, photographers, really just a diverse bunch of styles. 

The Coffin Ball, in October, features coffin shaped art from another diverse group of artists, but it's not all Halloween and horror. Maia Palmer did a beautiful "Death of the Dictionary" piece last year. She utilized dictionary pages to create paper flowers that trailed out of the coffin shape.

One of my favorite things about our shows are when artists get to meet each other. The Portrait Pollyanna show was new for us last year. It was a secret portrait exchange, artists painting artists. Some knew each other, some did not. They all came out amazing. Some were hilarious, some were serious, and new connections were made. I loved so many of the pieces in that show. Illustrator Kurt Brugel and tattoo artist Brian Durkee unknowingly had to portray each other. They had never met, but they both stuck to their own style. Brian did a traditional tattoo style watercolor of Kurt as a tattooed sea captain, Kurt did a dark scratch board interpretation of Brian's mug shot (yes, mug shot) that made him look like a gangster. They were both super psyched about them.

We have some local artists who regularly participate in a lot of our shows who always do amazing stuff. Kristen Margiotta, Pat Higgins, Bob Bickey, Joe Hoddinott, Matt Stankis, Ken and Beth Schuler are just some of our core group, but we add new folks all the time. We also have some out of state favorites including illustrator Stephen Blickenstaff and printmaker Donald David, who mail in amazing stuff.

We have hosted the annual Big Little Art Show in December, for four years. It is the brain child of Delaware artist, photographer, and sculptor, Mark Rosenblatt. Seeing how much content artists can fit into a 6 x 6 inch space is always impressive. We had over 70 artists, illustrators, photographers, tattoo artists, graphic designers, sculptors, pin-stripers, and a cake decorator, showing over 200 pieces in 2017.

I also love the opportunity to collect original art from talented people, and this show is great for buying a couple of pieces because you always have room for small art.

Birds seem near and dear to your heart. How did you become interested in bird rescue. What bird that you haven't would you most like to see?

Birds have been a favorite subject of mine since I was young. I got to know some waterfowl artists and duck decoy carvers through my dad. These were my first encounters with professional artists, so it was a natural progression to draw and paint birds. We spent our summers on the Elk River in Maryland, and there were so many different birds. One of my favorites is the Great Blue Heron, although I'm quite a fan of birds prey as well. I have recently seen a Coopers hawk hunting pigeons near the Frame Shoppe; wildlife in suburbia. I've never seen an owl in the wild, but wood love to.

My friend Cheryl works at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Rescue in New Jersey. She took me to help a few times. I got to hold an owl and feed a whole lot of baby birds. It's quite an experience. I volunteered a little bit, and try to support the Tri-State Bird Rescue here  in Newark, Delaware. Cheryl also introduced me to taxidermy. I sometimes do anthropomorphic taxidermy of mice with my friend Tina Marabito.


Car Culture - what's the coolest car you've owned or driven?

I was interested in cars as a kid, as well. My uncle had a dragster, and my dad had several cool cars including a 1959 Corvette. I've had quite a few old interesting vehicles over the years, always "beaters," never a shiny classic. They were just basic transportation (with personality) for me. I currently have a 1961 Chevy Apache Panel truck that I drive to area car shows. I love that truck! The Frame Shoppe also co-sponsors Poppycock Tattoo's Wilmo A Go-Go Car Show in May. It's a great place to see a crazy variety of cool vehicles. I take my truck and sell art and vintage junk.

Shoppe dogs! What do dogs know that we don't?

We have had a few canine employees. Currently, GoGo, the Boston Bitch, and Miss Marple, the energetic one eyed old lady, both keep us entertained at work. They've both done art modeling as well. They know not to sweat the small stuff, and that if you're cute enough, someone will give you a treat.

Describe the most beautiful thing you've framed and the most bizarre...

Picture framing has exposed me to all kinds of art and people. We frame art and objects from all over the world, and so many of those pieces have a story. We've framed a huge variety of stuff, including motorcycle parts from an accident, a cast from a broken arm, a collection of watches, a zither, military uniforms, and most recently, a World War II flag from the D Day landing in France, as well as a piece of the USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor. This week I'm working on framing pieces of an antique designer silk gown that was damaged in a house fire. It's a truly unique piece. I did once frame a bungee cord as a joke. A woman framed it for her husband as his first fishing trophy, because it was the only thing he caught.

