Art Watch: ‘Behind The Easel’

The major art event of the week and perhaps the year is a two-fold celebration of contemporary realism in America that starts with the gallery opening at The Somerville Manning Gallery of "Behind The Easel" October 20-November 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The Delaware Art Museum's "Truth and Vision" exhibition opens Friday October 21 for members only 6 to 9 p.m., and continues through January 22 2017. These important art shows were inspired by local internationally renowned realist painter Robert C. Jackson's 2014 book "Behind the Easel: The Unique Voices of 20 Contemporary Representational Painters"  published by Schiffer Publishing house.

The book "Behind the Easel" is an exceptionally well done contemporary art book that  follows a very simple formula : Robert Jackson asks each painter the same questions, the questions are answered and superb examples of the artists' works are presented along with the text. These 20 artists were selected because they all create artwork that was particularly compelling and pivotal to the artistic evolution of Robert Jackson's own artwork - what a great idea for a book!

If you have ever wanted to understand the mind of the creative artist, read this book.  I am an art lover and artist, and for me, every chapter with a new artist's voice is like opening the cover to a new Outlander book. Each page is full of anticipation and excitement, just without all the sex stuff.  It is the perfect artist book. For the past two years, The Delaware Art Museum has been putting together this one-of a-kind show for contemporary realism, showing all twenty artists from Robert Jackson's book. I have been looking forward to this show for almost two years!

Simultaneous to this unique show, Somerville Manning Gallery in Delaware will be exhibiting these same artists, with their art for sale in their beautiful gallery in Greenville October 20th through November 19. Somerville Manning Gallery shows many of the very best in 20th and 21st Century art, and while every show is stunning, this should be a particular treat. The gallery is located at Breck's Mill, 2nd Floor, Stone Block Row in Greenville Delaware.

"Take Out" By Robert C Jackson, in the Somerville Manning show

"Take Out" By Robert C Jackson, in the Somerville Manning show

I wish there would be more pairings between exhibitions and galleries; to be able to experience the art on a grand museum scale and also face to face with the ability to actually own it.  Robert Jackson described it like this, "Visitors can go the museum to look, and then go put your nose right up to these artists' works at Somerville Manning.  An artist's dream!"

The majority of the artists in both shows will be at the openings, so this is a great chance to mingle with some of the finest artists in America! Jackson is particularly excited to socialize with this group of artists as "This is like getting to know your favorite rock band! You don't get to do that too often in life".

Tom Padon, Director of The Brandywine River Museum of Art, will be opening up the Andrew Wyeth Studio for the artists during their visit.  Many of the artists in the book were inspired by Andrew Wyeth's artworks, so a visit to his studio should be a very moving experience.   Padon said, "We are so happy to make the Brandywine available to some of the out of town guests coming for Truth and Vision and as always are supportive of our colleagues at the Delaware Art Museum." It is great thing to see so many art enthusiasts, galleries and museums collaboratively supporting the arts. Bravo to each of them, but particularly to Robert Jackson for reminding us all that creativity is sparked by inspiration, and we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have inspired us to push our creative selves.

The Plein Air Brandywine Valley competition has been in full swing all week in various beautiful locations in Delaware and Chester County. Artists from all over the country are painting "plein air" in the Brandywine Valley to have their best pieces selected for a juried show at Winterthur on Friday October 21 from 7 to 10 p.m. Proceeds from this is a highly anticipated annual event go to support the Children's Beach House in Delaware.

Painters and photographers capture our area in all its different moods, times of day and precarious weather, and it is wonderful to see such landscapes through the eyes of different artists.  Admission to the Winterthur show is a hefty $100, but it all goes to support The Children's Beach House non-profit, and there is plenty of food and refreshments and great art to make it a very special evening for all.

Speaking of plein air painting,  accomplished plein air teacher and artist Randall Graham is featured this month in the second art show at the new Gallery 22 in Malvern. The artist reception is October 20th from 5 to 8 p.m. The show runs through November 12th. Gallery 222 has multiple galleries in its building at 222 East King Street in Malvern. Randy's work will be in Gallery 1, artist Claire Haik  and Nicole J. Michaud will be in Gallery 2.  It is terrific to see new galleries opening up all over the Brandywine Valley, and a great testament to the creative spirit that abounds in our area.


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.



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.