Art Live: Studio tours

The Delaware County Studio Tour is this weekend and, now in its fifth year, it is growing. As a part of the inaugural Delco Arts Week, there are 19 studios to visit and 50 artists’ works to peruse. The weather forecast is calling for partly sunny skies and temperature in the low to mid eighties, making it a perfect weekend to take in the tour.

This year the website is interactive. You can now design your tour by clicking the “Add to Itinerary” button of artists you are interested in. Google Maps will then create the easiest route to take. Make sure you grab a catalog early so you can begin planning your schedule. They can be found at most local businesses. There are a few clusters to choose from. The closest to home would be in Aston where eight studios will be hosting 19 artists. Other studios are located in Media, Wallingford, Swarthmore, and in Havertown. Also included in the tour are Wayne Art Center, Main Line Art Center, Community Art Center, Media Art Council and Darlington Art Center. You’re sure to discover something to your liking with the array of choices including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, as well as works in clay, glass and fiber.

"A Glimmer of Something" by Cole Grey

Why should you take in a studio tour when you can go online or to a gallery to buy art? Well, for one, engaging with artists directly makes it much more personal. It’s a great opportunity to engage in longer conversations. It’s a chance for you to learn more about where they get their inspiration and it gives artists an opportunity to share more about their process. It’s how you learn about the story behind the piece. Knowing why someone made something gives it a deeper meaning. It can also inspire you to look for specific pieces based on the stories that resonate with you. You might change your whole approach to buying art. And, you’ll be much more knowledgeable when you talk to your friends about your collection.

Otto’s Mini & Otto’s BMW is sponsoring the County Collector Series, which is a nice way to begin a collection. Each piece is 6” x 6” and offered at $75. A photo of each work is included in the catalogue and on the website. Be sure to look ahead of time and decide which you want before Saturday morning. I have heard that people will line up outside a studio, sometimes up to an hour beforehand, in order to get in quick and grab the County Collector they have their eyes on.

The Chester County Studio Tour was created by artist Jeff Schaller nine years ago. Four years later, he began the Delaware County Studio Tour. About this year Schaller said, “I am amazed at the talent that keeps popping up in Delaware County! This year we have some outstanding new talented artists joining us, along with our stable of artists who create something new every year for the tour. There is so much talent in Delaware County that it’s worthy of hefty applause. The public will have a unique opportunity to see the creative process as many studios on the tour will feature works-in-progress and artist demonstrations.”  Schaller is clearly committed to supporting other artists saying, “Art needs to be shared and people need to know about the creativity around them.” The Tour is on Saturday Sept. 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. and Sunday, Sept. 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For all the details visit

Ashli Rice performing

The inaugural Delco Arts Week continues through September 28th. This week long event has been featuring art loops, festivals and more. A fun interactive project on September 27th is the Friday Night Live concert at CAC, in Wallingford. During the performance, visual artists will create works inspired by and responding to the music and a silent auction will take place throughout the evening. The event is another great way to begin your collection. It’s held in the Duke Gallery and the event is BYOB. This month’s musical artist is R&B/jazz vocalist Ashli Rice. The visual artists are members of the Philadelphia Water Color Society. Visit for more information.

Other Events worth checking out: In Chadds Ford, Material Difference, works by Karen Delaney, opens Friday Sept. 27th, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Gallery Duo, in the Fairville Historic Village. In Greenville Delaware the National League of American Pen Women 2019 Diamond State Branch Biennial Art Show is at Station Gallery until Saturday, Sept. 28th.

Whatever you do this week, support the arts!


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About Constance McBride

A native of Philadelphia, Constance McBride lived in Arizona for 16 years, where desert observations made a transformative impact on her work as a research based visual artist. Passionate about contemporary art, she was actively engaged in the local arts community. She served as a board member for several art organizations, managed an artist collective/gallery space, curated and juried several exhibitions and wrote for two arts publications in Phoenix. She taught ceramics at Shemer Art Center and Museum and exhibited her work both locally and nationally. McBride returned to Pennsylvania in 2018 and resides in Chester Springs with her husband and two dogs. In West Chester, she serves as a board member at The Art Trust Gallery at Meridian Bank and teaches ceramics at Chester County Art Association. She also teaches at Clay on Main in Oley, PA. She is a member of American Craft Council, Philadelphia Sculptors, and Women’s Caucus for Art, Philadelphia Chapter.



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