Art Watch: A mammoth weekend for art in Kennett Square

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

June kicks off with a mammoth art event in Kennett Square this Friday from 6-9pm to celebrate the arts and salute the first public art sculpture installation in the town. From the start of State Street all the way to the Creamery on Birth Street, art is happening indoors and out.

On Saturday, the beautiful Scarlett Thicket Farm Art Show, at 284 West Street Road in Kennett Square, is open to the public from 2-7pm. Also on Saturday, Holly Peters Oriental Rugs and Home store has a cool artsy avant garde fashion show from 6-9pm in downtown Kennett Square. On Sunday, the art continues at Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery with a pop up art show with wonderful painter Joe Grubb, from 2-6pm, live music and an outdoor sculpture installation. Let’s hope the rain holds off for this weekend, but just bring an umbrella with you just in case and there should be plenty of parking available in the Kennett parking garage.

All year Claire Murray, Stella Scott, the committees at Historical Kennett Square and the new Kennett Square Arts Alliance have been working together with local businesses and community volunteers to create the inaugural First Friday Art Stroll-Destination Kennett Square.

Abe Hughes, co-chairperson of the Kennett Arts Alliance is very excited about this Friday Arts Stroll, and says “Expect to see a lot in the coming weeks and months as Kennett cultivates the arts!”

Unlike the usual First Fridays, which are always fun and include gallery art openings, this is a First Friday mammoth art day, with over twenty locations exhibiting art, along with live music, food vendors, pop up art installations and an incredible first ever new public art dedication. The First Friday Art Stroll is this Friday, June 2nd, from 6-9pm. The art experience extends through the charming town of Kennett Square, and includes the opening celebrations at The Creamery on Birch Street, Galer Estate Winery at 700 Folly Hill Road, and The Scarlett Thicket Barn Art Show on Saturday June 3 from 2-7pm.

Red Arrow by Lele Galer, at Mala Galleria and Galer Estate Winery.

Friday June 2, from 6-9pm, stroll up State Street, starting with Mala Galleria at 206 East State Street in Kennett Square. Owner Stella Scott has been organizing the art shows and art installations with the business owners throughout Kennett Square, and will have temporary public art sculpture installations by Lele Galer and Rob Sigafoos. Lele Galer will have her 6 foot tall metal welded sculpture “Heart of Kennett” along with an installation of 15 foot welded steel arrows. Rob Sigafoos, best known for his beautiful sign at the entry of Philter Coffee in Kennett Square, will be exhibiting his cool rock and metal sculpture entitled “Balance.” Mala Galleria will be kicking off their new gallery show “Confluence” with the abstract work of Linda Celestian.

Kennett “Squared” by Rob Sigafoos, prototype of Kennett Square sculpture installation.

Be sure to stop by the 6pm unveiling of the first ever permanent art installation in Kennett Square in the alley off Genesis (formally the space for the large kiosk). This large steel forged and welded sculpture is entitled “Kennett Squared” and is by Rob Sigafoos. Rob has been working with the committees of the borough council and Historic Kennett Square for almost a year to bring this sculpture to life in downtown Kennett. Let’s hope this is the first of many art installations to come in Kennett Square! In Rob’s design “K” and “2” are embraced by an abstracted, lyrical tree made from steel pipe. It is hoped that the K2 design will become an iconic symbol in and around Kennett, but meanwhile, at 6pm, we get to enjoy the dedication of this lovely art piece and thank the artist for his commitment to the town.

A quick run-down of some of the planned art happenings in Kennett Square on June 2nd include:

State and Union hosts Daniel Chow (103 W State Street)

Philter Coffee hosts Torrey Kist (111 W State Street)

Marché Home hosts Ellen Cattanzaro (123 E State Street)

Salt and Stone hosts Katie Boyle and Amanda Wynn Egan (203 E State Street)

Kennett Jewelry hosts Kat Reitz  (123 W State Street)

The Kennett Inn hosts Dick Beck (201 E State Street)

The Mushroom Cap hosts artist Dennis Minch (114 W State Street)

Kennett Works hosts Charlie Dog Vintage  (432 S Walnut Street)

The Market at Liberty Place hosts musician Angelee Gerovasiliou -live music from 6-9pm

Terra Olive & Balsamic hosts Caroline Roosevelt  (116 W State Street)

La Michoacana Ice cream with surprise artist (231 E State Street)

Mala Galleria hosts Rob Sigafoos, Lele Galer and Linda Celestian (206 E State Street)

Grain Craft Bar & Kitchen hosts David Katz (108 West State Street)

Kennett Brewing Company will host several artists: Dana Bechert, Derek Brennan, The Stranded Nomad, Hannah Kelleher, Buffalo Donuts, Bruce Banter, David Lee Moth, Lauren Mulhern, The Brothers Karim, and Saad Macauley (109 S Broad Street #2)

Peter Willard Studio will be open  (105 S Broad Street)

Holly Peters Oriental Rugs and Home hosts Carol Lesher  (109 S Broad Street)

Kennett Resale Book Shop hosts Charlotte Cossaboon  (113 S Union Street)

KSI crafts  hosts Rachel Brown  (203 E State Street)

Green Eyed lady hosts Vidya Shyamsundar (100 E State Street)

Study for the Creamery mural, by Robert Jackson.

