When Kelicia Pitts became the first-ever galleries and events manager at the Delaware College of Art and Design this year, it was a kind of homecoming. Pitts had grown up in Claymont – she’s a member of the Mount Pleasant High School Class of 1996 – but wasn’t sure she’d ever live near home again after moving to Philadelphia.
Experience as a fine art model and as an abstract and street art gallery owner in the Rittenhouse Square area inspired her to pursue a degree that blended her two passions: art and business. She graduated from Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art & Design in 2016 with a degree in curatorial studies and a dual minor in business and fine art.
Now she’s back in Delaware and working in Downtown Wilmington. She’s also taking on a role she feels like she was meant to fill.
“My experience in managing a gallery space means I can really envision the possibilities here,” Pitts said. “I’m looking forward to reinventing and refining what already happens in our galleries and other event spaces.”
In recent years, DCAD’s main exhibition space – the Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery at 600 N. Market St. – has hosted five annual shows: a faculty and staff exhibition; an exhibition tied to one of the majors offered by DCAD and coordinated by the professor in charge of that major; an exhibition of degree-program student work; an exhibition of work by continuing education students and instructors; and brief exhibition of work by graduating students.
Pitts, however, envisions so much more.
“I plan to curate exhibitions of established and emerging artists that our student body can be inspired by and aspire to, exhibitions that will be educational for them as well as for those who live in, work in or visit Wilmington’s Creative District,” she said. “DCAD is a platform for art education – not just for our students but also for our community. And the point of entry for the community is our galleries.”
Pitts also will oversee DCAD’s student-run gallery to help students curate their own exhibitions of work that they and their peers have created, often outside the requirements of their degree studies. These shows fill the gallery walls of the Tatiana Copeland Student Center on the first floor of The Saville residence hall, also located on Market Street.
Another of her responsibilities is working with outside groups that want to rent campus spaces for events, a new venture for the College that will both enhance the bottom line and strengthen DCAD’s status as a community art hub and resource. Pitts said galleries are wonderful spaces for entertaining and provide a thoughtful and interesting backdrop for many kinds of events. She looks forward to working with brides, event planners and community organizations seeking fresh locations for their endeavors.