Art Watch: art makes a marvelous gift

Galleries all over Chester County are open and ready for your shopping needs

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

UTColLogoGalerThe best gift is something that is hand-made, and if you cannot make it yourself, then you might consider having some shopping fun at any of the holiday art venues in our area –  also a great way to support local arts!

This week all of the local galleries are open for holiday purchasing, including the Church Street Gallery in West Chester for the last week of artist Brett Anderson Walker‘s solo show, my show at Mala Galleria in Kennett Square, and MaryAnn Weselyk at Longwood Art Gallery in Kennett Square.

Brett Walker’s work is full of color, expressive application of paint, and intensely solitary, introspective subjects. Figures stand motionless in a sea of vibrant color, shape and gesture. Walker is a nationally well known artist, but rarely shows in this area, so you should check out his show this week, while you are shopping around West Chester. In Kennett Square.


MaryAnn Weselyk’s Citrus.

MaryAnn Weselyk’s vibrantly colored paintings are full of joy and saturated with color and strongly delineated forms.  The overall look to her work is quirky and fun, and any of her paintings would be a happy spark to any room in your house.

This week, fascinating copper and ceramic artist Jill Beech will be having her annual “Open Studio” shop on Sunday December 7th and Saturday December 13th from 10am – 4:30pm. Her studio is located at 6 Park Avenue, East Fallowfield, and if you can’t figure the address out, email her at Anybody would be thrilled to own an original Jill Beech piece. Full of texture and visual interest, each object begs to be touched. After you stop by her studio, you might pop by The Whip Tavern for some Welsh Rarebit or a selection of delicious Farm at Doe Run’s cheese.

Carol Lesher new studio space Kennett

Carol Lesher’s new studio space in Kennett.

New paintings by Carol Lesher are also available for purchase at her studio in the Holly Peters Oriental Rugs & Home  building in Kennett Square. Last week Carol and Holly had an open house with wine and food which was a lot of fun – if you would like to be on their invitation list for the next event, email Holly Peters at her website address.

The Community Arts Center and Potter’s Guild will have their huge Holiday shopping event Saturday December 6th 10am -5pm, and December 8th-12th from 10am-8pm. Men’s shopping night (that is an interesting idea) is Wednesday December 10th from 10am-5pm. The Arts Center is located at 414 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford PA. Check out their website (  for more detailed information, but this really has a great group of artisans and so much variety!

DCCA Alternative's Holiday Show

The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts holds its Art Loop on Dec. 5.

If you happen to be in the Wilmington area Friday December 5th  for their Art Loop, you should head to the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA) and be inspired by Dennis Beach’s interesting minimalist exhibition opening reception as well as the DCCA  annual “Alternatives Holiday Craft Show” with gourmet food and live music by Mélanomie. For a $5 entrance fee your children will also have some fun with an art activity in the art classroom while you shop. I want the purple bowl on their  craft show website!

Also on Friday December 5th in Kennett Square, The Longwood Art Gallery is really doing it up for the opening of painter Joan Hollander‘s art show. With live music by The Ladeens as well as wine and cheese, this should be a very pleasant art evening.

Chester County Art Association (CCAA) has a call for artists for their juried “300 and Under” art show.  Drop off one or two  pieces  December 5 and 6, 9:30AM- 4PM.  All pieces must be priced $300 and less.  Show opens with a wine and appetizer reception on Thursday December 11, 5-8PM.  CCAA’s Holiday Market is Friday afternoon December 19 2-6PM. The fun art shopping event is  patterned after the Austrian Kriskindlmarkt, complete with mulled wine, baked goods and festive music. It sounds like a great event and a wonderful way to support the arts and shop at the same time.

Lenora Dame jewelry

Jewelry by Lenora Dame will be featured at a Galer Estate Pop-up event in December.

Galer Estate Winery‘s Holiday Art & Artisan Shop will be open on Sunday December 7th 1-7pm. It’ll be a jolly fun day, sipping on wine, listening to live music from Jacob Kelberman and shopping for handmade art gifts from a variety of local artists.  The following week, Anthropologie famous jewelry artist Lenora Dame will have a jewelry sale at the winery on Saturday December  13th from 2-7pm ( I love her work!), and internationally renowned artist Robert Jackson will be at the winery for a book signing Sunday December 14th from 5-7pm. His new book, “Behind The Easel”, is an absolutely beautiful and important new art book written by the painter, and published by Schiffer books. The next Art Watch article will be about this wonderful book, but I just wanted to mention it so you can put the book-signing on your busy calendars! Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

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