This month, WibergArt Gallery celebrates the Italian kitchen, featuring works from artist Joyce Blakeslee.
Blakeslee started painting a few years ago after suffering the loss of several beloved family members and friends. She began taking instruction at Wilmington University under the guidance of artist Linda Minkowski. Since then, she has flourished into a avid and skilled painter. Blakeslee uses bold colors and enjoys painting a variety of subjects. She is a member of an online gallery called ARTWORX 19971, an active member of the Rehoboth Art League and she exhibits her work, year round, in the Galleries at 20 Baltimore in Rehoboth.
After painting several food-related pieces, Blakeslee realized there was a theme evolving: memories from her childhood of the simple, everyday items found in and around the family kitchen, and most of all, of her mother, Rose, a first-generation Italian American who loved to cook. In fact, Blakeslee has dedicated this show to the memory of Rose, who prepared many meals using the items that became the subject matter on Blakeslee's canvases. The bowl and spoon, where most meals began, was a staple in her mom's kitchen. The spoon, however, had other uses beside stirring. "She used to chase my sister and me around the house with it when we misbehaved," Blakeslee said.
It is impossible to capture everything in or about an Italian American kitchen, but Blakeslee has painted her memories of simple, everyday items that reminded her of the love and good times that came from the heart of her home, la cucina.
WibergArt Gallery, 20 Baltimore Ave., invites the public to enjoy an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, April 13. Visitors will meet the artist, entertain their eyes with her colorful palette and entertain their palates with delicacies from Baltimore Avenue's Touch of Italy.