Art Live: Studio time

If you are driving at night around Birchrunville and you happen to see brilliant light illuminating the sky, you might be passing by artist Charles Emlen’s Run Amok Farm. “I make a good bit of kinetic/outdoor/installation type work and it is typically on display in my yard. Much of the work involves light. If you drive by my place in the evening and the power is on, there’s a good chance you’ll see something you may not have seen before.”

"Gas Phase Orbiter" by Charles Emlen

Emlen is fascinated by systems and technology and, well, a whole lot of other things. “I can’t help but see the physical world as an endless field of size, scale, complexity and granularity. The universe is at once infinitely large and infinitely small.”  He uses a wide range of materials to produce visually stunning art. Whether it be sculpture, painting, wall relief, digital collage, video, audio or a large scale site specific installation, it is candy for all five senses. His art envelops viewers in fantastical, stimulating experiences.

Working through a pandemic hasn’t been very hard for Emlen. “I live alone and my studio is in the basement. Spending extra time at home has allowed me to spend that much more time in the studio. It’s worked out well.” He’s been busy working on a new series of mid-size steel sculptures that he plans to unveil at the Ivystone Studio Gallery in Downingtown later this month. Gearing up for the Chester County Studio Tour, he expects to bring along some light based work too, “Over the past year I’ve been experimenting with computer driven LED light sculptures. And, I’ll have a selection of my smaller, table top steel sculptures completed over the past several years.”

Emlen's work is currently on view at New Hope Arts’ 19th Annual Juried Exhibition and the 2020 BOA (Bank of the Arts) National Juried Exhibition at the Craven Arts Center in North Carolina where he received the Best in Category Award, Sculpture for his dramatic piece “The Pickering Conspiracy”. To sign up for his periodic newsletter, contact him at chasemlen@gmail.com. Emlen shares his work with a wider audience through Facebook, Instagram and his website. For a small taste of what his work is all about, check out his video titled “A Quixotic Convergence of Whimsically Subversive Eccentricities” here.

Work by Lynnette Shelley

Ivystone Studio Gallery is a large open barn space, a perfect setting for the art that will be on view later in September. If you haven’t been by there yet, you are in for a treat. Other artists on the tour there this year include owner and glass artist Justin Smith, glass artist Anna Boothe and painter Lynnette Shelley. Smith will be featuring his works in glass as will Boothe, who has displayed her colorful works at craft museums around the country including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Shelley will be bringing some of her newest works. “While everyone was in lockdown, I was working on artwork non-stop and I have a good collection of original paintings in a variety of sizes and price points.” Shelley is also showing work at the new David Katz Gallery in West Chester, at Borelli’s Chestnut Hill Gallery and at Deja 42 Gallery in Philadelphia. For more on Shelley visit her website here and for more on Boothe visit here.

Regarding safety measures for the studio tour, Shelley said, “The windows and doors will be open to have a free flow of outside air and we’ll allow only 25 people in the space at a time. The artists will be spaced out and the interior traffic flow will maximize social distancing. Masks will be mandatory. Food and Drink will be pre-packaged individual sizes and sanitizer will be available throughout the gallery.” The group is hosting a pre-party on Friday, Sept. 18th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more about Ivystone Studio Contemporary Art Gallery visit here and for more on their stop, #12, visit here.

"Teach Your Children Well" by Rachel Altschuler at Station Gallery

Other events worth checking out this week: In Delaware, the Station Gallery is hosting artists Rachel Altschuler and Gay Freeborn. Their show titled “Teach Your Children Well” runs through Sept. 26th.

At The Delaware Contemporary (TDC) see a new group exhibition titled “Farthest From the Ordinary”. Juried by Exhibitions Director Rick Hildago, this “Friends of TDC” show will be on display in the E. Avery Draper Gallery from Sept. 11, 2020 through Jan. 8, 2021. Expect to see a variety of works including sculpture by the venerable artist and co-founder of TDC, Rick Rothrock, surreal paintings by Benjamin Long, and other works by Susan Benarcik, Susan Belascio, Steven Dobbin, Nanci Hersh, and Lauren Ann Whearty.

"I'm All Ears" by Gay Freeborn at Station Gallery

Whatever you do this week, support the arts.

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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