Art Salad is a weekly lunchtime discussion forum at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE.

Come to the Table, mixed media work on paper, ©NanciHersh

Come to the Table,
Acrylic, graphite, collage
40″ x 42″
Private Collection

Artists, curators, historians, and educators share “multipoint perspectives into the world of contemporary art.” These free talks are varied, interesting, and inspiring. So when I was invited to be on the presenting side of the room in front of a screen with a microphone, I gave a lot of thought to what makes an engaging artist talk or presentation. Over the years my work has run the gamut from life size oil portraits of teens in an emergency shelter in Hawaii to collograph prints of crows on handmade paper to sculptural nets and my current paintings and drawings inspired by my Koi Pond.

The big question is what is the connection between the different series and how can I make it relevant and interesting to my audience?

It’s the story. The narrative behind the art work as well as the stories we tell each other- and ourselves that shape our identity and help us navigate through this world. There is a word I came across several years ago- Wayfinding. The term  encompasses all of the ways in which people and animals orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place.

Walkabout, mixed media on paper, ©NanciHersh

Walkabout, graphite, rubber stamp, collage on paper. 13.5″ x 16″ ©NanciHersh

Making art for me is Wayfinding, it is the way I connect to a place,  and how I navigate from place to place, creating a space for healing, gratitude, and transformation- emotionally and physically.

As a teaching artist and a DCCA guide, my intention was to have the audience be part of the conversation from the beginning- and not just at the end for the Q & A period. VTS or Visual Thinking Strategies are a great way to draw the audience in whether they are fidgety adolescents or seasoned art viewers. It’s about asking simple questions about what they are looking at, talking about what they observe and consider multiple or different interpretations as they listen to the comments and reflections of others. We began with a slide of this large drawing…

Juana & Krislyn from Ranch Camp Series,©NanciHersh

Juana & Krislyn,
acrylic, pastel, charcoal and dirt on paper

Click here to view my Art Salad slide show.

Art Salad Series for the rest of the Fall 2014 Series. Hope to see you there.

October 23 – Artist Margery Amdur discusses the sculptural wall constructions in her DCCA solo exhibition Abundance.

October 30 – In celebration of the DCCA’s 35th Anniversary, studio artist and DCCA founding member Carson Zullinger talks about the history of the DCCA in the Wilmington community and the development of his own work.

November 6 – Amanda Shields, Curator of Fine Art and Registrar at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, gives a lecture about the collection and the history of art and alchemy.

November 13 – DCCA studio artist Dan Jackson shares his photo-realistic figurative paintings infused with film and advertising references in conjunction with his solo exhibition Manufactured.

November 20 – DCCA studio artist and 2014 Delaware Division of the Arts Established Fellow in the Visual Arts, T.S. Kist, discusses her colorful, process oriented paintings and installations on exhibit in the Hatch Gallery.

December 4 – Artist Hiro Sakaguchi talks about the whimsical works featured in his DCCA solo exhibition Avert, Escape or Cope With.

December 11 – Members of Hive76, a maker’s community and studio space, show off some of their latest projects and discuss science education in relation to the arts.

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