Wednesday, April 26 2023 10:13

Chester County Art Gallery Roundup

Written by Elizabeth Hughes

Local shows, tours and exhibits to explore this spring

Spring is the season of new life and new beginnings. It’s only natural that artists feel especially inspired this time of year and why the Brandywine Valley is in full bloom with art shows, tours, exhibits and other events. It’s the perfect time to explore our area’s thriving art scene.

We’ve rounded up some local art galleries and events for you to enjoy and explore. Of course, there’s always plenty going on at our local museums — more on that in our Best Local Events section.

Mark your calendars for these exciting encounters with art.

50th Annual Yellow Springs Art Show

Yellow Springs Art Show

This year, the Yellow Springs Art Show celebrates 50 years of art in the charming historic village. From April 29 to May 14, the galleries in the Lincoln Building will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This juried show has over 4,000 works of original art from 227 artists. Artwork will be on display in both the first- and second-floor galleries, including the beloved second-floor “mini” gallery — featuring miniature works by the artists on display in the show.

The show kicks off with the Yellow Springs Art Show pARTy on Friday, April 28 at 5 p.m. Be among the first to view this year’s artwork while enjoying fine food, live music and a live auction benefiting Historic Yellow Springs. Then celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14) with Art Around the Village. Fifteen artists will be painting en plein air around the village, and visitors can bring a picnic and enjoy live music and pottery demonstrations. There will also be kid’s activities, including rock painting, giant Jenga and Connect Four. Plus, 35% of proceeds from the day’s art sales benefit Historic Yellow Springs.

West Chester Gallery Walk

West Chester Gallery Walk

Explore the vibrant art scene in downtown West Chester during the Spring Gallery Walk. Hosted by the West Chester Business Improvement District, the event takes place on Friday, May 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. and includes free, on-street parking (always a bonus). May 5 also marks the beginning of the Open-Air Market, when Gay Street (between Matlack and New Streets) will be closed to vehicles from Friday morning to Monday morning every weekend through October 29. With Gay Street closed, it’s even more enjoyable to have a post-Gallery Walk dinner downtown.

Come celebrate the thriving community of artists that make the West Chester area their home as you walk from gallery to gallery. Download or pick up a brochure from any of the 14 participating locations to start your self-guided art tour through downtown. Local art galleries — including David Katz Gallery, Erica Brown Studio and Visual Expansion Gallery — combine with one-night-only show hosts, like Pine + Quill and the Chester County Community Foundation, to showcase Chester County artists.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Fall Gallery Walk, scheduled for Friday, October 6.

15th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival

Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival

Get some fresh air at one of the longest outdoor painting events in the country. The Wayne Art Center’s 15th annual Plein Air Art Festival takes place May 7 to 12. Over six days, 32 nationally recognized artists will create original works within a 35-mile radius of Wayne, capturing the quaint towns, pastoral farms, historic architecture and lush landscapes that characterize our area. In true plein air fashion, all paintings will be completed on site from direct observation.

At the Collectors’ Preview Sale on Friday, May 12, from 6 to 10 p.m., you can be one of the first to view and purchase over 300 landscapes painted at the festival. Enjoy fine art, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and live music. Top artists will receive $20,000 in cash prizes at the evening’s award presentation. The following day, the artwork goes on display at the festival’s exhibition through June 24.

Craft & Mercantile

Craft & Mercantile

Spend a spring evening at Craft + Mercantile on Friday, May 19, at Kimberton Garden & Gift Shop. Support more than 25 local makers and artisans at this thoughtfully curated night market. Shop local and enjoy live music, food and drinks, all under the stars and twinkly string lights.

This year, Growing Roots Partners is hosting several Craft & Mercantile events in different locations through the summer and fall. The next market takes place on Friday, June 16, at Eagleview Town Center in Exton. Visit their website for more dates and locations.

Chester County Studio Tour

Adrian Martinez, Chester County Studio Tour

Discover local artists and see where they make their art at the Chester County Studio Tour on the weekend of May 20 and 21. This year, 79 studios used by 200 artists will open their doors to the public. Artists will be present to discuss their works — including paintings, sculptures, pottery, glass, photography and jewelry — with buyers and browsers alike.

Visitors are encouraged to design their own self-guided tour on the new Chester County Studio Tour website. Simply select your favorite artists, click “add to itinerary,” and Google Maps will plot the most efficient route, providing turn-by-turn directions to each studio. Or use the “Find 5!” feature to see which five studios are nearest to you.

Art Gallery at Devon

Beyond the Dixon Oval’s equestrian fun, the Art Gallery at Devon has a fine selection of art. See the Devon Horse Show article in this issue for more.

Local Art Galleries

Order and Entropy, Kindred Art Collaborative, The Art Trust

See a unique, collaborative take on making art with “Kindred Art,” the newest exhibit at The Art Trust at Meridian Bank in West Chester, through June 9. The Kindred Art Collaborative, comprised of artists Mikel Elam, Carl Cellini and Richard Metz, creates their works collaboratively and embraces improvisation, which they compare to jazz music. At the opening reception during the Spring Gallery Walk, May 5, from 4 to 8 p.m., the artists will be creating a collaborative piece on site, showing their process and answering questions. The Art Trust will livestream the event on Instagram as part of their “Eat, Drink & Be Artsy” series, interviewing the artists while mixing up specialty cocktails. There’s an artists’ talk on Thursday, May 18, and closing reception on Thursday, June 8.

Join Sunset Hill Jewelers and Fine Art Gallery in celebrating their 40th anniversary, marked by an exhibit of works by Karl J. Kuerner. A noted Chadds Ford artist, Kuerner is the only artist to be personally mentored by Andrew and Carolyn Wyeth. Visit the opening reception during West Chester’s Spring Gallery Walk, May 5, from 4 to 8 p.m.

In the Flower Garden, Michael Doyle, Somerville Manning Gallery

Located in the historic Breck’s Mill in Wilmington, Somerville Manning Gallery has two solo exhibitions on display through May 13. “Michael Doyle: Inspiration on the Acre” features Doyle’s intimate portrayals of interiors and landscapes, and “Francis DiFronzo: Proof of Life (Part 4)” focuses on DiFronzo’s paintings of the natural world. Later in the month, see “Under the Influence: Contemporary Artists and the Masters Who Inspire Them,” opening on May 23 and running through June 21.

Admire artwork inspired by spring blooms at Kennett’s Square Pear Art Gallery, celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. “Flowers Inspire,” on display May 5 through July 8, features floral artwork from local artists, including painters, potters and glass artists. Visit during the opening reception on Thursday, May 18, from 6 to 8 p.m., and stay for the first Third Thursday of the season for outdoor dining, live music and children’s activities on State Street.

Woman with Apple, Kate Fraser, Regional Center for Women in the Arts

Support the next generation of women artists at the latest exhibition from the Regional Center for Women in the Arts. “Multiplicities” will be on display the Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington from May 19 to June 30, with an opening reception on May 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. With works from 21 women artists in the Delaware Valley, “Multiplicities” includes a range of genres, from representational to conceptual and abstraction. Plus, the exhibition raises funds for scholarships for young women in financial need to study at DCAD.


Check our Events section, in print and online, for more.