Art Watch: Drawing Before Departing

A Celebration of Life and Art by the late Paul Skibinski at Galer Estate Winery 

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

UTColLogoGalerAt Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery in Kennett Square, artist Sarah Yeoman will be exhibiting the brilliant artwork of her late husband, artist Paul Skibinski. Paul created a series of 50 wonderful drawings and poetry after his Stage IV melanoma cancer diagnosis in September of 2012. This show “Drawing before Departing” is a tribute to his love of life and boundless creativity. Previously shown at Chester County Hospital for only one day, the winery is proud to show these collected works and raise money for Shine during the time of the show, April 9-16th, with opening on Thursday April 9th from 4-8pm. Books and prints of the artwork may be purchased to benefit SHINE, a wonderful organization that helps patients living with cancer through the Chester County Hospital Foundation.

paul skibinskiSarah Yeoman spent months putting together this exhibition to “open the dialogue about cancer through this show–giving people an experience that they have never had before. People are moved because it is so beautiful..sad, but beautiful.” Sarah and representatives from SHINE will be there throughout the week of the show, and I encourage everyone to come see it before it goes to The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania.

For the younger audience, as well as adults, The Chester County Art Association opens their Excellence in Art Exhibit, which features the work of high school students from 5 neighboring school districts, on Monday April 13th from 5-8pm. 16 Awards will be given to the students, including 3 Congressional Art Show Awards where the first prize winner will have a year-long show in the Capital Building! What a wonderful way to encourage young artists and promote the visual arts throughout our community.


Winterthur Ivy by Randall Graham.

At the Art Gallery at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville on Saturday April 11 from 10am – 1pm, local artist Randall Graham will present a Plein Air Workshop for beginners and experts alike who enjoy the glories of nature and the arts. If you have ever been too nervous to join in the fun of any of the many plein air contests in our area, this will help you get over your jitters and just jump in!  I remember Randall’s gorgeous tree study from the hundreds of paintings exhibited at the Children’s Beach House Plein Air Event last year – it was my personal favorite!

If you are in Phoenxiville, you should also stop into the Phoenixville Art Center, whose modest exterior holds a treasure of creativity within its walls. The Art Center has art classes, a ceramics studio, artist’s studio spaces, events and a gallery show. I popped in there last week to check out Teresa Haag’s exhibit and was so enchanted with the Center that I immediately became a member!  Across the street is the fabulously artsy Diving Cat Studio and Gallery that is full to the brim with every kind to artwork from jewelry, sculpture, clothing, glass.. you name it.  The Artisan’s Café next door is a coffee and sandwich hangout place with paintings and ceramics available for purchase.  Phoenixville has a great creative vibe these days!

In Chadds Ford, on Saturday April 11 between 11am  and 1pm, The Brandywine River Museum of Art has “Slow Art Day” which is a global event with a mission to help people discover the joy of looking at and loving art. All over the world people will be visiting their local museums to look at art and then meet together over lunch to talk about their experience. To be a part of this artistic adventure, call the museum at 610.388.8382 or send an e-mail to

I have been waiting for months to hear illustrator Barry Moser speak at the Delaware Art Museum on April 9th at 7pm. He is considered one of the greatest wood engravers of all time, and one of the greatest illustrators of the past 100 years. His lecture is in conjunction with the exhibition “Oscar Wilde’s Salomé: Illustrating Death and Desire”. The Wilde play is a retelling of the story of the beheading of John the Baptist, which was so controversial at the time that it was banned in London in 1893. I haven’t seen it yet, but I am guessing that it may not be suitable for young children. Barry Moser will discuss the images for that play as well as his work on his famous illustrations of Alice in Wonderland, The Holy Bible, Moby Dick and many others.  A few years ago, he gave a lecture at The Brandywine River Museum of Art to a completely spellbound audience. It was one of the best artist lectures I have ever attended. He is simply amazing.

Lele Galer is a local 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 Associated 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 on the Board of the Regional Center for Women in the Arts, Chester County Art Association and The Delaware Valley Art League.

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