The art of community

The Unionville Art Gala opening was “large and lively” according to co-chair Luci McClure, and “the football team won the game.” The 42nd annual Art Gala opened Friday night and continued through Saturday. The event connects young and old as well as student and professional artists.

Artist Liaison Carol Apicella in front of her own mosaic art

One thing that makes the Unionville Art Gala stand out is the student art. Although the student art is not for sale, Artist Liaison Carol Apicella said that they always get requests to purchase the art. If someone wants to purchase a piece of student art, the sale can be negotiated through the school art department after the show.

Helen Nichols and Margaret Clisham were the featured student artists. The Art Gala is juried, and the judges couldn’t decide between Nichols and Clisham. The solution was to choose two featured student artists. Apicella said that they each appealed to difference audience and so broadened the appeal of the featured artists’ exhibit.

Gina Sciarra plans to use art to communicate about environmental preservation

Senior Gina Sciarra plans to use her art to promote preservation of the environment. She likes painting nature in acrylics and will meld her interest and talent when she majors in environmental science at ESF in Syracuse.

Another thing that makes the Unionville Art Gala distinctive is the selection of artists. Each year the organizers try to get 25 to 30 percent new artists to keep the show fresh. They also pick an eclectic mix of artists and media.

Paul Koch is a seasoned wood worker who likes to participate in the Art Gala to be part of the community. When Koch was setting up his exhibit, Tech Ed teacher Neil Linkmeyer asked if he could bring his students to see his work. Koch appreciated his work being seen by people who understood what he had to do to create the bowls.

Paul Koch behind his display of wooden bowls.

Koch described his process of creating his one-of-a-kind wooden bowls. He uses what they call green or wet wood. He cuts the wood that he often finds along the roadside into a rough shape which he then puts on the lathe. He then shapes the stump into a bowl. The next step is drying the wood out slowly over the next two weeks. Finally, there is the sanding. Each bowl has a birth certificate that describes kind of wood and where it came from.

Former Gala chairperson, Lele Galer was eclectic within her own exhibit. She had her paintings on a wall display as well as her metal sculptures standing in front.  Polly Chalfant said that it seemed like more people attended this year than any of the last eight years she has exhibited her artwork.

Thirty percent of the proceeds of all sales go to Unionville High School educational enrichment. The school has paired up with Hardin-Jefferson Middle School in Houston to help them recover from the destruction of the school by Hurricane Harvey; 10 percent of the profits from the art show plus a percentage of the proceeds from the book sale will go to the school.  Apicella estimates that they will be able to donate $5000.

Something for everyone in front of the Featured Artist Maryann Weselyk's exhibit

Families and generations of Unionville students participate. In fact, the featured artist MaryAnne Weselyk's daughter was an exhibiting artist. Hattie Weselyk's exhibit was just beyond her mother's opening exhibit.

McClure appreciates her co-chair Tammi Maciolek and the way so many people of the community support this event by volunteering, by exhibiting, and by attending the event. And this year, the community good works extend all the way to Texas.


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About Emily Myers

Emily Myers has lived and worked in Chadds Ford for over thirty years.  She founded the parent company of Chadds Ford Live, Decision Design Research, Inc., in 1982. represents the confluence of Myers' long time, deep involvement in technology and community. Myers was a founding member of the Chadds Ford Business Association and currently serves on its board of directors.  Her hobbies include bridge, golf, photography and Tai Chi. She lives with her husband, Jim Lebedda, in Chadds Ford Township.



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