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Chester County Press

Cool summer art with a watery theme in Kennett Square

06/10/2019 12:08PM ● By J. Chambless

John Slivjak’s 'View of the Toms River'

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

“Into the Deep” is a great, watery theme that suits the summer season at the Square Pear Fine Art Gallery in Kennett Square.

Thoughtfully assembled, with an eye toward introducing some new artists, the show looks at oceans, shorelines, aquatic life and sinuous forms. In the front gallery space, Karen Benco’s watercolors of reflective water on stones have a strong three-dimensional quality, and her two vertical watercolors of tide pools revel in the hues and shapes of the pebbles and boulders, both above and below the shallow water.

Joe Milligan’s watercolors of boats, surf and shore have a subdued mood and blue-gray palette that give the works an air of off-season beach life. In stark contrast, the eye-grabbing blues of Lisa Budd’s underwater scenes jump off the gallery wall. Her three watercolors of koi circling each other have a rich palette of vivid orange and white, and a symphony of blue tones in the water.

There are several bronze sculptures by Alejandro Lemus – mermaids and a powerful, arching whale – that have wonderfully fluid lines and a sparing use of color that reflects the artist’s masterful skill.

John Slivjak’s oils of maritime scenes have a mature style and remarkable light – most notably “5 a.m.,” a soft pink-blue harbor scene that almost glows from within. Slivjak’s “View of the Toms River” is similarly strong in a different way, with a clear summer light on an expanse of open water and cloud-filled sky. The wake of the boat in the left center makes the composition.

Jack Gianguilio’s semi-abstract watercolors are as vivacious as ever, with angled shapes clashing and overlapping and making magical things happen. Dan Burnstein’s glass vases, displayed on several shelves, are a pleasant expanse of blue-green ocean colors. Adding to the show are stoneware and clay sculptures by Rhoda Kahler, such as her huge “Fountain,” with its splashy purple/blue glaze.

Ann Guidera-Matey’s pastels of harbor scenes fit well with the theme, and her pond view, “Farm on Langford Creek,” is a perfect depiction of summer sun and cool, shadowed water.

“Into the Deep” continues through June 30 at the Square Pear Fine Art Gallery (200 State St., Kennett Square). Call 484-883-5429.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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