Art Watch: The Shape of things to come

September sculptures abound in steel, ceramic, wood, fiber, marble, rubber tires and even hats!

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

UTColLogoGalerSeptember marks the beginning of the new art season, with new shows and exhibitions throughout Chester County. Make sure to sign up for Fall art classes that are starting up in each of the local art associations, and the theme of “The Art of Sculpture” is showcased at many of our local wineries through The Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail ( Karen Delaney welded steel sculptures will be at Kreutz Creek Vineyard in West Chester and West Grove locations, Laurie Murray sculptures at the Borderland Vineyard Art Festival September 19th and 20th, Lele Galer sculptures at Galer Estate Winery, Stan Smokler sculptures at Penns Woods Winery, and Bob Deane sculptures at Ten Gallon Hat Winery in Chadds Ford.


Stan Smokler’s Caged Botany, showing at the Delaware Art Museum.

At The Delaware Art Museum, sculpture is also the theme for the new exhibition “Reconstructed Elements” which opens this Sunday September 6th from 1-3pm. Entry to the museum is free on Sundays! This show is a combination of three well-known sculptors, fabulous local artist Stan Smokler (steel), Richards H. Bailey (marble) and Helen Mason (rubber tires and wood). In each case the artists are transforming different raw materials into new abstract sculptural forms.

This exciting exhibit is part of the museum’s “Outlooks Exhibition Series” which accepts innovative proposals throughout year from local and community artists, displayed in the Ammon Galleries.


“History of The Universe, #1” by Lele Galer.

For the first time, Stan Smokler will be exhibiting his new series of welded steel sculptures where assembled forms and lines act and react within the confines of a rectangular box frame. Great stuff! While you are there at the opening. Also check out “Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970-1990” and the new installation of the beautiful Howard Pyle murals. This is a true gem of a museum that is a perfect destination spot for adults and children. Some of their lectures are the best that I have seen anywhere in our area.

At the Phoenix Village Art Center, in downtown Phoenixville, the smooth and surprising wood turned shapes and vessels of Sabah Farooq and Jack Hansen, will be shown throughout the month, with a special opening reception on this Friday September 4th from 6-9pm. There is an upstairs exhibit as well with work by Denise Romano Bright which will be open at 7:30 that night. While you are in Phoenixville, check out the newly refurbished Steel City for a fun music scene, Diving Cat Studio, across the street, for fun eclectic art work and jewelry, and of course the Art Gallery at Franklin Commons which will be continuing their “Roots” show for another two weeks.


Karen Delaney’s “Plenty” — showing at Kreutz Creek Winery tasting room in West Chester.

There is a lot going at the Oxford Art Alliance for the month of September. First Friday in Oxford, September 4, kicks off the “Community Art Project” from 5-8pm, where the public can work together for a public art piece under the instruction of artist Francesca Applewhite. This is free to the public, but a donation is always welcomed.

Lynette Shelley, Morar 1

Lynette Shelley’s “Morar 1” showing at the Mala Galleria in Kennett Square.

In Kennett Square, September marks the incredibly popular Mushroom Festival, where Mala Galleria will exhibit “Mycophilia” (mushroom inspired art) with Melissa Maddonni Haims fiber art sculptures, and her husband Josh Halms’ photographs of mushrooms. Also on exhibit is the beautiful work of Lynette Shelley and Roberta Little’s sculptures and jewelry. First Friday Art Stroll in Kennett Square is this Friday, September 4th, with opening receptions throughout the early evening.

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 Chester County Art Association and The Delaware Valley Art League.

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