New and old show at UHS Art Gala

The 43rd annual Unionville Art Gala displayed the works of more than 70 professional artists during its two-day run at Unionville High School Friday night and Saturday. Chairperson Carol Apicella said she’s proud the gala is diverse with works by painters, sculptors, jewelry makers and photographers. She’s also pleased that new artists get involved.

Some artists display several different art forms, such as painting and sculpture. This display here is for Lele Galer’s work.

“We look for artists all year and try to bring in about 15 percent new artists every year. It keeps the show fresh,” she said.

Among the new artists this year were Ginny Schuster and Temre Stanchfield.

Schuster, of East Marlborough Township, has been painting for 10 years and said a “painting buddy” suggested she try to get in. She said she was impressed with the conviviality of the hosts and the diversity of the art on display.

She said her goal in painting is to provide an “inspiring visual experience” and said her style is loose, not really detailed.

Stanchfield, originally from Alaska, now lives in Landenberg. She’s been painting all her life, she said because growing up in Alaska “we didn’t have a lot to do.” Her parents and sister are also artistic, she added.

She heard about the show two years ago from another artist and is glad she learned of it. “It’s a great place to meet people and I’m grateful to be invited,” she said.

Longtime exhibitor Karen Delaney, left, talks art with newcomer Temre Stanchfield.

But most of the artists are returnees and this year’s featured artist, Frank DePietro, is one of them. He’s been showing at the gala for five years.

“I think this is a great event. It’s for a great cause — arts in the school — and it’s good to get out and meet people and put your work on display,” he said.

DePietro gets a lot of his inspiration from Longwood Gardens where his wife is a fulltime employee and where he works part-time. He describes his work as contemporary realism that’s nature-based. “I like to reveal changes in different things throughout the seasons.”

He said he feels honored to have been chosen as the featured artist this year and added the honor gives him an emotional boost as he continues to develop his art. And as with Stanchfield, he too went through a change of venue. That change brought about a change in his art.

DePietro lived in Philadelphia for many years and his earlier art showed the influence of an urban environment.

“I think I’m inspired by my immediate environment,” he explained. “When I came out this way I was in the midst of nature and the rolling hills, so I started doing landscapes and then I began investigating the landscapes a little more closely and looking at their inner workings.”

The event is a fundraiser with 30 percent of sales going to the Unionville High  School PTO.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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