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January 11, 2019

Last week to see ‘Painting, Sculpture and Ceramics by Bernie Felch’ at DCAD

Pluralism – in art as well as in craft – typifies the work of the late Bernard Jackson Felch. Influenced by painters like Paul Cézanne and sculptors and potters like his mentor, Frans Wildenhain, Felch explored a diverse range of media that included oil, watercolor, wood and ceramic and left a widely varied body of work when he passed away at age 83 in 2008. A selection of his oeuvre is on exhibit at Delaware College of Art and Design as “Painting, Sculpture and Ceramics by Bernie Felch” through Jan. 19.

Felch, who grew up in Rochester, N.Y., served in the United States Army during World War II and then completed a bachelor of arts degree at Williams College. He also studied at Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and Academie Julien in Paris, Instituto del’Arte in Florence and New York’s Art Students League. In addition, he worked under the Bauhaus-trained Wildenhain at the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester and earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of Delaware.

Before becoming chair of the Fine Arts Department at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Felch taught at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Mass., Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, Pa., the Tatnall School in Wilmington and the University of Delaware. He also served as Newark High School’s 1972 Artist in Residence. After retiring from Lincoln University with 21 years of service in 1998, the longtime Landenberg, Pa., resident was a ceramics instructor at the Center for Creative Arts in Yorklyn, taught at Wilmington’s Urban Environmental Center and gave numerous workshops in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Since 1958, Felch’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. Many of his pieces are included in private collections, and many are owned by corporations, educational institutions and museums. Two of his large-scale brick works, “In the Park” (1986-87) and “Dream Stele” (1988), are part of the permanent collection installed in the Delaware Art Museum’s sculpture garden.

All of the pieces in “Paintings, Sculpture and Ceramics by Bernie Felch” are for sale. A book about his life and work, “The Art of Bernard Jackson Felch,” also is available for purchase at the show. This volume was created by his daughter, Lindsey Felch; his widow, Rosamund du Pont; designer Jeff Smith; and photographer Terence Roberts. It includes essays by Delaware Art Museum curator Margaret Winslow, painters Gus Sermas and Ruth Miller and architect Benedict O’Looney.

“Painting, Sculpture and Ceramics by Bernie Felch” will conclude its tenure in DCAD’s Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery, located at 600 N. Market St. in downtown Wilmington, on Jan. 19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public.

For further information, contact DCAD public relations director Susan Coulby at 302-622-8000, ext. 717; 302-983-5710 (cell); or scoulby@dcad.edu.