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ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO DUST: ‘Stardust * Picture This’ opens Dec. 8 at Bottega Art and Wine Gallery

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Here are only nine of the artists participating and a smattering of works on display at Bottega’s ‘Stardust * Picture This.’

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A few months ago, I was tooling around at Bottega one Friday evening when a local artist and friend, Andrew Edwards, passed a doodling pad back and forth with me. We were conversing by drawing faces. In he middle of sketching a pork-pie hat, as talks of Bowie were happening, I asked: “But how do you draw stardust?” We passed around the pad for everyone’s illustration.

The next day, when Bottega owner Addie Wuensch called and asked if encore would like to curate an art show for the holidays, my conversation with Andrew popped up again. As a holiday show, the idea of something ethereal, cerebral and magical seemed more fitting than a run-of-the-mill theme eliciting red bows, eggnog and wreaths.

“Stardust * Picture This” was born.

The curation of such an event seemed serendipitous on some level, as pieces began to fall into place. I had just seen Grey Pascal’s light installation, SWARF, at Wilma Daniels Gallery a few months prior. It left a feeling of airiness connectivity, as bright white orbs, some of which featured humane moments of love via video projections, came to life as if from a fourth dimension. Shortly after settling on the theme, 910 Noise (read “Experimental Cacophonies“) artists, Grant Stewart and Carl Kruger, played Bottega one night while I was visiting. Their supernal soundscapes created a sense of power and consciousness in the ether, as images morphed into unexpected visuals on a wall in the art gallery’s backyard.

Then and there, I extended personal invitations to all three artists to join  “Stardust * Picture This,” which will open this Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at Bottega. As well a dozen or more artists responded to the call we put out in the paper for artists who wished to submit work. Alongside the visual and audible installations will be various media interpreting the theme—photography to painting, digital art to mixed media. All work will be for sale, with 15 percent of the proceeds donated to DREAMS of Wilmington.

Here are only nine of the artists participating and a smattering of works on display, as well as background info on 910 Noise’s Stewart and Kruger.


Alessandro Giambra’s “De Sidus”
Size: 24 inches x 30 inches
Medium/materials:  Oil Painting
Price: $2,800
Inspiration: “The word ‘Stardust’ is related to the meaning with the old ancient Latin word ‘De Sidus’ (desire of the star). It opened my imagination to create this painting, representing Eros, the Greek god of love and desire, to De Sidus that reflects on the different layers of sensuality to returning to her source.”


Casey Aguilera’s Mixed Media
Medium/materials: 12-inch vinyl record in frame, 12.5-inch x 12.5-inch, spray paint.
Price: $100
Inspriation: “Inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night,’ originally painted in 1889.” Comes in set of three.


Carolina Corona’s “Star Energy”
Size: 7 inches x 5 inches; 11 inches x 8.5 inches, framed
Medium/materials: Digital art
Price: $100
Inspiration: “My inspiration were the galaxies and the energy emitted by the stars. I wondered how this energy affects us and I decided that if we are aware of this cosmic energy it must bring us peace of mind and radiant joy. The queen of the stars carries energy with her and it radiates toward us.”


Toni Sunseri’s “We are Stardust, We are Golden”
Size: 11 inches x 15 inches
Medium/materials: Digital photography
Price: $300
Inspiration: “What is not our sun, but a star…” One of a set of four.


Nathan Ryan Verwey’s “In Stitches”
Size: 2 feet x 3 feet
Materials/medium: Paper, watercolor, acrylics, spray paint, ink and found paper
Price: $500
Inspiration: “All three paintings submitted (‘Gus’ (cover), ‘InStitches’ and  ‘As a Young King’ (hodgepodge), follow a king throughout his reign. The works are a commentary on the trappings of western society. They are a display of people wanting to have it all—wanting to be a king and rule their kingdom, wanting to control all the wealth and power. Each one wants to reach the top to become a star. For we all come from stardust, so to scrape the heavens is to succeed.

To reach the heights from which we came will ruin us all the same. Ash to ash. Dust to dust.”


Joe Cordaro’s “Celestial Goddess”
Medium/materials: Digital pen and ink; output as giclée print on hi-res microporous resin-coated, luster paper.
Price: $65 (SOLD)
Inspiration: “The celestial goddess of the moon and stars manifests herself as power, grace and serenity.”


Grey Pascal’s “Holy Hologram”
Size: 10 feet x 6 feet x 2 feet
Medium/materials: Lens shavings, steel, wood, lacquer, monofilament and video projections
Price: $1,850
Inspiration: “Stars are 4D objects pressing into the skin of space. We are 4D beings, passing through the universe. Perceiving our bodies and world in three dimensions is a quirk of consciousness.  That said, the current configuration of this series looks like a naughty Christmas card.”


Frances E. Mims-fem’s “Stardust- Stars on a Journey of Enlightenment “
Size: 11 inches x14 inches; 22 inches x 28 inches
Medium/materials: Acrylic
Price: $550
Inspiration: “I believe we are spirits of light; I see us as stars. We are all on a journey of discovery, determining who we are, as we journey through the universe. We are at different stages—some lights are brighter at different times. But we all light up the sky/ universe—living on purpose. If we find ourselves in darkness, our light continues to shine. We are light and our dust/gleam will always light the path for others to follow. When we continue the journey, we will be enlightened and fulfill our purpose. Star figures glow in the dark.”


Dennis Schaefer’s “Blues”
Size: 24 inches x 30 inches
Medium/materials: Acrylic on canvas,
Price: $375
Inspiration: “It is inspired by the evening star on a perfect night.”


Margie Lucido’s “Collection: What The Eye Doesn’t See—Candle in the Sky”
Size: 11 inches x 14 inches; framed in 8 inches x 10 inches mat opening
Medium/materials: Print on poster board, digital camera photo
Price: $40
Inspiration: “When I saw the various descriptors for entries in the show—‘celestial,’ ‘ethereal,’ ‘magical’—my collection of photos taken at a firework display came to mind. I enjoy taking shots of fireworks, capturing and freezing them in time. Interpreting the image is the creative part. With very little editing, each image takes on a new form, perspective, or meaning. It is magical and a bit mystical.”

Other participating Stardust artists include: Quinn Cook, Patricia DeSimone, Kelsi Arcos, Emily Brown, and Jo Ann Alford. After the art show, Second Star Theatre Company will host a fundraiser for their adult production, “Murder Ballad.”  Stick around for performances from the Billy Heathen Band and some photo-booth fun!

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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