Art Watch: Artwork to enjoy and to gift

This week includes the "First Friday" for December, and that means it is a great chance to have some art fun at gallery openings and festivities from the Main Line to Delaware.

The big art event of the weekend is the dual opening for "Craft Forms" and "Making Marks" at the Wayne Art Center this week. This is a ticketed event, and you can still get tickets online at www.craftforms.org or by calling up the Wayne Art Center at 610-688-3553.

Yellow Forest by Mi Kyoung Lee in the "Making Marks" exhibit at Wayne Art Center

Yellow Forest by Mi Kyoung Lee in the "Making Marks" exhibit at Wayne Art Center

"Craft Forms 2016" opens with a fun-filled preview party from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 2nd at The Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood Avenue Wayne and continues through January 29, 2017.

Concurrent with "Craft Forms" is "Making Marks" a fiber arts show curated by phenomenal artist

Mi-Kyoung Lee, who is also showing her work.  "Craft Forms 2016" is a much anticipated, well-respected art show of contemporary crafts.  Thirty juried artists hale from all over the world and represent almost every craft media, including: ceramics, wood, fiber, metal, glass, mixed medium and 3-D painting. Proceeds from "Craft Forms" and "Making Marks" go to support Wayne Art Center's educational and outreach programs for children and adults.

3D Blocks by John Beaver at the "Craft Forms exhibit at Wayne Art Center)

3D Blocks by John Beaver at the "Craft Forms exhibit at Wayne Art Center)

Most of the exhibited works are for sale, and there is a wonderful gift shop at Wayne Art Center where visitors can purchase artworks by local artists as well as by the selected artists from the shows.

Following the dual opening preview party, on Saturday at the Wayne Art Center you can visit the shows for free and enjoy back to back art talks about these great new shows. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday December 3, you can enjoy "Craft Forms" juror Stefano Catalani, Executive Director of the Gage Academy of Art, discuss the selection process. Also hear from the Craft Forms artists about their work as all visitors tour through the gallery. Then from 2:30 to 4 p.m., the public can hear a Curator Talk by "Making Marks" curator Mi-Kuong Lee, artist and Program Director of Craft and Materials Studies at the University of the Arts. Also listen to the selected fiber and textile artists talk about their work. Both shows are truly amazing, and I can't wait to hear the artists talk about their interesting choices of mediums and get a chance to buy something unique from the show.

Maple, by John Pompeo, Mala Galleria Kennett Square

Maple, by John Pompeo, Mala Galleria Kennett Square

Kennett Square kicks off December with First Friday Art Stroll, on December 2nd from 6 to 9 p.m. At Mala Galleria, local painter John Pompeo's work is exhibited in "Idyllic Chester County: Appreciations in Oil." With every purchase of a framed artwork at Mala Galleria during December, the customer will receive a free Kennett Square 2016 tree ornament. Galer Estate Winery, located in Kennett Square behind Longwood Gardens, has an art event every December Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. December 4th will be an artisan "Sip & Shop" with ceramic artists Pam Lau and Abigail Patterson, Ali Bucher and Denise Kandravi jewelry, and more.

In downtown Oxford, The Oxford Arts Alliance has their wonderful annual Artisan Gift Shop taking over their whole main gallery. The Gift Shop is filled with paintings, jewelry, items for the home, ornaments, children's gifts…everything you can think of, and it changes constantly throughout the month has items sell and are replaced by something new. This Gift Shop is an important fundraiser for The Oxford Arts Alliance, that does so much for the greater Oxford community. So shop, get inspired, and help to promote the arts in Oxford!

Not far from Oxford in New London, artist Mitch Lyons will be holding is 33rd Annual Open Studio from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. December 3rd and 4th. Mitch Lyons is an accomplished ceramic artist, painter, as well as clay mono-print artist. During the Open Studio, Mitch will be doing demonstrations of his mono-print technique which is sure to cast a spell on you. His color choices and selections of imprinted shapes and textures are a delight to the senses and very reasonably priced too. His website does not do the images justice.

In Lancaster County is Barking Tree Pottery, 2991 Lincoln Highway in Sadsburyville, with the beautiful and utilitarian pottery works by artist Susan Bankert. While her studio is always open for a visit if you call ahead, she has a Holiday Open House December 2nd to 4th and 10th-11th. The studio is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 12 noon to 10 p.m. on Friday December 2nd when she will be serving up hot chili.

Near Trolley Square in Wilmington, during the December month, the fabulous Blue Streak Gallery has a show of Bennett Siegel's oil paintings "Still-Life Reduction" as well as a Holiday Jewelry Show featuring jewelry by Susan Schultz, Pam Levin, Joan Nelson and Maggi DeBaecke.  The opening artists reception is on First Friday, December 2nd from 5 to 8 p.m. at 1721-1723 Delaware Avenue in Wilmington.

In Centreville, Delaware, the Hardcastle Galleries at 5714 Kennett Pike in Centreville has the opening reception party for its "Annual Holiday Small Works Art Show" on December 2nd from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. open to the public with music food and refreshments.  The show continues through January 7th, and includes small, affordable artworks from over 70 local artists, in a wide variety of artistic mediums. Artists include popular painters such as Monique Sarkessian, Madeleine Kelly, Diane Cannon, and Su Knoll Horty, as well as glass artist Lore Evans, pastel artist Denise Vitollo and many more.  This really is a visual treat with something for anyone's style, and it is a delight to see so many accomplished local artists showing together in one spot, at great prices. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 from a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Greenville, Delaware, The Station Gallery shows "Art for the Holidays from December 2nd through 24th at their gallery at 3922 Kennett Pike in Greenville. Many well known local artists are represented here, including paintings by Nanci Hersh, ceramics by Terry Anderson, jewelry Anna Biggs and graphite drawings by Richard Chandler Hoff.

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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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