Art Watch: Sarah Snyder-Dinsel; 2014 Studio Tour

Local illustrator turns to custom painted furniture .. and The Chester County Studio Tour 2014!

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

UTColLogoGalerLocal illustrator Sarah Snyder-Dinsel has turned her BFA degree in Illustration into a home business, creating lovely custom painted furniture.  This Thursday Sarah will be exhibiting her canvases as well as her painted furniture at the Thursday Pop up Art Show at Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square from 4-8pm. Painting animal portraits is one of her artistic passions and is clearly recognized in the animal themes prevalent throughout her work. She has shown her work in many local juried shows and currently paints commissioned paintings and furniture in her Chester County home studio. She also just completed a delightful forest mural at Pocopson Elementary that incorporated animals, birds and mythical creatures in a magical forest environment.


Sarah Snyder-Dinsel

A couple years ago I was in a plein air painting competition with her at Longwood Gardens. She had gotten there as soon as it opened and positioned herself in front of a large ornate planter. I ran in late, did two paintings, ate lunch and looked over to see that she was still painting the details of the planter after several hours in exactly the same spot. I mention this because Sarah has an unusual ability to focus on minute detail for hours on end, and the result is intricate and beautiful. She clearly loves what she paints.

For her painted furniture, Sarah incorporates a variety of hand-painting and faux finish techniques.  The aged effect is achieved by layering multiple coats of paint and varnishes, then sealed with four coats of protective varnish. Each piece is an original work that will never be duplicated. Please meet the artist and see her latest creations at Galer Winery this Thursday – proceeds benefit the building fund for Chester County Art Association.

sarah dinsel

Snyder-Dinsel has an unusual ability to focus on minute detail.

Before heading to this week’s BIG event (The Chester County Studio Tour 2014) catch a ride with the Chester County Art Association’s bus to the Brooklyn Art Museum on Thursday. There are a few seats left! The bus leaves CCAA at 8am sharp and returns at 10pm. $50 non-members and $46 for members. Just call CCAA at 610-696-5600 to reserve your seat.

This weekend is the very exciting, one of a kind, Chester County Studio Tour 2014 – my favorite show of the whole year. The studio tour includes  77 local artists showing at 34 art studio locations, covering 30 square miles of Chester County!  If you go on the website, you can find a list of the artists and a map of how to get to each place. You can even navigate the map by subcategory – like if you want to see just sculpture, you can make the map just show “sculpture”, or “plein air”, or “different strokes”.

You can either print out the map, see it off your IPhone, or pick up a map at any of the host studios. Every studio will offer some food and beverages, and there will be outdoor tents to exhibit the works of the visiting artists.  It is a really fun way to spend a weekend and a terrific way to see the enormous variety of artistic talent in Chester County.

Jeff Schaller Goldfish

“Goldfish” by Jeff Schaller. Schaller is one of the founders of the Chester County Art Studio Tour.

Jeff Schaller started the studio tour 5 years ago with 10 artist friends, and every year it has grown in scope and popularity. Jeff says” all the studios have their own personality and you can see how art is reflected in where the art is created. This is really the heart of the Studio Tour – something that you can never get in a gallery or anywhere else but the artist’s own studio.” The studio tour makes local art more accessible to art lovers and patrons, and it helps to quite literally put the artist on the map so that they can start to show in galleries and get better known.

New for 2014: Every studio will have a raffle box, where the winner will win art dollars to purchase artwork on the tour. There is also the $75 County Collector’s piece, where each artist was given a 6 x 6 inch surface to create a one of a kind image to sell for $75. This is a great way to start off your collection of local art! These pieces will sell quickly so come early in the day if you are a County Collector.  If you have time this week – check out the Art Trust exhibit at the Meridian Bank in West Chester where they are exhibiting one image of each of the participating artists in the tour. This  will give you a good idea of whose work you would like to check out on the studio tour over the weekend.

All of the artists in the tour have been very busy creating new works for the Studio Tour. Jeff Schaller created a “Goldfish” encaustic series for the show, and Karen Delaney also created a collector series entitled “the Five Senses”. Taste, Touch, Sight, Feel and Scent will be represented in welded steel and wood relief sculptures priced at just $150 each.

Karen Delaney Sound

“Sound” by Karen Delaney.

Jeff Schaller will be exhibiting at his home studio (80 Highspire Road, in Downingtown) with three other artists: Teresa Haag, David Haines and Dan Reed. Karen Delaney will be exhibiting at fabulous ceramic artist Rhoda Kahler’s home studio (1212Hall Road in West Chester) along with Emily Wilkins, Laura Barton and me too. David Katz’s studio is near Rhoda’s. He has some really exciting new works on exhibit, and will be showing with Sherry McVickar (aka Barn Lady), Vaughn Stadmiller, Lander Fontaine and Heather Davis (who just won the prize at the Chester County Art Association’s big Invitational Art Show).

David Oleski Orange Tulips

“Orange Tulips” – David Oleski.

Many artists will be having solo shows at their  home studios including David Oleski (at 977 Broad Run Road in West Chester), Erica Brown (28 North New Street in West Chester) and Anne Yoch-Russell (370 Trotter Way in Coatesville) among many others. David  said that he’d just completed a new large canvas entitled “Orange Tulips”, and photographer Darcie Goldberg has been working on a new series of street images from her recent trip to Cuba. She will be exhibiting color print images which is a new venue for her – exciting! Darcie’s studio is at 301 Ashbridge Street in West Chester and she will be showing with fellow artists Ben Richardson, Jeremy McGirl and Timlyn Vaughan. Check out the online map and plot your course for a terrific art-filled weekend!


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.


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