Art Live: Looking forward

At a time when we would typically be out in full force perusing the spring art fairs and studio tours, we are, sadly, still at home. Local artist and Chadds Ford native, Katee Boyle recently shared her thoughts about this tough time. Unfortunately, the shutdown brought her business to an immediate halt.

"Stealth" by Katee Boyle

As a professional working artist, the second quarter is historically the greatest financial quarter of the year for her but that is definitely not the case this year. Boyle clarified, “I am constantly working towards it, planning mentally, and creating physically, it is the pacesetter for my growing practice. For the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, all scheduled exhibitions have been canceled, or at best, postponed; some indefinitely. I was nominated for two prestigious national grants and an international residency, all scheduled for 2020 - 2021.  After spending months on the application process, these opportunities have been paused hence eliminating, at least for a time, the possibility of receiving needed funds to further my work.”

Katee Boyle's Studio at Scarlett Forge

Boyle's daily studio routine has changed dramatically. As a busy mother, Boyle’s studio time is currently non-existent. “With three children under the age of 14 at home, our once structured days of my working at the studio while they are at school, is no longer feasible. At best, I chip away at small pieces. The time restraints eliminate the opportunity to work in certain materials because of preparation, work time, and break-down of equipment,” she said.

“Being super-efficient while creating is the new structure. I am not the prolific artist I am used to being. Little production and low inventory results in anemic sales and profit.” Boyle usually paints on canvas and creates large sculptures with various metals, resulting in works that speak to weathering storms in life with strength and passion. Occasionally she uses fabrics to enhance a narrative. Trying to make the best of the situation now, she is using her existing materials in new ways and taking advantage of her bucolic setting by foraging for new materials which has resulted in an ephemeral process. Boyle added, “Not working in multi-disciplines at once is creating a different experience for my work as I return to the basic elements of each medium, re-educating my practice. This may well evolve into pieces being more polished or more deconstructed, as I work towards completing three installations for fall, so I am getting excited about the end result.”

Asked how she felt about the future of the arts, Boyle said, “As with many independent workers, this has been devastating to my career. On a grander scale and with a much greater impact on my practice is the effect this is taking on funding for the arts from both a state and international perspective. But, art is timeless, and artists will keep creating even if it is a scribble or a few journal notes each day. If nothing more, people spending more time in their homes should prove they need to create personal environments that stimulate them.  If a piece of original art speaks to you, purchase it because it is one of a kind and it is well worth it.”

Looking ahead, Boyle is still planning to participate in the re-scheduled Chester County Studio Tour this September 19th and 20th. She’ll be displaying her work in a space close to her studio that is already conducive to social distancing; Scarlett Thicket Farm in Kennett Square, along with painters Roderick Hidalgo of Delaware and Alex Griffin of Philadelphia. Boyle, ever the optimist, said, “While I wait to see what will come of the 2021 grant and residency nominations, I will continue to create and look forward to studio visits at Scarlett Forge, by appointment, when it is safe to do so.”  For more information, to purchase from inventory, or for commission proposals, Boyle can be contacted at or through Instagram at @kateeboyle.

June Drive-Through at TDC - work by Theresa Chromati

Adhering to social distancing guidelines but anxious to begin programming again, The Delaware Contemporary (TDC) has recently announced “Art Escape Drive-Thru”, a unique inside-out art opening to enjoy from the safety of your car. In lieu of a June First Friday Art Loop, TDC will debut “The Platform Gallery”, an exterior gallery and launch pad for a new public art initiative. The inaugural show, "Stepping Out to Step In", features three large-scale boldly colored, eye catching banners by artist Theresa Chromati, enhanced with a soundscape produced in collaboration with pop and electronic artist Pangelica. Scheduled for Friday, June 5th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and including music by DJ Skinny White along with other fun interactive activities, the festivities can be enjoyed under DE Division of Public Health regulations Phase 1. For details, visit TDC.

In other coronavirus news, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently released a revised budget for fiscal year 2021 in response to the pandemic which will eliminate the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy (OACCE) entirely. This will be a huge blow to all area artists and others who rely on art centers in their communities. For more information about helping to save OACCE, click here.

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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