Over 70 artists featured March 15 & 16; New attractions include cartoonist John Gallagher, art tours, and children’s ‘Art Café’
By Suzanne Misciagna, Staff Writer, The Times
CHADDS FORD – In just a few short weeks, over 70 artists will showcase their work at the 64th Annual Chadds Ford Art Sale and Show.
This free community event will be held at Chadds Ford Elementary School, 3 Baltimore Pike, in Chadds Ford. The sale kicks off Friday, March 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a complimentary preview reception and sale for adults offering live music and food donated by prominent area restaurants. The show continues on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inviting families to come and browse through an extensive collection of affordably-priced artwork.
The Chadds Ford Art Sale and Show was first started in 1949 by Betsy Wyeth, wife of the late Andrew Wyeth. Today, the annual sale serves as the largest fundraiser for Chadds Ford Elementary School. Local artists will showcase their work along with artists who travel as far as Washington, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina.
Featured Artist, Stephen Brehm, will offer 40 original pieces of art at the show. Brehm is well known for his artistic creations depicting scenes of landscapes and seascapes.
Born, in Verdun, France, to an air-force father, Brehm spent his younger years with his family moving across the globe to Germany, Italy, and Puerto Rico. He later relocated to the United States and now resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
“I’ve always been a nature boy,” says Brehm. “I’m an outdoor person, much like my father, and the love of the outdoors has translated into my artwork,” Brehm adds.
“My father’s job in the air force took me to many exotic places,” says Brehm. Throughout his travels, Brehm developed a deep appreciation for the landscape and seascape and the relationship humans have with these sites in nature.
“I wanted to paint something that I felt passionate about,” says Brehm. “Painting the outdoors – seascapes and landscapes – was a natural fit for me.”
Brehm credits a bit of sibling rivalry as the impetus for his desire to be an artist.
“As a child, I wanted to be like my older brother,” says Brehm. “He had an artistic talent. So, I started drawing early on because of him.”
Brehm carried his own artistic talent through college and graduated from Millersville University in 1987 with a Bachelors of Fine Art degree in painting and figure drawing. Worried that he might not be able to make a living doing what he loved, Brehm took a job with WGAL TV in Lancaster, Pennsylvania working as a 3D Animator and also as a Courtroom Sketch Assistant. “I decided to test the water with painting while working at the TV station,” adds Brehm.
At the urging of a fellow artist, Brehm exhibited some of his artwork at an outdoor show in Lancaster and made his first sale. Later, he showcased his work at the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show in Philadelphia and sold 13 more paintings. In 2007, Brehm became a full time artist.
Brehm has been featured in Philadelphia Style Magazine and will be profiled in the upcoming April issue of American Art Collector Magazine, a national, monthly magazine for collectors, galleries, and painters.
Brehm participates in many outdoor art shows in the northeast, midwest, and the eastern seaboard as well as in galleries in Pennsylvania and Delaware. His artwork is displayed in homes and businesses throughout the United States and Europe.
Brehm continues his love of painting landscapes and seascapes and hopes in the future to devote more time to figurative painting.
Joining Brehm at the Chadds Ford Art Sale will be Donating Artist Madeleine Kelly who will be exhibiting between 50-60 pieces of artwork at the show. Kelly will be showcasing her impressionist artwork, using pastels and oils, but describes her artistic abilities as “broad based.”
“My artwork encompasses impressionist work through abstract. I like to push the color envelope,” says Kelly.
Much like artist Stephen Brehm, Kelly too enjoyed art as a child. “I always loved painting and was always drawing as a child,” says Kelly.
But, it wasn’t until three years ago, after Kelly’s corporate career ended, that she delved into her art career full time.
“I was a ‘weekend’ artist for a while,” says Kelly. “But, after my job in the corporate world ended, I thought I would take some time off to paint and then go back to work. Three years later, I’m still going strong painting full time,” she adds.
Kelly credits her mom’s love of art with inspiring her own artistic career.
“My mom always dabbled in art,” says Kelly. “I remember standing in line at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my mom to see the Van Gough exhibit. We stood in line for hours just to get in. My mom was instrumental in bringing artistic tastes into my life,” she adds.
Kelly’s work can be found in private collections throughout the United States.
In addition to artists like Brehm and Kelly showcasing their work at the sale, this year’s show also boasts a few surprises.
Cartoonist John Gallagher, a self-published, award-winning designer, will offer personal cartoon artwork for sale. Gallagher has worked in graphic design, interactive media, and a comic book creation studio since 1990. Gallagher will be available at the show on Saturday, March 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Free, guided tours of the Chadds Ford Elementary School art collection will also be offered on Saturday from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. “The tours will trace the history of art heritage in our area,” says Luci McClure, Art Sale Event Co-Chair.
Families are encouraged to bring children to the sale for their very own ‘Art Café.’ Children ages 5 to 12 can come to the Art Café on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to create their own artwork masterpiece in a relaxing ‘art studio’ atmosphere.
Several raffle prizes will be awarded at the sale including a signed print by Jamie Wyeth entitled “A Very Small Dog” and a reprint of the rare artwork “Connemara” also by Jamie Wyeth.
“The sale offers quality artwork at affordable prices, “says McClure. “People can interact with the artists and have their artwork signed too. This is a community event that also helps support education in our district,” McClure adds.
Thirty percent of all art purchases are tax deductible. All proceeds from the sale support educational enrichment programs at Chadds Ford Elementary School.
For more information about the Chadds Ford Art Sale and Show, including information about the featured and donating artists, visit http://cfes.ucfsd.org/artshow.