Art Live: New virtual and live shows

The Notre Dame 48th Annual Fine Art Show & Sale will be entirely virtual this year. It isn’t surprising given the now familiar circumstances brought about by the pandemic. This annual event supporting the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, in Villanova, will feature nearly 100 artists and 1,000 pieces of art in a variety of mediums. That’s right, 1,000 works of art! Given that daunting number, the tasks involved in going virtual are as challenging as mounting a live show.

Only The Best by Merrill Weber at Notre Dame show

Thankfully, the art show committee has help. Parent volunteers have been working since late summer to create the online gallery and sales platform utilizing Shopify at, handling public relations, and planning events. “Never underestimate the power of parent volunteers!” said Rita LaRue, chair of the committee, “The Notre Dame Fine Art Show & Sale is a highly anticipated event with a long history, and we were determined to find a way to make it happen. Flexibility and creativity have been key to our approach, along with a wonderful partnership with the school staff and, of course, our amazing artists. We are deeply grateful to our artists, who have joined us on this adventure, and we look forward to a beautiful and successful show at”

Work by Shawn Faust - Notre Dame Show

Many familiar names are connected with the event, opening on January 29th, including artists Sue Ciccone, Liz DeLany, Shawn Faust, Victor Mordasov, Merrill Weber and Jeannie Wolfington. Wolfington is the show’s Featured Artist this year. Based in Newtown Square and a graphic designer by trade, she decided to get back into painting while looking for art for her home. I started painting again after a 15-year break. I realized how much I enjoyed it. I love home design and interior decorating and I am inspired by an individual’s space.  I always imagine while working on a piece if I would hang it in my own home.  The exhibition features a wide range of prices, sizes, and style. There is something for everyone and 35% of every sale is eligible as a tax deduction.  Funds raised from the show support the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur’s mission of educating young women in grades 6-12 for responsible living in a global society. To purchase a Preview Guest Pass for Early Access Shopping on Friday, January 29th, visit here.

Mother and Child by Alice Neel - PAFA

At Pennsylvania Academy of Art (PAFA) in Philadelphia, an important new show opens on January 21st. Titled “Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale”, it was organized by PAFA curators Jodi Throckmorton and Brittany Webb. PAFA’s website states, “[the show] examines the approaches of women artists for whom space is a critical feature of their work, whether they take the space on a wall, the real estate of a room through sculpture and installation, engage seriality as a spatial visual practice, cast a wide legacy in art history or claim the space of their body.”  The curators have assembled a show which includes luminaries of feminist art and other genres alongside some of the most accomplished contemporary artists working today. The list includes Viola Frey, the Guerrilla Girls, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Ebony G. Patterson, Miriam Schapiro, Mira Schor, Becky Suss, Mickalene Thomas and many more. It’s a must see show that opens on Thursday, January 21st.  Also at PAFA is the Exhibition “Only Tony: Portraits by Gilbert Lewis, a show of approximately 25 paintings by the beloved Philadelphia artist Gilbert Lewis .

Detail of Dreamscape by Rhoda Kahler at WAC

Wayne Art Center’s (WAC) 2021 Faculty Online Exhibition opened on January 15th and will remain on view during the center’s winter session. Featuring artists Georganna Lenssen, Rhoda Kahler, Beth Bathe and more, it’s a strong grouping of WAC’s talented faculty and a good help to would be students contemplating their studies at WAC. See the show in its entirety here.

Last Light Part 3 by Francis DiFronzo at Stanek Gallery

A beautiful two person show opened at Stanek Gallery in Old City on January 8th. Titled “Of Myth and Mystery,” it features tactile sculptural works in wood by Danish artist Rolf Jacobsen and paintings by PAFA graduate and Pew Fellowship recipient Francis DiFronzo. Jacobsen’s work is clearly influenced by his twenty years in Italy which drew him closer to nature. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who now resides in California, DiFronzo was inspired early on by the works of Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. He masterfully captures the bare bones of desolate spaces. It runs through February 27th. Visit here for details.

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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