Inspired to Abstraction by the colors and energy of the Brandywine Valley
By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times
This week’s featured artist is Kimberly Knorr who is an acrylic abstract painter who uses the beauty of Chester County’s Brandywine Valley as her artistic inspiration. She earned her BFA, with a minor in Art History at West Chester University and spent a year of independent study in Florence Italy.
Now back at home in West Chester, Kimberly’s dream is “to paint all the time! ” but being a full-time painter is difficult, she admits “It is just the getting there…”. Current shows would suggest that Kimberly is on her way. Kimberly had a recent show at the Barnstone Gallery and also exhibits regularly in West Chester in various galleries and shops including Avante on High Street.
Kimberly will be showing her painted 2D and 3D works at the Galer Estate Winery Popup Artist show this Thursday March 27th from 5-9pm. The Pop-up Artist Shows at the winery benefit the Chester County Art Association’s Building Fund. You can see more Kimberly’s work on her Facebook website, and you can buy her work online at the new West Chester artist’s site www.shopwcpa.com.
Ranging in size from large 6 foot wide canvases to smaller 20 inch square works, Kimberly Knorr tries to recreate the sensations that she feels when she observes nature. She is particularly connected to the Brandywine River. When I asked her what was it about the river that made it her muse, she said “the power, movement and life that comes out of the river… I want to put all that on my canvas.” Her canvases are layered with thick applications of acrylic paint that give a three-dimensional quality to her work.
Her translucent bright colors swirl and unfold like the ripples in the river. They suggest a natural scene, but are abstract interpretations of the natural world. Contrasting colors are side by side, splattered or pushed against one another. The juxtaposition of contrasting colors create a vibrating effect in the viewer’s eye that may make the scene feel more alive. Her favorite artists are Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock because of the life and energy that imbue their canvases. Some of Kimberly’s strongest works are actually on table tops instead of canvases, and you can see these on her website as well as at the upcoming winery show.
If you would like to see a collection of many artists who are also inspired by the beauty of the Brandywine Valley, visit the Brandywine River Museum. Constructed with an ever-present view of the Brandywine River, and a brilliant collection of American art from our area, you cannot help but feel an inspiring connection to the beauty of our local environment. It is always a joy to visit this local gem of a museum. If you enjoy art lectures and gallery walks, go to The Brandywine River Museum website and see their interesting monthly offerings (like “Art and Nature” on April 9th at 2pm).
Next week, there are a lot of new openings and one-shot shows happening in this area for First Friday, but if you would like to hear about art rather than see it, you might grab a ticket to the Spring Great Dames Series that kicks off on Monday March 31 with a presentation by Jane Golden, Founder of the world famous Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. The speaker series is at Pizza by Elizabeth’s and all the revenues go back to support causes that empower women and girls. To learn about the program or buy a ticket, so to www.great-dames.com.
If you happen to be shopping out by the Exton Square Mall, check out the fabulous new mural installation by artist Jeff Schaller to honor the opening of Main Line Health in the Exton Square Mall. As his mural wraps around the exterior walls of the new health facility, Jeff walks the viewer through a lively montage of photographs, painted images and words that brings together the story of Chester County. The first phase of the mural is just completed and he is about to start on the second half. If you stop by you might even get a chance to see the artist at work.
While you are in the mall you might check out the last week of the Chester County Art Association Exton Gallery show “Sculpture: Humanity in Clay” which features the work of Kathy Miller and Bruce Dayton. The Renovation Sale and Madeleine Lamb Collection sale both end on March 27th, and those are at CCAA’s West Chester location.
Lele Galer is an 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 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 co-Chairs the CCAA’s New Building Campaign.