Art Live: Powerful exhibitions open

Several must see shows are opening this week on Saturday, February 1st. Powerful new exhibitions open at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, an international show of wood fired ceramics at Community Art Center (CAC) in Wallingford.

At the Brandywine, “Votes for Women: A Visual History” is being mounted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which granted women the right to vote. This large scale exhibition curated by Amanda C. Burdan, runs from February 1st to June 7th and features a plethora of drawings, illustrations, and posters from museums, historical societies, and private collections expressing political messages by suffragists. According to The Brandywine’s website, it will include historic photographs of marches, rallies, and the celebrated procession in Washington DC held in March of 1913. It will present a more inclusive historical narrative, recognizing the efforts of women of color and their community networks. Several events are scheduled to compliment the exhibition including a play, lectures and several gallery talks. For more details, visit:  Chadds Ford Live will cover the opening.

Photograph MLK JR by Stephen Somerstein

A companion show titled “Witness to History: Selma Photography of Stephen Somerstein” and guest curated by Farrah Spott, kicks off African American History Month. It features 55 works by the then 24-year-old student photographer who seemed to be everywhere on March 25, 1965 to document a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. The historic 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, civil rights march concerned one issue—the right to vote. Somerstein captured photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists such as Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, John Lewis, and Joan Baez. For more information, visit:

CAC is pulling out all the stops for an international show of wood fired ceramics. This show opens on February 1st in its Duke Gallery at 10:00 a.m. and a reception is being held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. On view will be work by 40 artists from Japan, France, New Zealand, Indonesia, Denmark, and the United States and several large sculptures by Peter Callas who is celebrating his 50th year as a ceramic artist. Andrew Glasgow, Director Emeritus American Craft Council N.Y. said this about his work, "Callas does extraordinary things with clay. The scale as well as the masterful Anagama firing make for objects that are among the most exciting in the current world of clay." Callas has exhibited on five continents and received numerous awards and grants. His work is included in the collections of over 30 museums worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Large works by Peter Callas - CAC show

The show was curated by Potters Guild members Brett Thomas and Mark Tyson. Tyson’s commitment to mounting a top notch show of works is evident. He said that he personally picked up works from artists in nearby states to make the transport of works safer. There are big name ceramic artists in this show including Emmanuel Alexia, Claude Champy, Tom Coleman, John Dix, Chris Gustin, Jack Troy, Jeff Shapiro, Willi Singleton, Akira Satake, Kristin Muller, Laetitia Pineda and many, many more. It is showcasing anagama (wood-firing) techniques with styles ranging from wabi-sabi (from a Japanese expression meaning beauty in imperfection) to expressionism. The exhibition also includes a collection of over 150 Tea Bowls from around the world. A special workshop on how to make a wabi-sabi tea bowl is scheduled for February 8th and 9th with French potter, Emmanuel Alexia. If you are interested in it, sign up fast; this kind of workshop doesn’t come around very often.

Community Arts Center Executive Director Paul Downie said, “We're thrilled to present this exhibition which features work by award-winning artist Peter Callas and that embodies the wood-fired aesthetic as we officially announce the next major expansion of the CAC ceramics program and facility. The new project centers on the construction of a wood-fired ‘train’ kiln but also includes an expansion of the ceramics studio parking lot and upgrading of the electrical service in the studio. The kiln will be the newest addition to the CAC’s comprehensive ceramics facility, designed to maximize exposure to a wide variety of firing techniques for the ceramics community at the CAC and throughout the region. We hope to have the kiln completed this summer so stay tuned!” “The Art of Wood-Fired Ceramics” runs through March 6th. For more information visit:

Work from CFEVA 2020 Member's Exhibition

Other events worth checking out this week: In Philadelphia, see CFEVA’s (Center for Emerging Visual Artists) “2020 Member’s Exhibition” on view now through February 21st at Felicity R. “Bebe” Benoliel Gallery, 237 S. 18th Street, The Barclay, Rittenhouse Square. For more information visit:

In Malvern, the 9th Annual Malvern Retreat House Art Show opens this Wednesday, January 29th. It's a big show with over 100 artists involved. The reception is Thursday January 30th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The show runs through February 2nd.

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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