By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times
The 2013 Unionville Art Gala held at Unionville High School in Kennett Square was a great success drawing large crowds during the Friday Night Opening and strong sales throughout Saturday. Almost $20,000 worth of local artwork was sold during the sale, with more than $7,500 going back to the Unionville High School PTO to support educational programs and projects.
This year the Unionville High School PTO granted $36,000 to support high school programs for the students and teachers with money raised through events like the Art Gala and the Unionville Book Sale. This weekend, sixty local artists displayed artwork in a variety of media: painting, photography, mosaic, wood carving and furniture, metal, jewelry, and ceramics. Angela Bond-Blecher, Finance Chair, said that she was really pleased with the event, “I think the Gala went really well – Friday night was a treat for the eyes and was a chance to taste some fantastic food generously donated! Saturday afternoon was buzzing with people. The artists I talked to were having a great time and liked the event.” Clearly from the photo, you can see that the artists were having a great time.
The Student Art Show was bursting with talent this year. The artwork is selected by the art teachers to represent the best of each curricular area of art instruction. The two featured artists, Evelyn Pandos and Patrick Bova, were there throughout the event to greet visitors and talk about their impressive body of work. Geri Argo, parent volunteer, hung this portion of the art show, and did a wonderful job to highlight each student’s work.
Lynda Nadin chaired the Art Gala for the first time this year and said “It’s an honor to keep the Art Gala tradition alive for its 38th annual year! We strive to bring together a great community event year after year and welcome everyone who shares it with us. Look for us next year during November 2014 bigger and better than ever!” So it sounds like we can look forward to many more successful Art Galas in the future, and if you are an artist who is interested in being a part of the Gala, you should contact Lynda Nadin for next year’s show.
To everyone’s delight, musicians played through the time of the show. Skip Barthold’s Jazz Trio played, as well as Chrystine Karaman on flute, Ryan Dowdle on guitar and Andrew Vogt on the fiddle. Food for both days was donated from many noted local eateries including: The Gables, Byrsa Bistro, La Verona, Talulas, The Farm House at Loch Lairn, Nourish Café, Catherines Restaurant, Floga, Brandywine Prime and Hors d’oeuvres by Betsy.
Unionville students were dressed up very nicely and greeted the visitors and offered them food and beverages. Garden Culture of Kennett Square generously donated a truck full of ornamental plans and gourds for the entryway which looked lovely. The spatial arrangement of the exhibition was terrific, and kept us moving easily from one artist to the next. Kinloch Woodworking was the first exhibition area for the show. Kinloch is owned by Unionville graduate and Wall of Honor recipient Doug Mooberry who is a nationally renowned fine furniture artist residing in the town of Unionville. He and his wife Pat Mooberry showed their gorgeous furniture and rustic pottery, and their daughter helped as well throughout the event.
On Saturday, visitors had a really special treat when featured neo-pop artist Jeff Schaller presented a slide show about his life as an artist. His art is so much fun and so well done and his enthusiasm for his craft is contagious. Jeff also heads the very successful Chester County Studio Tour in the Spring, as well as “Pink Cow Studios” which is a whole family enterprise where each of his children work together with him to make small works of art. Jeff Schaller own art work as well as works from Pink Cow Studios was for sale at the Art Gala. It was fascinating to hear how Jeff came to various choices for his art, from his choice of encaustic (wax) to his incorporation of phrases and positive messaging. For me, it was a fantastic gift to the audience and a real highlight of a terrific show.
Make sure to put the Art Gala on your calendar for next year. The Art Gala is a unique art show in our community that exhibits art from a broad group of local artists in a variety of media at a reasonable price point. It is so inspiring for parents and children to see so many local artists creating art and following their passion. I am looking forward to next year’s show!
Lele Galer is an artist who has chaired numerous art shows, including the Unionville Art Gala for the past 5 years. She has 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 Asociated 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 President of the Education Foundation and co-Chairs the CCAA’s New Building Campaign.