Art Watch: A blast of art in major shows this weekend

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Mary Kane, Artist, at the Franklin Commons exhibit

The two big shows that open this week are at the Art Gallery at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville and at the St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Devon. While both are a bit far a field of Chester County, they include many well known Chester County artists and are well worth the short car trip.

Exhibit at Franklin Commons
Exhibit at Franklin Commons

An art organization called The Artists Equity Association is holding its 66th Anniversary Members' juried exhibition at The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville. Though I confess that I had never heard of it before, this is one of the oldest artist organizations in the five county area and has more than 170 members. There are many art associations, art centers and arts organizations in our area, and each one has its own vision and assemblage of members.

The Artists Equity Association was formed in the 1940s by a group of professional artists who were interested in helping out fellow struggling artists muddle through the complicated gallery process and worked as an advocacy and support group for advancement of the arts. While it still does offer help to fellow established artists, it is now primarily a vehicle to exhibit the fine art represented by its membership in two shows per year.

The level of expertise and variety of expressive techniques is absolutely wonderful to behold. It is a thrill to see such talent and variety of expression in one show. The opening for the Artist's Equity 66th Anniversary show is Sunday April 19th from 2-4 p.m. and the show will continue through May 21st at Franklin Commons. Curator Katie Naber is particularly excited about the show. Pointing to a large yellow painting by Mary Kane at the entry, " You see that - and BAM! Beautiful!" she exclaimed.

The Artists Circle membership's 30th Annual Art Show and Sale at St Luke's Lutheran Church in Devon will exhibit hundreds of paintings in their show which opens Friday April 17th at 1 p.m. and closes Sunday April 19th at 4 p.m. More than an art show, it is a visual experience that includes hands on demonstrations by Judy Antonelli , Wendy Scheirer and Lisa Prize on Saturday. Though these artists offer a range of personal view points, this is a quintessential Chester County art show, with lovely floral and landscape watercolors and still life paintings. Prices are reasonable, and there are also prints available for sale. The Lutheran Church is located at 203 N. Valley Forge Road in Devon. For more information about this artist's group you should visit

Lenten Rose by Terri Morse
Lenten Rose by Terri Morse

Closer to home, The Chadds Ford Gallery presents "Recent Works by William Basciani and John Hannafin" at their famous gallery at 1609 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford. The opening will be this Friday April 17th from 5-8 p.m. which is a lovely opportunity to chat with these remarkable fine local artists. The exhibition continues through May 3rd. Both artists capture "the beauty of life" in their own unique way. Basciani was trained in the Brandywine tradition of the Wyeths and W.O. Ewing, while John Hannafin approaches his subject matter with a brighter palette and more expressionistic brushwork. What a wonderful idea for a show!

In Wilmington the delightful Blue Streak Gallery is exhibiting the work of local artist Carol Tippit Woolworth in a show called "Horses and Hummingbirds." Woolworth currently works in oil and cold wax which lends itself to exuberant color and textural combinations. Gallery owner Ellen Bartholomaus says that her gallery was one of the first to exhibit Woolworth's stunning artwork "She is amazing and each piece is so magnificent!" The Blue Streak Gallery is celebrating 27 years as a fine arts gallery dedicated to supporting local artists and serving the local community.

If you would like a break from the visual arts and want to experience exceptional music while donating to a fantastic cause, check out Kennett High School this Friday April 17th for a benefit concert by brilliant Violinist David Kim. All proceeds will support the very good works done by the Garage Community and Youth Center. You can purchase tickets online through the Garage website ( or at the door for $45 each.

Another wonderful local non-profit, The Kennett Area Senior Center is offering free a 5-day course starting Friday April 17th 1-3 p.m. The theme of the classes is to reflect upon your life as a "Baby-boomer" and express your thoughts through the creative process. Sound like fun! Call 610-444-4819 to signup.


About Lele Galer

Lele Galer is an artist who has chaired numerous art shows, taught art history and studio art, public art and has chaired, written and taught the Art in Action Art Appreciation series for the UCFD schools for the past 12 years. She worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and wrote for the Associated Press in Rome. She has been dedicated to Art History and art education for most of her adult life. Lele and her husband Brad own Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square.

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