DOWNWIND: Unusual art exhibit at the Brandyine River Museum

Revolutionary War reenactors take a break during last year’s Chadds Ford Days.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art has a really big show with works by East Buffalo, New York, artist watercolorist Charles Burchfield, (1893 to 1967). His long career as an artist inspired a horde of people to attend the opening last weekend, including two buses, one from Buffalo, which is a long ways away. According to the literature about him, Betsy and Andrew Wyeth did go to Burchfield’s studio while he was painting “Autumnal Fantasy,” which was unavailable for the show.

Early in his career Burchfield was head designer at a wallpaper company, with a beautiful example of it in the show. Burchfield did imaginative, interpretations of nature. He synesthetic, which means that he was capable of having one type of stimulation, such as the sounds of cicadas chirping simultaneously producing visualization of color or shapes. And these sounds are what he painted. To those of us who do not have this gift, many of his paintings are puzzlement. I, unfortunately, did not hear the crickets of the loud storm in “The Moth and the Thunderclap” that he did. His paintings are very dramatic, several of which he enlarged by gluing additional paper to the original so more could be added. This is a different and exciting show that will run through Nov. 16.

PhotosMatthew Jensen calls himself a “conceptual artist.” His work, “The 49 States,” is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a photographer — a very good one and with an artist’s eye — who walks an area taking photos that he did in several sessions in the Brandywine River Museum of Art area. The photos he took are glorious, enlarged and leaning casually against the wall on the third floor. He also gathered up some vines, flowers and plants, tied them together in a hanging arrangement and produced a beautiful photo that is given to visitors. On the back is a map of where he wandered with lots of information about different spots. People spoke of seeing him walking down some of our dangerous roads, no room for walkers on the edge, with a group of people, some of whom must have been historians. It is worth a trip to the museum to get the map, which will make you want to go for a walk or two to discover things you did not know were here.

Chadds Ford DaysThe 49th Annual Chadds Ford Days, that celebrate Colonial Days and the Battle of the Brandywine on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6 and 7, will be in the land behind the Historical Society Barn Visitor’s Center on Route 100, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days. This festive event has wonderful shopping from quality crafters, an extensive art show, live entertainment and tours of the historic John Chads House. Admission is $5 but free to CFHS members, kids and dogs. Parking is also free.

MushroomThe annual Mushroom Festival will be held, Sept. 5 (parade from 6 to 10 p.m.), Sept. 6, from 3 to 10 p.m., and Sept. 7, from 1 to 6 p.m. One winning event is the mushroom farm tour given on both days. As this always sells out it might be wise to sign up early in your visit. As the festival is held on the main street, parking ($10 a car) will be at three locations with constantly running shuttles. Parking is at Exelon parking lot, the Kennett High School and a lot on Baltimore Pike in Toughkenamon just past the light at Chambers Road. Handicapped parking will be available at the Genesis Parking Garage. There will be a lot happening from carnival entertainments, vendors, all sorts of mushroom foods. Pets are not welcome, as it is usually so crowded they are apt to be stepped on. To set your GPS to find the festival use 101 S. Union St., 19348.

OdessaHistoric Odessa, Delaware, will hold its first brewfest Saturday, Sept. 6, on the sprawling lawn of the Wilson-Warner House built in 1769 in downtown Odessa. The proceeds will benefit the preservation efforts and educational programming of Historic Odessa Foundation that has historic buildings on 30 acres. They will have more than 45 local and national breweries including Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Dogfish Head and Old Dominion. Colonial re-enactor Rich Wagner will demonstrate the brewing process from start to finish showing the methods and brews known to America’s founders. Brewing was as necessary a domestic craft as hearth cooking and tending a kitchen garden in our early history. Music will abound with Reggae evangelists Spokey Speaky and country crossover specialists Philbilly.

Some highlights include fresh local food, available at Cantwell’s Tavern circa 1700, as well as wines by E&J Gallo, cheese plates from the Fromage and Cheese Boutique paired with different styles of beer and Painted Stave handcrafted spirits from a converted movie theatre in Smyrna. Also available will be Guy & Lady Barrel Cigars, including alcohol infused cigars, from the Dominican Republic.

The $65 VIP tickets with early noon tasting to 2 p.m., and access to limited-quantity beers was sold out before the printed announcements even went out.

The $45 general admission tickets open their gates at 2 p.m. for ticket holders with taps closing at 6 p.m.

