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Chester County Press

Artists and buyers excited for Chadds Ford Art Sale

02/25/2016 11:16AM ● By J. Chambless

Featured artist Helena van Emmerik-Finn (left) and donating artist Mary Styer Holton in the lobby of Chadds Ford Elementary School.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The excitement is building for the 67th annual Chadds Ford Art Sale and Show, not only among art buyers, but among the artists themselves.

On the morning of Feb. 24, this year's featured artist, Helena van Emmerik-Finn, posed for a photo at Chadds Ford Elementary School with donating artist Mary Styer Holton. Van Emmerik-Finn has regularly exhibited in the show, she said, “and the last time I was the featured artist, in 2008, it was the best show I've ever had in my whole career, and I've been doing this for over 30 years.”

She said artists throughout the region eagerly anticipate a chance to exhibit at the show, which was founded by Betsy Wyeth in 1949 as a school fundraiser when her son, Jamie, was a student there. “It's an honor to be here,” van Emmerik-Finn said. “I love the tradition of the show. I know a lot of the other artists, so there's a lot of camaraderie. It's great for networking.”

The show opens on March 11 at Chadds Ford Elementary School with a free evening reception, and continues on Saturday with special events including an Art Salon, Artisan Showcase, and art tours. About 70 artists are taking part this year, including 10 newcomers. During the Artisan Showcase on March 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., artisan guests will sell handmade jewelry, wooden items and other crafts.

During a show tour on March 12 at 11 a.m., visitors can join two guides, artist Lele Galer and Stella Stojanovic Scott from Mala Galleria, who will introduce visitors to the artists and give some insight into the artwork itself.

There will also be guides leading free tours of the school's art collection at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The collection includes pieces from artists prominent in the foundation of the Brandywine tradition, including the Wyeth family.

Maggie Niemkiewicz, one of the chairs of the show, said the Art Salon exhibit this year is titled “Forces of Nature,” featuring women sculptors. But it's the chance to see the region's best artwork, all in one place, that keeps crowds coming, year after year.

“The show is a destination,” she said. “People come back every year from all over the region. This year, we do have quite a few new artists. We try to keep it traditional, but do something just a little bit different each year.”

Thirty percent of all purchases are tax-deductible. All proceeds support educational enrichment programs at Chadds Ford Elementary School. Proceeds from the show each year account for some $20,000 for the school's PTO to fund educational enrichment programs.

The schedule is:

Friday, March 11, 7 to 10 p.m. – free reception and sale (adults only);

Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – exhibit and sale; “The Salon” features contemporary women artists working in sculpture and three-dimensional art; guided show tour at 11 a.m.; permanent art collection tours at noon and 2 p.m.

Chadds Ford Elementary School is at 3 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford. Admission to the Art Sale and Show is free. Call 610-388-1112 or visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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