WILMINGTON — Wilmington resident Bill Finkel’s life as an artist has resulted in an accumulation of literally hundreds of pieces of artwork representing various phases of his career.
A massive sale featuring his body of work will be held Saturday, May 27 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Masonic Building (formerly Books ‘n’ More), 28 W. Main St., in downtown Wilmington.
Finkel, a longtime fixture in Wilmington who enjoyed socializing regularly at Jen’s Deli and other local spots, is moving from his downtown apartment into an assisted living facility. He feels now is an opportune time to make his artwork available to the public.
The Wilmington College alumnus (class of 1973) exhibited pieces of his works at a show held in his honor in fall 2007 at WC’s Harcum Art Gallery. Art lovers especially enjoyed his colorful, often whimsical paintings and purchased numerous pieces from that exhibit.
Finkel has enjoyed painting since he was a child but, as a young adult, the once avid runner was slowed down by cerebral palsy, which also affected his work output, often preventing him from painting for more than 10 minutes a day. However, he persevered and often spent several months before completing his paintings.
He stated in a 2008 interview for Wilmington College’s LINK magazine that, while every aspect of creating poses a challenge, he loves the process — from first brush strokes and choices of color to the mystery of what will become the finished piece.
“There is an element of surprise (to my work),” Finkel said. “Something just pops up in your head and you make it work. Painting is very emotional. You put so much into it.”
Finkel’s longtime friend, Hal Shunk, professor of art at WC, is coordinating the art sale. Shunk has long been impressed with Finkel’s life as what he calls “a true artist.”
“Bill makes art. That’s what he does,” Shunk said. “He puts a lot of energy into his work, both physical and mental,” he said. “He has a real sense of color and overall design, and he incorporates beautiful textures. On a simple level, his work communicates. Everyone has a reaction to it.”