Art Watch: Two exhibits of two Heathers

The larger West Gallery at Gallery 222 in Malvern

Gallery 222 in Malvern will have two terrific art openings on January 11th.  Award-winning local oil painter Heather Davis will be exhibiting in the West Gallery, and artist and printmaker Heather McMordie exhibits her layered prints and drawings in the East Gallery.

The opening reception for the shows will be Thursday January 12th from 5:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. at 222 King Street in Malvern.  The reception will be a great chance to hang out with the charismatic, friendly Gallery 222 owner, Andrea Strang, chat with the featured artists, and enjoy an array of treats in the gallery's beautiful kitchen.  Gallery 222 is one of the newest commercial art  galleries in our area, and the gallery already has a strong following of artists and art lovers alike. With a captivating mixture of excellent art, friendly people, and great lighting and design, Gallery 222 offers a uniquely enjoyable art experience.

Gallery 222 consists of a large main, contemporary gallery space called the West Gallery and one smaller adjoining gallery. There is also a warm, friendly country kitchen and an outdoor space for sculpture and tables and chairs during the summer.  Gallery 222's owner, Andrea Strang, envisioned a welcoming environment "where working artists, their friends and the community can intermingle over a glass of ice tea…"

Gallery 222 also has four artist studio spaces for rent , but they are all rented for now. The exterior façade is a cozy clapboard house with large divided windows on Malvern's main shopping street. Once you step inside the building it becomes a contemporary, all white, well lit gallery space with hand-made wooden benches and gleaming refinished wood floors.

I recently attended clay artist Rhoda Kahler's artist discussion and the room was nicely arranged with lots of chairs and plenty of room for the standing-room-only group. Kahler was the featured artist in December. After the artist's presentation, people sat around and chatted in the gallery or hung out in the big kitchen, continuing their art conversations in a relaxed, informal setting.  Andrea Strang writes, "Nothing is intimidating about the space or the staff, just a friendly atmosphere where ART is the main attraction and brings everyone together."

Gallery 222 will be featured in the new Art Watch -Living History Radio show on AM 1520 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Wednesday January 4th. Andrea Strang, artists Heather Davis and Randall Graham will all talk about their experiences in the gallery and about being artists in this area. Art Watch will continue will radio spots on AM 1520 1 p.m. to 1:30p.m.  every first Wednesday of each month.

Randall Graham is a well known plein air painter and teacher, and currently rents his studio space at Gallery 222. Before Andrea moved into to 222 King Street, it had been a retail shop, and Randall Graham had grown up with the owners and their children. Randall painted his very first mural on the outside wall of 222 King Street, "It was the first artistic thing I got paid for," Randall explained, "So when Andrea said she was turning the building into artist's studios, I was bugging her right away to let me have one. It is like coming full circle for my artistic life."

Brandywine-River-Museum by Randy Graham

Brandywine-River-Museum by Randy Graham

Happily settled into his new studio, Randall also teaches painting classes at Oxford Arts Alliance and The Chester County Arts Association. This past Fall he won the 2016 Plein Air Brandywine excellence award , which is the highest honor at this big competition.

Heather Davis Painting plein air

Heather Davis Painting plein air

Heather Davis, who will be showing in January at Gallery 222, also won the prestigious Plein Air Award of Excellence in 2013, and the Artists' Choice for 2014. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, Heather spent many years as a building contractor and mosaic artist. In 2013 Heather decided to rededicate her life to her painting after being inspired by a Jamie Wyeth opening at The Brandywine River Museum of Art. From that moment on, Heather became a full time painter, and awards and commissions follow her every where she goes. While she does the occasional portrait, she is best known for her outdoor Chester County scenes and landscapes.

Artist Heather McCordie, graduated from PAFA and the University of Pennsylvania, and creates multi-media prints that have been exhibited at the Woodmere Art Museum, Morris Arboretum and Governor's Residence.  Showing in Gallery 222's East Gallery, her layered prints and drawings relate to geological landscapes and soils, "Just as a landscape changes through erosion and deposition of the same material, my work is a slow morphology of the same ideas and imagery visited again and again." Her images have a great degree of texture, with a seemingly weathered surface of earth-tones that resemble natural formations over time.

Heather McMordie at work

Heather McMordie at work

Juxtaposing Heather Davis's brightly colored Chester County landscapes with Heather McMordie's earth-toned geology-inspired prints will make for a very interesting show this January. Make sure to stop by Gallery 222 this month for terrific art, a superb gallery space, and a friendly, relaxed place to hang out and buy, look at and talk about art.

 

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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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