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Chester County Press

A legacy of art continues at Chadds Ford Elementary

03/09/2018 08:33AM ● By J. Chambless

From left: Art Show chair Nichole Scull, artist Jacalyn Beam and artist Kathy Ruck.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

No other art show in the region has the history and pedigree of the annual Chadds Ford Elementary School Art Sale and Show.

Betsy Wyeth, wife of the late Andrew Wyeth, started the show in 1949 and continued her involvement in the show while her son, Jamie Wyeth, was a student at Chadds Ford Elementary. Every year, top artists from the Brandywine Valley region are eager to exhibit at the school. Proceeds from the show benefit school activities and provide supplemental educational benefits for students.

For browsers and buyers, the show is a one-stop showcase and a chance to meet the artists themselves. This year, works by more than 65 regional artists will be featured. The Featured Artist is Jacalyn Beam, who will get a large exhibition space at the show. Her painting, “Pairs,” will be for sale. This year's donating artist, Landenberg painter Kathy Ruck, will have her painting, “Sunset on Sycamore,” featured in the show's raffle. Karl J. Keurner III will have his original artworks featured in the Art Salon, along with works by his student, Shay Allen.

Ruck said, “It's a wonderful show, and very well attended. The history of the show goes back 69 years. I'm just proud to be a part of this show.”

Ruck said that her fellow artists look forward to the show each year as a chance to catch up with each other's lives and socialize, as well as meet buyers and admirers. This is her third year at the show.

For Beam, who is also exhibiting for the third year, the chance to have a large gallery of her works on view is a great opportunity. She has shown at the Chadds Ford Gallery, and will have an exhibit at Barbara Moore Fine Art in April.

She said she found the location of her painting, “Pairs,” while driving around Unionville. The farm, which sits close to a large barn, is home to an 89-year-old woman, her son and grandson, Beam said. She was fascinated by the cows in the pasture, which were lined up, two by two.

This year's show features well-known names and newcomers, including Annette Alessi, Richard Bollinger, Erica Brown, Doris Davis-Glackin, Frank DePietro, Shawn Faust, Len Garon, Teresa Haag, John Hannafin, Lorann Jacobs, Madeleine Kelly, Martin May, Lou Messa, Bob Richey, Tim Simboli, Helena van Emmerik-Finn, Hattie Weselyk and others.

The show opens on March 16 at Chadds Ford Elementary (3 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford) with am adults-only reception from 7 to 10 p.m., featuring live music and hors d'oeuvres from area restaurants. Many of the artists will be on hand to talk about their work.

The show is open to everyone on March 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free of charge. Saturday features live music and a raffle drawing at 3 p.m. The Chadds Ford Elementary PTO receives a 30 percent commission on each sale. For more information, visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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