Vibrant Art, New Directions

An exciting pair of exhibits is bringing vivid new perspectives to the Chester County Art Association this month. Curated to showcase local black artists as part of the celebration of Black History Month, the exhibits feature creators located in and near the Brandywine Valley. Both shows are on display through March 2nd.

"The Sewing Club" by Dane Tilghman

“A Black Thread Through Time: A Personal Journey of Black Artists” is an eye-popping immersive display taking over the Allinson Gallery. Featuring Charles Jay, Terrill Johnson, Samara Weaver, and twelve more local artists, the exhibit includes a wide variety of mediums, styles, and subjects. “This will be the largest display of diverse styles and creative expression of artwork done by black artists from the Philadelphia and Chester County area,” notes Dane Tilghman, the curator of the exhibit. “It truly is a historical event, as the Chester County Art Association will be the host location for this exhibition, and it is the first Black History Month art exhibition to be held there.”

Many of the artists in the exhibit may be new names to some, but they bring decades of experience and influence to the table.  “The artists range in age from their 30s to their 80s—featuring a mixture of nationally known artists and those soon to be nationally known.”

The exhibit is a fantastic opportunity for local art lovers to discover new favorites. Tilghman notes that artists included in the exhibit have not often shown locally in the past, if at all. “The goal that I had in mind was to give my fellow artists exposure in an area that most of them have never shown in. And also to bring something to the Chester County Art Association that has never been,” Tilghman says. “As the curator of this exhibition, I am humbled to have been asked to put this show together."

"Chinese Duet" by Dane Tilghman

Some of Tilghman’s own art is featured in the show. “Really I could’ve went to lot of different directions in regards to what I put in the show,” he notes. “It was hard to choose.” The scope of the show covers a breadth and depth of art and history that truly captures a moment and a movement. “Black art, like any art form, is so expansive and very expressive, extremely creative, and obviously worth collecting.” Tilghman has certainly given art collectors a wonderful excuse to add to their collections. From vibrant florals to textile arts, captured moments to mosaics to sculptures, the exhibit has something for everyone.

Selecting the artists to include in the show was both simple and challenging for Tilghman, for different reasons. “I feel fortunate to have accumulated a great network of artists over the years. I could’ve added probably fifteen or twenty more artists to the show.” Hopefully Tilghman will do exactly that for future exhibits in our area. “I see the local art scene in Chester County as vibrant,” he says. “I think there is a tremendous love for the arts in Chester County.”

“A Black Thread Through Time: A Personal Journey of Black Artists”

Tilghman sees that art in more than just the traditional sense. “I’m glad to see they have brought more performing arts to the area by turning the old armory into a theater,” he notes. The Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center certainly has taken on that role, bringing movies, festivals, and various live acts to their stage. This month, Evvolution! is taking centerstage, a live performance from the Chosen Dance Company celebrating the history of Hip Hop music through the decades in America. Tickets and more information can be found at UptownWestChester.org.

The other exhibit at Chester County Art Association is "Visions in Bronze, Gypsum & Charcoal" by Richard Blake. Featuring stunning sculptures as well as amazingly detailed portraits, the emotive pieces are not to be missed. This is a special opportunity to see these pieces locally. Blake recently retired from West Chester University, where he taught sculpture and life drawing for many years. His body of work has won numerous awards and is displayed in many museums, public spaces, and the Capitol Building.

The CCAA is located at 100 North Bradford Avenue, West Chester, PA. More information can be found at ChesterCountyArts.org.

 

About Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose (she/her) is an editor, writer, avid reader, self-described geek, and fan of all things creative. Her passion for words has led to her current career as a freelance editor, and she is the owner of Flickering Words, an editing service. When not wielding a red pen (or cursor), she loves reading books of all genres, playing video, board, and word games, baking ridiculous creations to show off on the internet, or enjoying the gorgeous outdoors. She is a board member of the West Chester Film Festival and part of the Thirsty Monsters, a team of streamers from around the world who fundraise for various charities supporting LGBTQIA+ and accessibility rights. She can be found online @WordsFlickering or the Brandywine Art Guide @BrandywineArtGuide.

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