Art Watch: Listening to art

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

Art discussions, reviews and demonstrations are all the rage now at most of the local art galleries and museums. They are a great chance to hear artists talk about their work, and to enter into lively discussions about art, materials, and any other art related questions or comments that may pop into your head. The museums also have very interesting curator discussions about the current shows, which are free to the public with museum admission, and make your visit to the museum so much more meaningful and rich.

A gallery Talk at Church Street Gallery, West Chester.

Next Thursday, February 16, artist Portia Mortensen leads a discussion about her abstract paintings at Church Street Gallery, at 12 South Church Street in West Chester, that starts at 7pm. Portia is a thoughtful, friendly and interesting artist who paints primarily large abstract, layered oil paintings. Her show “The Texture of Serenity” closes on February 25th, so this would be an excellent time to see the her work.

Gallery 222 in Malvern has a very exciting new show opening this Thursday, February 9th with a reception where you can meet the fabulous artists from 5:30 – 8:30pm at the gallery location, 222 East King Street in Malvern. Artists Martin Campos, Paul Gilmore and Kaitlin Dodds will all be featured in the 3 galleries. I am a huge fan of Martin Campos’s paintings that combine figural and abstract painting, in mood-filled colorful works of art.

Where we go when the world is Waiting, by Kaitlin Rose Dodds, at Gallery 222.

Kaitlin Dodds is a Malvern native who paints her interpretation of natural landscapes, forests and vistas in bright, sensual unblended colors that are inviting and breathtaking and urge the viewer to walk into the artist’s recreated natural world. The third artist showing at Gallery 222 is Paul Gilmore, a classically trained atelier, realist painter who is well-respected in our area for his care and attention to detail and realistic rendering of his subject matter. This should be a wonderful show! Andrea Strang, Gallery 222 owner, is putting together an artist discussion evening later in the month, but meanwhile, feel free to chat with them all at the reception this Thursday.

“The Insiders” is a wonderful art discussion panel hosted by Radley Run Country Club on Thursday February 23rd from 6:30-9:00 pm. The art panel offers a candid, entertaining look at art in our lives, from multiple points of view, including that of an artist (mystery guest), architect (Wayne Simpson), artist & interior designer (Laurie Murray), artist & art writer (Lele Galer), gallery owner (Andrea Strang) and an art collector (Diana Karnas).

The event is a prelude to the club’s popular Radley Run Art Show, March 10th and 11th, which benefits Community Volunteers in Medicine and The Chester County Art Association. The public is invited to attend the panel event for $25 each, and the fee includes the discussion and a light cocktail buffet, as well as a voucher that may go towards purchasing artworks at the Art Show. The Radley Run Art Show is free to the public. “The insiders” event is at the “Mansion House” at Radley Run Country Club, 1100 Country Club Road in West Chester, and you should call the office at 610-793-1660 for reservations. It is a terrific panel and the event should be a lot of fun.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art and The Delaware Art Museum both always have wonderful art discussion events that you should check out. Every Saturday and Sunday from 1-2pm, The Delaware Art Museum offers free docent lead “highlights” tours, that bring special attention to particular pieces in the permanent collection. From 2-3pm every Saturday and Sunday, free docent lead tours examine works from the new exhibitions at the museum. Docents spend an enormous time studying and preparing for these tours, and it really is wonderful food for the brain when you listen to their talks.

At The Brandywine River Museum of Art, Curator Audrey Lewis presents “Things to Come: Contemplating Andrew Wyeth Gallery Talk”, which will discuss themes in the work of Andrew Wyeth, on Wednesday February 15 at 2pm and also on Saturday February 25 at 2pm. This discussion is a prelude to the upcoming blockbuster show “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect” which will celebrate Wyeth’s 100th birthday. Audrey Lewis is an expert in her field, and her talk should be a really wonderful, insightful art event for anyone in attendance. The Brandywine River Museum of Art is a gem of a museum whose works are all part of a shared cultural legacy that we all are a part of, living here in Chester County. This lecture is a great chance to understand more about Andrew Wyeth’s art and inspirations, and will help you enjoy the Spring’s blockbuster centennial show all the more.

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