Art Watch: Re-imagining pain through art

Painting by Sarah Bigham on exhibit at Chester County Hospital

For the next two weeks, The Chester County Hospital is exhibiting "Medical History Re-imagined" by artist and chronic pain survivor Sarah Bigham. Sarah used her experience as a patient with chronic pain to create this series of compelling images that utilize her actual medications as an artistic paint medium. The medications and supplements that she has taken were dissolved into water and painted on paper. The use of color washes and the strong paint strokes contain her journey's narrative. Sarah's expressive strokes of color convey her emotions powerfully and are also uplifting.
One of the great tragedies of chronic pain is that it is not visible to other people, and if it is not visible, it is hard for people to understand what the patient is going through. The artist writes, "My hope is that this artwork will convey the pain and hope of my story, and may inspire empathy and compassion for those with chronic pain. Sometimes the deepest, most unbearable pain is the kind you cannot see.”

Painting by Sarah Bigham

Painting by Sarah Bigham

Her exhibition is in the main Chester County Hospital campus, at 795 East Marshall Street in West Chester. 30% of all painting sales are donated to the American Chronic Pain Association and Interstitial Cystitis Association. The exhibition will move on to Galer Estate Winery in August and hopefully other locations as well. This is a beautiful series of paintings in its own right, but also a very compelling, unique way to express a patient's journey through suffering to healing.
In winery tasting rooms along the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail, many artists are exhibiting their paintings.  At Grace Winery in Glen Mills, Katee Boyle and Victoria McNeil Le Vine are exhibiting their paintings. Victoria is an artist and former graphic designer who paints primarily landscape work, but also does floral still life pieces and miniatures, in oil and watercolor.  Vicki and her husband also own and operate The Inn at Grace Winery in Glen Mills, Pa. recently renamed Sweetwater Farm Bed and Breakfast. Artist Katee Boyle is a Chester County abstract painter and metal sculptor who creates intuitively, drawing from experience, surroundings, and dreams. She works in series, as a "visual storyteller", and shows regularly in Chester County.
Wilson Vineyard  in Oxford has their own art gallery, managed by artist Sally Wilson. Currently 22 local artists are exhibiting their paintings, sculpture and jewelry at the Wilson Gallery.
Photographer Daphne Longo-Okcuoglu is exhibiting her images at both Kreutz Creek Winery locations in West Grove and downtown West Chester. Daphne's beautiful photographs include family scenes as well as images that capture Chester County's natural beauty.

Sycamore by Frank DePietro

Sycamore by Frank DePietro

This Friday, May 27 from 3 to 7 p.m.  acclaimed painter Frank DePietro shows beautiful paintings of Chester County hillsides and tree scapes at Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square.
Next Friday is "First Friday" in towns throughout Chester County, with new artist show openings and art events all weekend!

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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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