Brandywine Art Guide: New life for art at Blue Streak Gallery

Creating a collection of art in your own home is an art form in itself. Whether it is a carefully composed gallery wall, pieces arranged throughout the rooms, or even stacks of colored pages from the kids in your life attached to the fridge with souvenir magnets, art adds color, personality, and character. But when it is time to downsize, where does all that fantastic art go?

Bakery by Ken Mabrey

For art collectors Ginger Weiss and Barry Schlecker, the problem was a bit more complicated than waiting for the kids to go to school on recycling day. They have been acquiring artworks for half a century from local artists, friends, galleries, and other collections. “Relinquishing these pieces has been very difficult because some of the artists have been part of our lives for close to 50 years,” said Weiss.

To help find new homes for pieces from their beloved collection, they turned to their old friend Ellen Bartholomaus, owner of the Blue Streak Gallery for the past 35 years. “This is a question we all will eventually have to deal with,” said Bartholomaus. With such an extensive array of art, together they decided to turn it into a full show at the Gallery, allowing visitors to experience the collection as a whole while also finding people who will love the artworks in their own lives for decades to come.

“The show represents their passion for art, the ‘creativity from the heart’ that artists put into their works,” said Bartholomaus. A wide variety of art is on view, from local, regional, emerging, and outsider artists, in a range of mediums. “The work is powerful, by local artists and some well-known artists. It is playful and imparts joy in the viewer.”

Portrait by Rebecca Raubacher.jpg

Weiss noted that the art is more than just décor. It has been a way to connect with people they have met and remember the journeys they have taken. “The greatest joy we've had through the years has been getting to know the artists,” she said. “Their stories, their passion, and their lives are as important to us as the works they create.”

“I have shown the work of many of these artists for years,” said Bartholomaus. “I would like the viewers to see and appreciate the handmade quality of art by real artists. Seeing the hand in the creation and the soul and heart of the artist.” It is an excellent opportunity to see how the art scene has evolved over the past 50 years.

Preparations for the Trojan War by Gus Sermas (aka The Supremes)

While art is known for its ability to appreciate in value — sometimes astronomically — Weiss and Schlecker wanted the pieces priced to be affordable so they would find new homes that would enjoy them as art, rather than just an investment. “The prices are affordable as Ginger and Barry want the works to go to loving homes,” said Bartholomaus. “It is a great way for a young, new collector to start a collection or for someone to upgrade their collections.”

“Our hope is that the buyers who acquire these works will treasure them as we have,” said Weiss. With the array of subjects, styles, sizes, and mediums available, the beloved artworks are ready to discover their new lives in the great unknown.

Art from the Collection of Ginger Weiss and Barry Schlecker is on view at the Blue Streak Gallery through Oct. 3. The Blue Streak Gallery is located at 1721 Delaware Avenue in Wilmington. More information can be found here.

About Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose (she/her) is an editor, writer, avid reader, self-described geek, and fan of all things creative. Her passion for words has led to her current career as a freelance editor, and she is the owner of Flickering Words, an editing service. When not wielding a red pen (or cursor), she loves reading books of all genres, playing video, board, and word games, baking ridiculous creations to show off on the internet, or enjoying the gorgeous outdoors. She is a board member of the West Chester Film Festival and part of the Thirsty Monsters, a team of streamers from around the world who fundraise for various charities supporting LGBTQIA+ and accessibility rights. She can be found online @WordsFlickering or the Brandywine Art Guide @BrandywineArtGuide.



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