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Chester County Press

Art Association looks to 'Past and Present' for annual auction

10/10/2018 11:26AM ● By J. Chambless

'Village' by Terry DeAngelo.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

For its annual fundraiser art auction, the Chester County Art Association has gone big with “Past and Present,” featuring artists who showed at the West Chester art center early in their careers, along with some newcomers with strong contributions as well.

The show is fun for browsers, but if you want to take home a piece of art – and help the Art Association at the same time – you can write your bids on a paper that accompanies each piece. The artist gets the first bid amount, which is half of the total value of the artwork. The art center gets the rest of higher bids, and you can still pick up a bargain. Bidding ends on Nov. 1.

There are plenty of highlights, beginning with Jeremy McGirl's “Goose With Forsythia,” a multi-layered blend of suburbia and nature that points to concerns about development, and to the indomitable nature of wildlife.

There's a little jewel of a painting by Kathryn Noska, “Vistas of Serenity,” that packs acres of an imaginary landscape into a space that's about the size of a postcard. Alejandro Lemus has a show-stopping bronze, “Allegria,” that is pure magic and motion – a human/marionette figure with wires stretching upward to an unseen hand, and an ecstatic pose.

Terry DeAngelo's large painting, “Village,” is a warm, atmospheric view of a tangle of buildings in an autumn-toned field. On a whole other scale – the tiny end – is J. Clayton Bright's “Turtle Shell,” a super-realistic bronze shell rendered in actual size.

David Katz's “Marshalton Farm House” has a breathtaking expanse of sky, and Peter Quarracino works his usual magic in “Blue Wind,” a spectacular expanse of dappled water.

John Suplee's “Sunset From Superfresh” is a typically wry commentary, capturing the edge of a parking lot, guardrail and a dark tangle of trees against the fading light. Jeff Schaller's small painting “Clark” – a play on Superman and a certain candy bar -- is a chance to pick up a keystone piece for your art collection. Ellie Byrom-Haley's “Caged” is another standout, packed with eloquent symbolism.

Kathleen Friedenberg's bronze, “Jack the Robber,” is a dog in mid-bounce, and it's pure animal energy and exuberance.

Also on view in a nearby, smaller gallery is “The Barnes on Bradford,” a juried group show that features artworks hung in the tradition of Dr. Albert Barnes, with ornamental metalwork echoing shapes or themes in the art nearby.

John Suplee's energetic vista of cows and suburban sprawl, “Looking for Sainte-Victoire,” is great fun, but there's a wide, rich selection of original works that are tied together – directly or indirectly – with the Barnes vision. The interplay of artists, genres and mediums is energetic and engaging, just as Barnes would have wanted it.

In the space that usually holds the art center's store is the “Clay Days” annual group show, with a special nod to Mitch Lyons, who passed away this year. There are several of his painted vases and cups and monoprints for sale in the show, which also features a broad selection of stoneware and potery by other area artists. You'll find functional platters, cups and bowls, but also fanciful pieces such as the frogs perched on books by Priscilla Dahl. Her mugs and bowls and wall sculptures with a bird motif are also lovely.

Rhoda Kahler's distinctive stoneware wall pieces are fascinating, as always. And then there are the odd, and personality-packed, cups by Sandra Malamed, which have friendly, contemplative faces. They are doubled, so that you can drink out of one or the other face, depending on your mood.

“Past and Present,” “The Barnes on Bradford” and “Clay Days” continue through Nov. 1 at the Chester County Art Association (100 N. Bradford Ave., West Chester). For the closing reception, there will be a live auction after the silent auction bids close at 6 p.m. Four paintings -- by Peter Sculthorpe, Dennis Haggerty, Robert Dale McKinney, and Suk Shuglie – will be auctioned. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 610-696-5600 or visit www.chestercountyarts.org.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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