A visit to a unique new art gallery. Plus, "An Evening of Soul" at Dover Downs, a chorus and brass band unite and the Blue Rocks begin.
photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli
A new art gallery offers something different.
Between the Japanese wood floors, moving display walls trimmed in pear wood, chic sensor lights, new age music, and colors bursting from the work of the artists, an excursion to Magnum Opus Gallery is like traveling the world with a first-class ticket. Thanks to its location in Mendenhall, Pennsylvania, Magnum Opus feels like a hip Chelsea gallery with a fresh Brandywine Valley breeze flowing. In Mendenhall Station, the shop exhibits and sells original oils, acrylic and mixed-media paintings, lithographs, collectibles from Africa’s Ivory Coast, Korean pottery and giclee reproductions. Owner Kamille Catchings spends her days researching artists and traveling to customers’ homes to see if pieces “fit.” The business opened in November 2005. “My love of art began when my parents introduced me to (painter) Stuart Yankell,” says Catchings. (Yankell giclees sell at Magnum for $3,200—originals go for about $8,000. Carlos Santana has one of those.) “From there, we forged a relationship with Thompson Imports of Oxford, Pennsylvania.” Oxford’s owners have homes in Zimbabwe, making it easy to score interesting native art. The gallery offers a diverse blend, though 85 percent of the work is done locally. Featured are Mendenhall watercolorist Pat Gregg, photographer John Cox of Unionville and Wilmington’s Sarah Burton, a multi-media artist. And Zimbabwe (which means “the house of stone”) is also well represented by outstanding stone sculptures. In both cases, proceeds benefit the native regions. —Maria Hess
A Civil Union
The Southern Delaware Choral
Society and Chesapeake Brass Band will collaborate on their spring concert, “The Civil War and Beyond” April 28-29. The groups’ shared research into pieces from the Civil War creates a tribute to those serving in the Armed Forces. Choral society member Roo Brown will conduct her “Folksong Suite,” an arrangement of pieces including “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,” and bagpiper Henry DeWitt will play along to the rousing “The Campbells Are Coming.” Composer Jeffrey Van will play guitar to his “A Procession Winding Around Me,” which is based on four poems by Walt Whitman. Rosemary Galloway of Toronto arranged a Stephen Foster medley and will appear as guest conductor. The concerts will also feature the band playing arrangements of “Deep River” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” For more, call 645-7584, or visit www.sdchoralsociety.org
Gettin’ Down in Dover
Get your soul on this month when two renowned recording artists visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. On April 20 Isaac Hayes & Peabo Bryson appear at the Rollins Center stage for “An Evening of Soul!” Listen carefully, because it might be more romance than you can handle. The voice behind “Shaft” and “Walk on By,” Hayes created the Memphis soul sound, which won him entry to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to recording, Hayes has appeared in dozens of films, and is the former voice of Chef on Comedy Central’s “South Park.” As an honorary member of the royal family of Ghana, Hayes is dedicated to promoting literacy and education in western Africa. Two-time Grammy award winner Bryson has the distinction of being the first artist in music history to have separate records topping four different charts. He sung “A Whole New World” with Regina Bell for the Disney film “Aladdin,” which topped both the pop and adult contemporary charts. His duet with Lea Salonga, “We Kiss in a Shadow” from “The King and I,” was No. 1 on the classical crossover charts. And Bryson was featured on Kenny G’s multi-platinum “Breathless.” These two amazing vocalists grooving on one stage is an evening you won’t want to miss. For more, call (800) 711-5882, or visit www.doverdowns.com.
Spring has arrived when baseball season starts at Frawley Stadium. Wilmington’s Blue Rocks take on the Salem
Avalanche in a three-game series April 13-15. Visit with Rocky Bluewinkle, Rubble and Mr. Celery as the Rocks
gear up for a summer of family fun and, we hope, another
winning season of minor league ball. Saturday night fans can watch a fireworks extravaganza after the game, the first of many fireworks nights scheduled throughout the season. Call 888-BLUE, or visit bluerocks.com.