Art Live: Openings

Ceramic artist Rhoda Kahler is busy these days. Among other things, she is preparing for an upcoming solo exhibition titled “Form and Image” opening this Friday, April 2nd at Church Street Gallery in West Chester. Kahler’s tile work is quite popular. It’s been featured in several publications over the years and on television, including on the Home and Garden Television network (HGTV). Drawing from nature, much of Kahler’s art bends toward the organic.

Orange Sky by Rhoda Kahler at Church St. Gallery

Like other ceramic artists, Kahler fell for the tactile intimacy of clay. “To me, my tiles are three dimensional paintings that are my interpretations of life and places. In this exhibition, you will see that I am exploring with color, and have added brighter colors to my palette, as well as a more painterly effect. I am also experimenting with new sculptural concepts for my tilework, and I am very excited to share these ideas.” Her tile murals appear in public and private collections throughout the Delaware Valley—including the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts at West Chester University and Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry among other sites. “Art is everywhere, whether or not we realize it, it is. It could be a crack in the sidewalk, an expression on a face or tree roots weaving their way through the ground... there lies art. For me, it is this relationship between an object or feeling, thought or concept and how it appeals to my sense of form."

Rhoda Kahler in her studio

 

For more about Rhoda Kahler visit her website here. The gallery will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday and will reopen for a reception with the artist from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Masks are required to enter. For  hours visit Church Street Gallery here. The show runs through May 1st.

 

The Delaware Valley Art League (DVAL) has been gathering and exhibiting their work in and around our area since 1947. Two worthy goals of the non-profit are to promote an interest in the fine arts in the greater Philadelphia region and to enhance the skills and creativity of the league’s members. The non-profit provides ample opportunities for its 200 plus artist members. They enjoy a fellowship with other artists, exchange professional views, develop new techniques, and of course to exhibit their art. Folks volunteer to organize monthly meetings, outings, guest artist demos, workshops, lectures and more.

Fennel and Radishes by Sara Hamilton at Square Pear Gallery

With such a large membership, they sometimes can have four exhibitions running at the same time and they always have their eyes out for new venues to work with. Exhibitions are held at locations like Square Pear Gallery in Kennett and healthcare facilities including Penn Medicine Valley Forge, Penn Medicine at Bala Cynwyd and Bryn Mawr Hospital. Several plein-air events are organized throughout a typical year including two and three day formal sessions in stunning settings like the BRM and Longwood Gardens, which culminate in a show and sale and informal “paint-outs” at locations like St. Peter’s Village and Chanticleer.

Of course, the pandemic put a damper on DVAL’s schedule but it hasn’t stopped the group from pivoting to the virtual scene to conduct business and plan events. DVAL had two online shows for its entire membership and a third one is coming up in May. Current board members will have their work on view at Square Pear beginning First Friday, April 2nd with 40 original works on view. DVAL's first new brick and mortar show since the pandemic began will include board members George Gallatig, Giovanni Arcamone, Deborah Vaughan, Ardyth Sobyak, Liz Delany, Mary Smith, Jeanne Gunther, Daria Nawrocki, Donald Leong, Indira Cariappa, Mimi Snyder, Sara Hamilton and Laurie LaMont Murray. Murray said, “The art we're showing mirrors the breadth of our organization as a whole.

Peaches 2 by Ardyth Sobyak at Square Pear Gallery

You'll find land and seascapes, still life, figures and fish, animals and abstracts. There are watercolors, oils and acrylics in every size and price range rom the creative solitude of an extraordinary year. The board is looking forward to this. We’re thinking folks may want to plan a day trip through the beautiful Brandywine Valley to see this show and enjoy Kennett. Social distancing and your finest spring masks required!” The show runs through April 30th. For more details visit Square Pear here. For more information about DVAL visit here.

Other events worth checking out: “On Art: Conversations with the Artists” at The Delaware Contemporary (TDC). Artist talks are on TDC’s YouTube channel every other Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Visit here for details. This year’s InLiquid Benefit Auction will be in person and online April 7th to April 11th. Visit to peruse and bid on art here. Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) is virtual this year. Register here to attend this free event every Wednesday evening in April.

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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