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FRED COMEGYS A couple of nights a week, you can find Fred Comegys hanging out at his family’s low-key Third & Union Street pub (named, of course, Comegys). It’s an appropriate home-away-from-home for a photojournalist who’s spent more than 50 years behind a camera. More than that, he’s spent 50 years at the same newspaper. Comegys graduated from Conrad High School in 1959 and quickly found work at The News Journal, albeit not as a photographer. As he told Out & About in 2009, he made $35 a week picking up lunch and making coffee for the newsroom. Soon, though, he was helping out in the photo department, and he found he liked it. “I’m not good at anything else,” he told O&A with his trademark humility. Maybe not, but Comegys is Delaware’s best-known photographer, and not just because he’s

been doing it the longest. Clearly, his time behind the camera has helped his reputation, taking Comegys from the Wilmington riots to Live Aid (the first one), from Joe Biden to Muhammad Ali. These and other striking images have been collected into a show at the Delaware Art Museum, which runs Feb. 12 to May 1. EDWARD LOPER JR. Like Fred Comegys and his camera, Ed Loper is a self-taught artist who became a master. Comegys and Loper also share “the eye”—the ability to frame something in their minds and recreate it. Loper’s painting technique has been called “a way to see,” and it’s perhaps the simplest way to describe a collection that is also incredibly vivid and bursting with color. Born on the East Side in 1916, Loper lived in the

city until the late 1980s, when he moved to North Wilmington. But he continued to teach students at his West Side Studio, which he closed in 2009. For someone who learned to paint scenes of the Riverfront and Wawaset Park by studying, on his own, the works of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, and Jackson Pollock, Loper won a following as an eye-opening teacher, instructing his students how to look at everyday objects with a fresh perspective. One of them, Thomas Del Porte, is now opening his own gallery at 1901 Delaware Ave. Loper hopes to join him and paint while looking out the window. But he turns 95 in April, and getting around isn’t as easy as it used to be. “It’s a mess getting old. It doesn’t take long to get there, either,” he jokes of his age. “I like the snow; I like painting it. But I like it more when the sun is out.” continued on next page

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER Ed Loper’s painting technique elicits colors that might otherwise be overlooked. After a Shower, from 1937, is his take on what the Wilmington streets outside his studio look like following a rainstorm. FEBRUARY 2011 | 7 magazine

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Out & About Magazine -- Feb 2011  

Since 1988, Out & About has informed our audience of entertainment options in Greater Wilmington through a monthly variety magazine. Today,...

Out & About Magazine -- Feb 2011  

Since 1988, Out & About has informed our audience of entertainment options in Greater Wilmington through a monthly variety magazine. Today,...

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