City of Wilmington, Delaware

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December 3, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (December 2, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery presents 2022 DDOA Individual Artist Fellow t.a. Hahn’s exhibition, “Peace Taking Flight”, running December 2-30, 2022. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception on Friday, December 2. from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

After a four-decade career as a senior art and design director in marketing and advertising, t. a. Hahn (of Middletown) has returned full-time to his lifelong passion – creating fine art. An alumnus of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Hahn studied both fine arts and graphic design and chose design as a career path. He always “enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of design” – and still does – but his renewed studio practice has led to the work that garnered a Division Fellowship.

2022 DDOA Individual Artist Fellow t.a. Hahn’s exhibition, “Peace Taking Flight” Friday, Dec. 02, 2022; at The Mezzanine Gallery in Wilmington, DE. Photo B y Saquan Stimpson

Titled Peace Taking Flight, the artist has created a series that has “taken flight.” The collection was first inspired by a single bird, “a cedar waxing that visits the trees just outside our windows for only a few weeks each summer.” Each of Hahn’s avian-inspired pieces – whether small or large – combines wood (some found, some sourced, some rustic, some refined) and oil painting (generally on gesso board), often elevated by subtle LED lighting.

Early in the series, Hahn used live-edge slabs, but he has recently introduced driftwood and is also exploring salvage from a 200-year-old building near his Middletown home. Born in Mississippi, the artist grew up in a family of six (parents and three siblings) in South Jersey, where he continued to live and work for much of his career. Five years ago, Hahn and his wife (photographer Barb Scalzi) moved to Delaware, a locale from which he can readily source his wood statewide or on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shores.

Not surprisingly, Hahn was influenced early on by Jasper Johns (“a graphic designer in his early years!”) and major American modernists like Alexander Calder and Mark Rothko. He also studies the works of contemporary sculptors, realists, and abstracts. Working in abstraction himself, Hahn notes that “abstract art can be difficult for the general public,” but he believes they need to know only two things – whether they like or dislike it and that they don’t have to understand or explain their reaction, having “simply the freedom to enjoy (or not) what they are viewing.”

The artist has affiliations with the Delaware Contemporary, Philadelphia Sculptors, Noyes Museum (at New Jersey’s Stockton University), the International Sculpture Center, and the Gilbert W. Perry, Jr. Center for the Arts (aka “The Gibby”) in his hometown. His works have been widely exhibited (locally, regionally, and nationally) in over 60 solo and group shows at scores of venues, including Philadelphia Sculptors and Grounds for Sculpture (in New Jersey).

2022 DDOA Individual Artist Fellow t.a. Hahn’s exhibition, “Peace Taking Flight” Friday, Dec. 02, 2022; at The Mezzanine Gallery in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

He constantly explores “the harmony of nature and the essence of the wild birds” to inform and inspire his works – finding driftwood, visiting mills, and researching avian color and beauty. His art “has always generated a sense of peace for me,” and Hahn is rewarded when he completes a satisfying piece. “Icing on the cake is when others enjoy your work.”

This exhibit in the Mezzanine Gallery will display the full range of works in this series – small & large free-standing sculptures along with wall reliefs, live-edge, and dimensional woods, ‘found’ driftwood natural woods, and some use LED lighting for a subtle presence. Each piece hopefully will shine a little peace for the viewer’s experience.

The Mezzanine Gallery [], open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.