Art Watch: Artisan Wine Trail kicks off

First Fridays, various showings mark beginnings of busy fall

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

UTColLogoGalerThis first week in August marks the start of the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail ( where every month each of the winery businesses in our area may choose to exhibit art along a different art theme. For August, the art theme is “painting”, and there will be paintings showing at Penns Woods Winery by Sarah Russell, Kreutz Creek Winery is showing paintings by Anita Routzahn and Beverly Ann Kratzel, Wilson Vineyards has their own gallery which includes work by Sally Wilson, Galer Estate Winery is exhibiting work by Lele Galer (me) and Carla Pastore, and Ten Gallon Hat Winery is featuring the paintings of Frank DePietro.

It is very nice to enjoy viewing artwork with a glass of wine! First Friday show openings are another wonderful place to sip wine/beer/soda, share some appetizers, look at great art, and mingle with interesting people, and First Friday is this Friday in Kennett Square, West Chester and Phoenixville.


Iris Garden by Sally Wilson, is showing at Wilson Vineyards as part of the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail.

First Friday in West Chester starts at The Art Trust show at Meridian Bank show entitled “Figures”. The show is curated by artist Jeff Schaller and includes works from 6 very different local artists: Terry DeAngelo ( whose solo show is in its last week around the corner at Church Street Gallery), Nathan Laing, Carla Lombardi, Rachel Romano, John Suplee, and Brett Walker. Jeff says that he was drawn to these artists by “the way the artists represent the figure through action, light and environment…this is not just a study in figures.” The reception for the show is this Friday August 7th from 5-8:30, and the delicious food is thanks to Mumbai Bistro. The Art Trust Gallery is a small space that always packs a great opening, with an interesting variety of contemporary artwork, and an equally interesting group of artists and visitors.


The work of Jeff Schaller is part of a show this weekend at Mala Galleria.

Speaking of Jeff Schaller, he is in a show with Corien Siepelinga and Lynette Shelley at Mala Galleria in Kennett Square, which also opens this Friday 6-9pm. Known for his “neo-pop” encaustic paintings, Jeff ‘s work plays with the double meanings of catch phrases and terms and juxtaposes them with imagery that is culled from various media sources. Jeff tried for something a bit different in this show, where he is painting on top silk screen prints…”taking something and adding to it” …but still fun, playful with a cool vibe. Lynette Shelley’s captivating art work recalls the detailed sand drawings of Australian Aborigine artists, but she uses a brighter palette and her own unique designs. I am looking forward to seeing this show!

At Boxcar Brewery in West Chester on First Friday from 5-9pm, the newest brewery in town will feature the work of terrific local painters Alex Murray, Laurie Murray, Anna Maria Ciganek, Dianna Brosius, Mary Smith, Nicole Christie and Regina Ceribelli. They promise “a nice spread of appetizers, local wines and Boxcar Brewery beer as we showcase artwork.”

At Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square this week’s Thursday Pop up Art Show artist is Carla Pastore who does mixed media abstract works that combine clay, wire, found objects and paint. Carla also happens to be the Director for the Center for The Creative Arts in Yorklyn Delaware, which is about 3 minutes from Kennett Square. CCArts has adult and children’s classes in the visual and performing arts, as well as exhibitions, performances and fun events. Carla writes “CCArts plays a vital role in helping young people experience the arts within their community. Now more than ever, people need a way to express themselves and be immersed in the arts.” To learn more about CCArts, check out, and to see Carla’s art work, come to Galer Estate this Thursday from 5-8pm.

In Phoenixville, “where First Fridays started” The Phoenix Village Art Center is featuring the work of photographer Charles Bartholomew and ceramic artist Ben Hyman. Charles has images from a wide variety of subjects from his travels all over the country, and Ben Hyman creates both utilitarian and sculptural ceramic pieces. The show opening reception is from 6-9pm, and includes a guided tour of the Upstairs/Downstairs studios at 7:30pm. Also in Phoenixville, The Gallery at Franklin Commons “Roots” exhibition features culturally inspired works from many different artistic perspectives. Art continues throughout the month at the Gallery at Franklin Commons, with an Art Critique at 7pm on August 10th, open figure drawing in the gallery at 7pm on August 14th and Family Art Night 6:30-8pm on August 17th.

If you are a fan of large metal sculptures, then you will have a blast at the annual Marshall Bridge Welding Workshop Show this Sunday. This fun event is held at sculptor Stan Smokler’s studio at 270 Marshall Bridge Road in Kennett Square, this Sunday August 9th from 5-8pm. For two weeks every summer, Stan and his assistants teach steel metal welding to a lucky group of 10 students per week, which culminates in a one day show of all of the student’s artistic creations from the week. Students are selected from a long list of applicants every year.  Friends, family, former students, art collectors and enthusiasts all gather for the Workshop event to admire the artwork and revel in the peaceful setting next to the Brandywine River. This is also a good time to get your name on the list for next year! I took the workshop two years ago and have been hooked on making metal sculpture ever since.

There are always a lot of art related things to see and do in Chester County…but every month, art begins on First Friday in Kennett Square, West Chester and Phoenixville!

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