Tickets for designated drivers are $10 and give them free soft drinks and access to food, music and vendors. Purchase tickets online at or call 302-378-4119.

Volunteers are needed to pour beer and keep the place clean during the day’s festivities. Prospective volunteers may call Cantwell’s at 302-376-0600.

MuseumPenn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia, received attention recently when they discovered a 6,500-year-old skeleton in the basement that had become lost without records for 85 years. They were able to reunite the skeleton and its history, from the 1923 to 1934 excavations in Ur, Iraq. It was discovered by Dr. Janet Monge who was named recently “Philly’s Best Museum Curator.” A rescheduled program at the museum, “Unearthed in the Archives” will be held every Friday at 1:30 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by the Q & A session with the experts in the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies Exhibition.

SymphonyThe Kennett Symphony of Chester County will open its 2014-15 season with delightful music chosen by the symphony’s new music director, Michael Hall. The season, called “Symphonic Celebration: the Kennett Symphony’s 2014-2015,” will have it first concert Saturday, Sept. 13, in the beautiful Adler Wing auditorium at the University of West Chester. A ticket to one concert is $35 plus handling fee. For tickets call 610-444-6363.

People have been asking the name of the adorable little girl who presented the flowers to the soloist at the last concert at Longwood. She was Valerie Thompson, the daughter of Natalie and Doug Thompson and the granddaughter of Sandy and Stark Thompson, all of Kennett.

KuernerAssociate educator and artist Jane Chesson will hold a painting workshop for any level of competence or incompetence. You will draw a picture of the Kuerner Farm, so dress for the outdoors. This will be on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All materials will be provided. Meet at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. The cost is $30 for nonmembers. To register call 610-388-8326.

BattlefieldThe Brandywine Battlefield will be the site of a Remembrance Ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 6 to approximately 6:40 p.m. Participants will include George Washington, John Sagrati, bagpiper with the Ceol Neamh Pipe Band. Br. David Schlatter will ring the Bells of Remembrance and member of the Brandywine Baptist Church Choir will perform.

ShadowsThe Brandywine River Museum of Art has a session on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon, designed for families. You will be taught the elements of art and design and sent on a search for shadows in paintings, as well as create your own masterpiece. Admission is free on Sunday morning.

LongwoodIf you would like to brush up on your flower arranging consider some of the offerings at Longwood Gardens. On Oct. 6, at 7 p.m., Ron Mulray, member of the American Institute of Floral Designers, will present a series of workshops. He will begin with a lecture and reception on Floral Design Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. He will also have workshops: ”Uncontained” on Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon; “Wired Up” on Oct. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m.; and “My Hands Are Tied” on Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 610-388-1000.

‘Fiddler’The New Candlelight Theatre in Arden has a tradition of performing that touching musical “Fiddler On the Roof” every 10 years since its debut 50 years ago. The winner of 10 Tony Awards, this beloved musical will be performed Sept. 12 to Nov. 2, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. A Thursday evening performance is available on Oct. 23. All tickets include dinner and a show and are $59 for adults and $33 for children. For information or tickets call 302-475-2313.

‘9 to 5’This stage version of the 1970s film when three female office workers take revenge on their sexist, lying boss will be at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Sept. 2 to Oct. 19. With songs written by Dolly Parton it’s a blast. For tickets call 215-574-3550.

‘Barber’That comic opera “The Barber of Seville” — remember “Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!” — will be presented at the Academy of Music on Sept. 26 and 28 matinee, Oct. 1, 3 and 5 matinee. This is the 40th anniversary of the company, as they offer a new production with colorful costumes and sets. They will also present the opera on at Independent National Park on Saturday, Sept. 27, for Opera On the Mall. For tickets call215-893-1018.

‘California’Neil Simon wrote a rollicking funny play with “California Suite” that is being presented at Barley Sheaf Players in Lionville (810 N. Whitford Road). In this luxury hotel four different couples, each with a problem fight it out. There is a couple fighting over custody of their daughter, a tennis match where one beat the other resulting in bad feelings, a husband waked to find a hooker in his bed and his wife at the door and an Oscar nominated actress seeking support from her husband. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 5 through Sept. 20. For tickets call610-3637075 or online at

‘Doors’This is an extravaganza of sci-fi/comedy/serial killer/farce/time travel and pure nonsense being performed at Hedgerow Theatre September 4 to October 9. No one does farce better than Hedgerow. For tickets go to

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.

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