2017 was your first year participating (and the first year you generously allowed Delaware Fun-A-Day participants to drop off and pick up their art at Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery- THANK YOU!). Please describe your 2017 project. What advice would you give first time participants? What do you plan to do for your 2018 project?

Last year for Fun a Day, I did printing using vegetables. I cut images in potatoes, carrots, and a few other veggies, then printed them onto paper, kind of like rubber stamping. I did a Halloween theme, pumpkins, skulls, bats, etc., and then framed them all together as a collection. It was fun, but challenging! I wasn't consistent with size, and the vegetables would break down quickly, limiting the number of clear images I could print. I purposely chose something different from my normal style because I wanted to free myself up a little.

My advice to new participants is to get yourself organized beforehand. Choose your media and get materials ready before the actual making. I also think it's important not to get too far behind. I know a lot of people start well, then miss a couple of days. Next thing you know, a couple weeks have gone by, and you need to catch up. I tried to do two pieces in one night, that way I could take a day off if need be. Most of us are doing this as added activity in our very busy lives, and it is almost impossible to commit the same amount of time every day.

I'm torn between two ideas this year. I'm leaning toward "Insight and Inspiration," which will be partial portraits of women who have influenced me, as well as a few self portraits. My other thought is to illustrate 31 different birds. I need to decide soon! Either way, my goal is to keep them simple, and not to overthink it, or try to make them too complex, all of which will be challenging.

Check out more of Wendy's work at www.facebook.com/artofwendym and at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

Don't forget that Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery is a drop off point for artwork before the event and a pick up spot afterwards!

2018 Artist Interview - Lvon Yoder

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Sheila Sunshine

Welcome to the fourth interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day Event - and first by new DEFAD organizer Sheila Sunshine! She talked to Lvon Yoder about his DEFAD projects, how he wants to "Spread positive energy always", and his penchant for bold color. Thanks, Lvon!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised?

I am a resident of Delaware, born and raised in Newark, Delaware. I've lived in DE my entire life. 

This will be your second year participating in Delaware Fun-A-Day. For anyone that missed it, can you describe last year’s project? Any artists you are hoping to see participate again?

My project last year consisted of printer paper cut in half, then I used markers, crayons and pen along with recycled books and magazines. Basically they were mixed media collages. There's a few artists I'm hoping to see participate again, who knows. 

Your last project focused on drawing and collage, but you typically work with paint. Do your drawings inform your paintings, or do you keep the two mediums separate?

Such a good question. I would say I keep the two separate. Last year was a first time- showing my collages and drawings. 

Your abstract paintings commonly feature bold, bright colors. Where does the inspiration for those come from?

The inspiration for my color choices would be artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Man Ray. Artists who choose the most bold colors. 

There are so many textures and techniques you achieve on the canvas. Which one is your favorite? What is your process like?

My process is somewhat meticulous and partly random, also I experiment with different colors. 

You regularly share other artists’ work on your social media channels. (For instance: The Obama's portrait reveal, a painting by Spherical Art,  urban sketches by Wild Plein and Joan CorominaDo you feel it’s important to build and support a community of artists? How do you choose what to share?

I share what I like and find interesting. Yes, I feel its very important to support other artists and help them find opportunities when I can. I'll usually share someone's art once I meet them and get to know a little about them. Elise Kathleen & Dave Booth are some favorites.

You sell your work in a way that supports quite a few charities and causes. What is your favorite way to give back? What are your favorite charities and why?

I do work with a few charities, any way I can help especially if it's art involved. I've donated images and the proceeds go to charity. My favorites are HealingHeadbands who helps children in hospitals with cancer. 

Do you have any advice for people who might be participating for the first time?

My advice would be to enjoy yourself, listen to what people have to say. More importantly don't stop making art. 

What 5 things have influenced your work the most?

a. Past & Present Art

b. Life Experiences

c. Nature

d. Street Art & Graffiti

e. Music 

Please describe your 2018 Project:

This years project: I may do the collages once again, not sure yet. I'm sure it will have bold color no matter what. 

Where can people see more of your work?

People can see more of my work on my Instagram @Makinmoves420 (and at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!)