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Chester County Press

Art for giving, or for yourself, in Kennett Square

12/10/2018 11:33AM ● By J. Chambless

'The Creamery' by Dan Chow.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The Square Pear Fine Art Gallery in Kennett Square rolls out plenty of small works for gift giving this month, packing in paintings, ceramics and jewelry that would be a perfect gift for someone, or a special treat for yourself.

In the front room of the gallery is a wall of wildlife and farm animal paintings by Sandra Severson and Rachel Altschuler. Severson's softer-toned palette contrasts nicely with Altschuler's brighter, showier colors. Kim Hoescht's paintings radiate a golden light, and they beckon you from up close as well as from across the room. “Shellburne Cottage Entry” – a doorway, blue rug and slanting afternoon light – is particularly fine.

Monique Sarkessian's “Good Vintage Heels” and “Vanelli Gifts 3” would be great for the shoe-lover in your life, and Gwenn Knapp's still lifes have a lovely, soft texture, particularly her three pears nestled on a blue plate.

Kevin Cummins shows his etching/aquatint views of the sunny seashore, and Ann Guidera-Matey shows a mastery of vibrant pastel colors in “Red Heads,” a view of autumn foliage, and her glowing views of marshlands at dusk.

It's great to see a collection of Dan Chow's quiet, contemplative views of buildings and places you might overlook. You may recognize several of these places from around Kennett Square, and even one view that's across the street from the gallery.

Lauren Litwa's “Blown Banner” is a splendid, surreal view of a sloping hillside that radiates unusual light and an air of mystery that's quite captivating. The tiny “Yellow Sky Line” by M.W. Jones is a similarly hushed view of telephone wires that draws you in. And don't miss gallery owner Corien Siepelinga's four still lifes. They glisten with just the right treatment of pepper and tomato skins, and the soft contours of ripe pears.

Frank DePietro's many admirers will love his four leaf studies that show his mastery of transluscent textures. Nearby, Al Moretti's eye-popping acrylics are energetic and interesting, particularly his just-right portrait of the late singer Amy Winehouse (“Missing Amy”).

Brad Earl's city views have an almost three-dimensional quality, and anyone nostalgic for the distinctive architecture of yesteryear will fall in love with them. There are plenty of new, tiny oil fantasies by Kathryn Noska that feature animals and birds perched on niche openings, beyond which lie vast landscapes – all in spaces only a few inches wide. They're cute, but also packed with symbolic meaning if you want to delve deeper.

There's a nice selection of Rhoda Kahler's stoneware and raku clay panels that revel in surfaces seemingly burnished by time. Kahler's “Road Trip” is fun, and “Fog” suggests acres of landscape in a minimum of space.

Robert Jenkins shows watercolors of the interiors of abandoned industrial buildings that have a murky depth to them, and he pulls off pure magic with his watercolors on glass that capture seemingly three-dimensional insects within the frame.

And then there are the cuddly tea sets and vases by Peter Saenger that will beg to come home with you – and a whole lot more. If you can't find the ideal gift for someone in this show, you simply need to walk around the gallery again, because you might have missed it the first time.

The Square Pear Fine Art Gallery is at 200 State St., Kennett Square. Call 484-883-5429 for information.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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