The Peninsula Gallery organizers are overjoyed to kick off its exhibition season with a solo show by Dane Tilghman.
Tilghman has become a premier painter of African American culture; his work is in numerous universities and major sports arenas, and collected by celebrities including Nelson Mandela. The public is invited to view 19 of his original works between Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, March 22, at the gallery in Lewes.
Tilghman’s artistic exploration began at age 4 when he took an interest in drawing. He remembers watching his older brother draw and wanting to follow along. He continued to hone his abilities throughout grade school, taking specialty art courses. In his youth, Tilghman was eager to learn from his peers and would surround himself with people from whom he could pick up new skills.
The artist says, “I used to hang around other kids who could draw anything better than me.” After graduating from Kutztown University, where he studied design and graphic arts, Tilghman rigorously pursued his true passion for painting.
Tilghman’s most prominent themes are life during the Jim Crow Era, blues music, and baseball. The exhibition at the Peninsula Gallery will focus on his paintings of African American life during the mid-1900s. Tilghman finds photo references for these works at the Library of Congress. He may select a single photo to interpret, though he will typically gather a collection of photos from which he can create an original composition.
Since these photos are black and white, he has the freedom to build his palette. His style captures the qualities of cubism, impressionism, and realism. Tilghman uses palette knives while applying his acrylic paint to achieve a variety of textures. While he flattens and simplifies his forms, Tilghman’s use of color and impasto pulls the painting into the third dimension. This impassioned collection of paintings is a poignant, yet nostalgic insight into historical African American communities.
To preview works featured in the show, go to www.peninsula-gallery.com. Works are available for purchase as soon as they are posted to the website.
For more information, call 302-645-0551. The gallery is located in the Shops at the Beacon, 520 East Savannah Road, Lewes.