Art Live: Escape to galleries

If this year, which now just seems like an extension of last year, is getting you down, get out and visit some galleries. They are a safe bet when you need to do something but want to avoid a crowd. Curators remain positive with a “show must go on” attitude as they continue to plan and mount shows.

Dear One No. 5 by Erika Brown at David Katz Gallery

David Katz Gallery in West Chester is featuring three local artists now through March; Erika Brown, Joe Sweeney and Robert Waddington.  The common thread here is a love for natural surroundings and for what is dated or neglected. Brown channels her strong connection with nature, objects and structures that have been abandoned in her abstract encaustic works. “I am inspired by the broken and forgotten things I observe around me. Images of such things often find their way into my work, but recently, I’ve begun to use them more specifically. The remains of my beloved garden have become the foundation of my ‘Odes’. I identify with these broken and abandoned things.” Sweeney taps into his life experiences living near water to capture nature through his plein air paintings of land and sea.

Silver Streak Trailer Home by Robert Waddington at David Katz Gallery

“Over the years I have used landscape painting as a metaphor for my own search for a sense of balance. Some of the themes I explore in my work have to do with man's relationship with nature, the effects that man has on the environment, and expressing the character and essence of ‘place’.”  Waddington has some of his “Americana” watercolors of vintage trailer homes on display; abandoned structures that blend in with the nature around them. “In selecting a subject, I avoid drama and romanticism, and rather look for the overlooked commonplace—something so familiar on the American scene that it is barely even noticed.”

Winter Light by Heidi Palmer at Somerville Manning Gallery

Rebecca Moore, Gallery Director at Somerville Manning in Greenville, Delaware is taking another approach to winter. Moore said, “After a successful fall exhibition season, we continue to showcase our represented artists in the gallery this winter; focusing on joy, peace, and light. Bright and energetic work is what clients are looking for at the moment. Many of us have been using art as an escape during this time. Here at the gallery, it is no different. We are able to provide a safe space for in-person viewings for clients to explore new collection opportunities. While logistics have changed, art is still accessible.” Romantic and soothing works by Heide Palmer, Elizabeth Endres, Mary Page Evans and Sarah McRae Morton give clients a wide range of style and subject matter to choose from.

Equilibrium by Karen Hunter-McLaughlin at DVAA

Virtual offerings include new shows at Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) in Philadelphia including a David Meade Walker Retrospective which includes an extensive variety of works by the late artist, and a group show titled “Ctrl-P” juried by Liz Spungen of The Print Center. Printmaking encompasses a wide variety of techniques and materials. It’s a fascinating group show of 13 artists including work by Christine Baum, Karen Hunter-McLaughlin, Bill Brookover and Joseph Lupo to name a few. Both exhibitions can be viewed here as well as in person. Delaware Art Museum is hosting a virtual art chat this Thursday, January 14th on the topic of Stained Glass Windows. Curator Heather Campbell Coyle and former curatorial assistant Deborah Krieger will explore the story behind the gorgeous stained-glass windows owned by Pre-Raphaelite art collector Samuel Bancroft. Click here to register.

Some more good news five Philadelphia museums are reopening this month: the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Barnes Foundation, Franklin Institute, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Alas, the Rodin Museum, won’t be opening its doors until sometime in the spring. Check websites for more information.

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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