Art is everywhere in Chester County, but it will be on display on a special behind-the-scenes tour of some of the top studios and artists in the county.
The two-day Chester County Studio Tour of 23 local studios and 53 artists takes place on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There are not many annual events that live up to the motto, “Engage with the Arts” but this year’s newly expanded event could be among the best examples in the county this year. For this year’s tour, there will be a considerable expansion – 53 artists in 23 studios across Chester County. But the idea of showcasing the talent of the county is still the same.
Many of the artists are grouped together at each stop, highlighting the diversity of mediums professional artists work in today, such as paper, porcelain, metal, clay and steel.
Visitors are encouraged to design their own self-guided tour with a catalog, available on a free download, that details each featured artist and gives a QR tag that can be read by your smartphone, linking you to Google maps. A traditional map is also available at the tour’s web site, www.chestercountystudiotour.com .
The studios are scattered throughout Chester County, tucked away in the alleys of small towns or in flower-filled neighborhood back yards and Victorian townhomes.
For these artists, it seems, almost any structure will do – the former living room of a contemporary home, a structure that resembles a pool house, or a former bedroom – as long as it gives them plenty of light and enough room to work on their large sculptures or paintings.
Pop-artist Jeff Schaller, who is one of the tour’s chief organizers, expanded the tour by popular demand, organizing it by region and the artists who live there.
There are also outdoor booths at places such as Schaller’s country home outside of Downingtown, and that of David Oleski, located on a property featuring a large pond, a short drive away through scenic woods and rolling hills.
Many of the studios will feature artists demonstrations, or works-in-progress , enabling the visitor to get a rare glimpse into how a professional artist creates. In southern Chester County, for instance, the studios include that of watercolorist Sarah Yeoman, who is greatly inspired by her late husband’s gardens, and John Baker, an internationally- known artist who creates abstract wall pieces and vessels made entirely of handmade paper.
The tour includes Mitch Lyons , a former potter who now works exclusively in clay monoprints – a limited-edition print process of his own invention. He has held open studio tours for more than two decades, but this is the first time he is featured on the Chester County Studio Tour.
If You Go:
The Chester County Studio Tour is free and open to the public. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday May 18th and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19.
List of studios and participating artists:
John Baker, 119 West Evergreen Street, West Grove
Guest artists: Andrew Snyder, Sally Van Orden
Michael Biddison, 187 Iron Bridge Road, Glenmoore
Erica Brown, 28 North New Street, West Chester
Diane Cirafesi, 405 West Market Street, West Chester
Corey Johnson, 101 Sean Lane, Glenmoore
Rhoda Kahler, 1212 Hall Road, West Chester
Guest artists: Karen Delaney, Lele Galer, Emily Wilkins, Darcie Goldberg
David Katz, 1310 Telegraph Rd, West Chester
Monique Kendikian-Sarkessian, 1800 Hawkweed Way, Malvern
Guest artists: Lynnette Shelley, Annette Alessi, Anne Yoch Russell
Suzanne Kent, 415 West Market Street, West Chester
Guest artists: Michael Dutcher
David Knoecklein, 142 Quick Street, Phoenixville
Guest artists: Staci Cottone
Mitch Lyons, 2009 Newark Road, New London
John Madarasz, 407 Spackman Lane, Exton
Guest artists: Peter Owen
George McMonigle, 1103 Overlook Dive, Romansville
Guest artists: Alejandro Lemus
Christina Oddo, 60 Brittany Lane, Glenmoore
Guest artists: Bobby Lewis, Ruth Biles, Cheryl Decker-Sauder, Jeremy McGirl
David Oleski, 977 Broad Run Road, West Chester
Guest artists: Stephen Brehm, Brian Eppley and Steve Oliver
Mary Powers Holt, 409 Byers Road, Chester Springs
Guest artists: Robert Lott
Mary Roach-Bailey, 5 Peacefull Lane, West Chester
Guest artists: Katherine Bailey
Jeff Schaller, 80 Highspire Road, Downingtown
Guest artists: Teresa Haag, Dan Reed, David Haines and Kerry Sacco
Timlyn Vaughan, 235 Blue Rock Rd, West Chester
Denise Vitollo, 404 Price Street, West Chester
Guest artists: Gabrielle Vitollo
Lin Webber, 144 Chalfant Road, Glenmoore
Guest artists: April D’Angelo, Kelley Stanford, Robert Webber
Marie Wolfington Jones, 240 Little Conestoga Road, Downingtown
Guest artists: Sherry McVickar
Sarah Yeoman, 1452 Ashland Clinton Road, Hockessin, DE
Guest artists: Madeleine Kelly, Kathy Ruck, Diane Cannon