In 2003 I wrote a cover story, "Girl Disconnected," about the profoundly talented, Atlanta-based artist Gretchen Hupfel, who committed suicide on Dec. 14, 2002, at age 39. She had been struggling with schizophrenia, but despite that devastating illness managed to make work that was some of the best the city had to offer. Her death was a loss for her friends and her family who loved her. It was also a loss for the arts community who knew and respected her.
I thought of Gretchen recently at the Asheville Film Festival, where I attended a screening of The Savages. The film was photographed by Gretchenâs Independent Spirit Award-nominated brother, Mott Hupfel, whose distinctive cinematography for director Mary Harronâs underrated The Notorious Bettie Page reminded me of how much talent runs in the Hupfel family.
I am now happy to learn that Gretchenâs name and memory will be honored through a new, endowed curatorial position at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in her hometown of Wilmington, Del. Gretchenâs work was showcased in a retrospective at the DCCA in 2005. Here's the release:
DCCA Position Announcement
Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art
The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA), a non-collecting museum located on Wilmingtonâs revitalized Riverfront, seeks a full-time, dynamic and innovative curator beginning early 2008. The Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art, a newly endowed position, is responsible for initiating, developing, implementing, and interpreting a schedule of temporary exhibitions. The ideal candidate will possess experience with, and knowledge of, contemporary art practice with a history of creating inventive and engaging exhibitions. This person should be an inspired thinker who has the skills to move an already highly respected visual arts program to the next level. Gretchen Hupfel was a conceptually oriented artist who worked in many different disciplines. In keeping with her artistic vision, interest in a variety of recent media is important, as is a recognition that artists work across disciplines and that contemporary artistic expression emanates from all cultures.