By Lele GalerFrom Kennett Square to Phoenixville, the Art Scene is full of go-to galleries and must-see lectures and exhibitions in April 2015.

In Kennett Square, The Longwood Art Gallery, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with “The Art of Glass” featuring the light-filled glass works of Lore Evans, Lisa Sabol and Don Jost April 3-35. Lore Evans, of the Glass Gallery in Chadds Ford, feels that “each sheet of glass has its own point of interest of ‘heart’”. From functional works in glass, to mobiles and unique art objects that catch and reflect the light, this will be a dazzling show to celebrate the Gallery’s Ten years in Kennett Square. The opening for the show is First Friday, April 3rd, from 6-9pm where you can meet the artists, enjoy food, wine and live music by The Ladeens. Pop in to the gallery and say congratulations!

Also in Kennett Square, for the month of April, Mala Galleria will show two different shades of magic with the new naïve folk artworks by artist Bogdan Miscevic, as well as local traditional equine painter Mamie Duff. Bogdan ‘s artworks have strong Yugoslavian roots in illustration, fantasy and history. Vibrantly colored, fantastically detailed magical scenes make you crave to see more. His work is featured in museums and collections around the world, and we are fortunate to see a glimpse of his creative universe right here in Kennett Square. Juxtaposing these lively illustrative scenes is a large round canvas with a single white majestic horse by artist Mamie Duff. An avid horse rider, Mamie clearly loves her subject matter . She draws in the viewer to a kind of magical reverie that is the beauty of a horse. Stella, the owner of Mala Galleria is always bringing in such an interesting mix of talent, but I wish she had a larger gallery so we could see more!

At Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery in Kennett Square, artist Sarah Yeoman will be exhibiting the brilliant artwork of her late husband, artist Paul Skibinski. Paul created a series of 50 wonderful drawings and poetry after his Stage IV melanoma cancer diagnosis in September of 2012. This show “Drawing before Departing” is a tribute to his love of life and boundless creativity. Previously shown at Chester County Hospital for only one day, the winery is proud to show these collected works and raise money for Shine during the time of the show, April 9-16th, with opening on Thursday April 9th from 4-8pm.

Kennett Square is becoming more and more of an artistic hub with artist studios popping up everywhere. Joining the likes of internationally acclaimed realist painter Robert C. Jackson, and extraordinary representational painter and teacher Neilson Carlin, are artists Peter Willard and Carol Lesher. Just down the street from The Longwood Art Gallery you can knock on the studio door of Peter Willard, watercolor and gouache painter and see his latest Turner-esque works. He just showed for the first time at The Chadds Ford Art Show, and everyone stopped to admire his work. Upstairs in the Holly Peters building is the large new studio for painter Carol Lesher. Carol’s paintings are a real joy to the senses. Her gorgeous cool color palette and hatch marks reminds me of Richard Diebenkorn. Her work flirts with abstraction but remains firmly footed in landscape and still life. She has a wonderful sense of composition and color that is refreshing and smart. Both Peter Willard and Carol Lesher are terrific additions to what is more and more becoming a Kennett Square art scene. Rumor has it that a group of local artists might be renting out a large studio space nearby, which will really be great for Kennett, and increase the business at Talula’s for lunch and Philter all during the day.

West Chester’s First Friday in April will have a local artists showing at various business locations, but the really big Friday West Chester Art Stroll is in May, so stay tuned. This month, The Art Trust Gallery at Meridian Bank shows “The Chester County Studio Tour Exhibit” which features the works from many of the 100 artists that will be exhibiting at 47 studios throughout Chester County on May 16-17. I will be writing more about this incredible art tour-de-force next month, but you can catch a sneak peek at The Art Trust show starting in April.

The Church Street Gallery in West Chester is showing the painted works of John Murray through April 19th. I caught a glimpse of the show as the talented and friendly owners artist John Supplee and his wife Carol were setting up the paintings to be hung. John Murray seems to take on any subject matter, from a bowl of fruit to a nude or French landscape, as if he is relishing the challenge with a passion to paint. With brush and palette knife, he color blocks, carves out form, sweeps his color, and pays homage to shape and line and canvas space. I am embarrassed that I have never heard of him before this show! Cheers to Church Street for always presenting a show that challenges us with great art, displayed in a perfect gallery setting.

In Chadds Ford, on April 11 between 11am and 1pm, The Brandywine River Museum of Art has “Slow Art Day” which is a global event with a mission to help people discover the joy of looking at and loving art. All over the world people will be visiting their local museums to look at art and then meet together over lunch to talk about their experience. To be a part of this artistic adventure, call the museum at 610.388.8382 or send an e-mail toeducation@brandywine.org. The featured new exhibition at the museum “Horace Pippin: Visions of War”, shows the work of renown West Chester born artist Horace Pippin. The artist had an amazing life: as an African American World War I soldier who survived terrible injuries that left him partially paralyzed, he nevertheless dedicated himself to painting, and against all odds became incredibly famous as a painter in his own lifetime. That sound-bite hardly does him or his work justice, so you should definitely go to the lecture on Sunday April 26th at 1pm by Horace Pippin biographer Celeste-Marie Bernier to learn more about this incredible artist who lived and worked right here in West Chester.

Speaking of great art lectures that you should not miss, I have been waiting for months to hear illustrator Barry Moser speak at the Delaware Art Museum on April 9th at 7pm. He is considered one of the greatest wood engravers of all time, and one of the greatest illustrators of the past 100 years. His lecture is in conjunction with the exhibition “Oscar Wilde’s Salomé: Illustrating Death and Desire”. The Wilde play is a retelling of the story of the beheading of John the Baptist, which was so controversial at the time that it was banned in London in 1893. I haven’t seen it yet, but I am guessing that it may not be suitable for young children. Barry Moser will discuss the images for that play as well as his work on his famous illustrations of Alice in Wonderland, The Holy Bible, Moby Dick and many others. A few years ago, he gave a lecture at The Brandywine River Museum of Art to a completely spellbound audience. It was one of the best artist lectures I have ever attended. He is simply amazing. If you happen to be in Wilmington, definitely check out the Blue Streak Gallery which is showing the work of local striking colorist Carol Tipit Woolworth. Her opening is April 3rd and the show continues through April 29th.

Lastly, a bit farther afield in Phoenixville is a solo show by one of my favorite young artists, Teresa Haag. Her show “Periphery” opens April 3rd from 5:30-9pm at the Phoenixville Art Center at 207 Bridge Street. You may have seen her work at the Chadds Ford Art Show’s “Art Salon” last week. Her brightly colored industrial and urban images are brilliantly imagined and rendered. She paints with oil on wood board, where the board is collaged with imagery that relates to the painted subject matter. I wanted to own every work that she exhibited! Her work is bright, fresh, colorful, thoughtful and crazy with talent. The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville is also a terrific art destination …so much art to see in Phoenixville!

Lele Galer is a local artist who has chaired numerous art shows, taught art history and studio art, public art and has chaired, written and taught the Art in Action Art Appreciation series for the UCFD schools for the past 12 years. She worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and wrote for the Associated Press in Rome. She has been dedicated to Art History and art education for most of her adult life. Lele and her husband Brad own Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square and she is on the Board of the Regional Center for Women in the Arts, Chester County Art Association and The Delaware Valley Art League.

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