Also, The Creamery, located at 401 Birch Street in Kennett Square, will host a painting demonstration by world renown local contemporary realism artist Robert Jackson. Robert Jackson has already designed a mockup of the image that he will create on for the public on the Creamery main wall; a painting that incorporates his signature balloon animals with painting, barbecue and beer.

Jackson is a wonderful artist, with a huge following and a great sense of humor. This is a very special event, and visitors can continue to see his mural progress throughout the month of June at The Creamery. Also at the Creamery are the installations of outdoor sculptures by many of the well known sculptors of our area including: Dave Beck, Jeff Bell, Lele Galer, John Rush, Roberta Little, John Siepelinga and Stan Smokler. Live music by Blue Cat Blues on Friday, The Sin City Band on Saturday and NBA Bucci Trio on Sunday afternoon, help to round out the arts celebration all weekend.

Holly Peters Oriental Rugs and Home, 109 South Broad Street, has a gorgeous show space for her rugs and furniture as well as a studio location for wonderful abstract landscape artist Carol Lesher. On Friday, Carol’s studio will be open for public browsing, and on Saturday, June 3, Holly Peters hosts a fabulous avant-garde artsy fashion show 6-9pm with wearable clothes designed by Alter, with music, food and refreshments.

Pennsylvania Landscape by Frances Roosevelt, Scarlett Thicket Farm Show.

On Saturday June 3, the big art event is at Scarlett Thicket Farm, from 2-7pm. This beautiful show is hosted by Peter Welling in his iconic Chester County Barn, and curated by sculptor Stan Smokler. Guest artists include: Dennis Beach, Katee Boyle, Dev Devereux, Graham Dougherty, Lele Galer, Gerald Harris, Frances Roosevelt, Stan Smokler, Vicki Vinton and Peter Willard. Abstract paintings and sculpture are set against a light filled 18th century stone barn, with food and refreshments – this is one of my absolute favorite art shows of the whole year. Scarlett Thicket Farm is located just off Route 82 and 926, at 284 West Street Road in Kennett Square. This art show and party is now open free to the public, and is a real treat for the for visitors and artists alike.

In the Escalante by Joe Grubb, Galer Estate Winery.

Galer Estate Winery, just behind Longwood Gardens at 700 Folly Hill Road in Kennett Square will host a pop up art show by artist Joe Grubb on Sunday from 2-6pm. Joe is well known for his beautiful, detailed, realistic paintings of outdoor scenes. He will also have prints available and will be at the winery to talk about his work. There is also live music Friday June 2 with Mike and Shanna and also Saturday with The Marlboro Road Duo. When you visit the winery make sure to check out the new “Arrow” installation by Lele Galer, as well as the sculptures and paintings showcased throughout the winery.

While Kennett Square is the center for the arts this weekend, there are also some great art openings on Friday in other towns in our area. On Friday, The Art Trust in the Meridian Bank, at 16 West Market Street in West Chester, will open a new ceramic sculpture show entitled “Operation”. The title alludes to the board game “Operation”, which fits the game theme of all of their shows for 2017. The board game is all about exploring human body, and this exhibit takes that idea to explore the human body through artists’ eyes.

Co-Curator Dara Zuckernick says, ” As we looked at artists for the show we kept coming back to ceramic figures over and over, and more specifically, ceramics made by female artists.  The three artists we selected represent the figure in an unconventional way through their art, some of it dark, some of it light and humorous, but all of it pushing sculptural boundaries.” The show will run through July 28th, so there is plenty of time to see the artwork, but if you would like to go to the opening and meet the artists, Pam Lethbridge, Eileen O’Donnell and Sandy Malamed, you should visit this Friday from 4:30-8:30.

Art Watch radio on June 7th from 1-1:30 on WCHE 1520 AM, will host Brandywine River Museum Director Tom Padon, and Somerville Manning owner Vicki Manning, for an entertaining discussion of their upcoming Andrew Wyeth Centennial exhibitions.

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