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Chester County Press

The variety and colors of summer on view in Kennett Square

08/05/2019 10:47AM ● By J. Chambless

A sunset view by Ann Guidera-Matey.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The warm glow continues at the Square Pear Gallery in Kennett Square this month with the August show, “The Joy of Summer.”

In one of the front gallery spaces, Merrill Weber goes large with her mixed-media paintings of exuberant flowers that almost pop out of the frames with their energy. Nearby, sculptor Lele Galer contributes several heart-themed steel sculptures that are intricate, tough, yet somehow delicate, all at once. They suggest nicks and scrapes on the heart, but remain formidable and resilient.

On a much smaller scale, Amy Iverson has a series of square still life paintings of fruit that have appealing, glistening highlights. Rhoda Kahler shows six small stoneware pieces and one large, ambitious one, “Dancer,” that uses a wire cage and expressive orange circles to suggest all kinds of liberating messages.

Three formal still lifes by Lidia Hohutiak have a rich glow, and Ann Guidera-Matey’s immediately identifiable pastels of marsh and sky are uniformly lovely, with just the right amber light. The largest one, “Transition,” pays particular attention to banks of backlit yellow/orange sunset clouds.

Sarah Bourne Rafferty makes fascinating use of a very old photographic technique in her lovely blue cyanotype screenprints. The blue-toned photographs take a late 1800s technology and pay homage to it with six large images of delicate leaves and stalks that seem to radiate light from within. Even small, with only a single bloom or a tiny selection of feathers or leaves, they work just as well. They’re an exceptional grouping.

There are several abstract suggested landscapes by Dave Eldreth, and Robert Jenkins returns to the gallery with his 3-D insects, meticulously painted on layers of resin to appear startlingly lifelike. You can see the brushstrokes in the butterfly wings if you get very close, but knowing they aren’t real makes them even more dazzling.

Barbara Neville’s “Cattails” is a luminous pastel of stalks and sky and powdery textures, exceptionally rendered. Behind the gallery’s front counter is “Spanish Trees,” by local artist Dane Tilghman, that has wonderful light and presence.  

For variety and range of media and styles, the show is a rewarding collection of new works and some familiar names that perfectly express the beauty of the season – and a little bit more.

“The Joy of Summer” continues through Aug. 31 at the Square Pear Gallery (200 E. State St., Kennett Square). The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

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