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Chester County Press

Open door artists in the 19350

09/22/2023 12:46PM ● By Richard Gaw
Open door artists in the 19350 [10 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

The Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour will take place on October 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and October 15 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The self-guided tour is free and each studio/home is located within minutes of each other. All artwork exhibited will be available for purchase and include original paintings, collage, jewelry, ceramics, glass works, fabric art, leather goods and prints. 

Refreshments will be served. Visitors are encouraged to visit all eight studios/homes over the weekend with a “passport” type promotion offered in collaboration with The Acadian Wine Company in West Grove. Get your “passport” initialed by each of the eight host artists and receive a free glass of wine or a tasting of four wines at The Acadian Wine Company.

“For when ideas flutter in haze, we collaborate without notice and collect them as butterflies only to set them free into the world.”     Shawn Lukas, artist and composer

There is, contained at the working space of every artist, writer, painter, sculptor, woodworker, photographer, sculptor and artisan an energy that is both delicious and intoxicating. 

Areas like this are typically wedged as an afterthought into the side pocket of an artist’s home with little fanfare. They are often scruffy with the residue of trial-and-error ideas, serving as incubators of self-doubt and vestibules for the eureka breakthroughs that happen when no one else is there.

In Landenberg, there are many studios and many artists who bury themselves there in separate acts of creation, but for two days this October, eight of them will – in unity -- fling open the doors to their homes and the places they work and share all that intoxicating deliciousness with the entire Landenberg community.

The first Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour – which will be held on October 14 and 15 – will invite the public to an open, self-guided tour that will showcase the work of eight prominent local artists and introduce visitors to ten other artists whose work is regularly showcased at several artisan shows throughout Chester County and beyond.  

 “Like a lot of the artists in this group, I have hosted open studios on my own, and many of us have also done it as part of the Chester County Artists Studio Tour, but we have such a great community of artists here in Landenberg, why don’t we all have our homes open on the same weekend?” said event organizer and watercolor artist Kathy Ruck, who will be one of eight hosts at the event. “This way, our neighbors and patrons can get to all our studios within a few miles of each other, and along the way, see the work of our guest artists.”

Ruck then began calling around to some of her artistic colleagues to gauge their ideas of creating a Landenberg-only studio tour, “and keep it within the 19350 area code,” she said. 

The response was immediate and positive, and slowly, Ruck and other hosts began to put together a roster of other Landenberg artists, but the idea was shut down for two years due to COVID-19.

“When 2023 came around and restrictions were lifted, I thought, ‘This is the year to do it,” Ruck said.

“When Kathy reached out to me, I was aware of a few of those who will be part of this tour, but didn’t know there were all these artists here,” said mixed media contemporary artist Nanci Hersh, whose studio will be featured on the tour. “While I have hosted open studio house party at my home, I think this will be a lot more fun.”

For jewelry designer Caryn Hetherston – who will be one the event hosts -- The Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour will she feels serve to lift the frequent and clandestine veil that separates the artist from his or her public and give visitors an opportunity to see the inner workings of an artist’s craft.

“People love to see where artists work, whether it’s in their studio space or even in their garden,” she said. “Even though I have what I call my creative chaos, I do clean it up a little bit for open studios, but people like to see how I lay out different elements as part of my design, show them the tools that I use, and it get them excited about the work, because they start to see how it is done.”

Throughout the last decade of her career as a jewelry designer, host Estelle Lukoff has collaborated on home and artisan fairs with a wide variety of artists. At The Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour, she will invite artisan specialty chef Gail Brennan, weaver Elaine Brooks, textile artist Mary Coleman and clay artist Brenda Kingham to join her at her home.

“I have been in the arts for over 40 years, have gotten to know quite a few artists during that time, and as I began developing my home studio shows, I wanted to curate artists that I felt would be a good compliment to my work, and it has just evolved,” Lukoff said. “These shows have become successful and well attended over the years, and a lot of our regular customers have looked forward to it.

“Getting to collaborate on an even larger scale – all with other Landenberg artists – will create an even greater sense of that collaboration.”

Ruck said that while the inaugural Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour will serve as a showcase for 18 artists – including her daughter, Rachel – it will also firmly solidify Landenberg’s place on the artistic map of Chester County. In contrast to this year’s Chester County Studio Tour in May – which featured 200 artists at 79 studios throughout the county, the Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour will be far more intimate, with each studio only a few miles from the next.

If the first event is successful, Ruck said that it may pave the way for future studio tours that will feature new Landenberg-based artists. 

“This is the first of our tours, and it’s a great opportunity for people in our community and just beyond to get to know all these artists,” Ruck said. “I think people will really like to get to know them and be able to buy local, because we’re not just artists, we’re also small business owners. I am most looking forward to community involvement – the people in Landenberg and in surrounding communities -- recognizing Landenberg as an artistic hub.”

To learn more and see the tour map, visit “The Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour” on Facebook.

The Artists of Landenberg Studio Tour and Guest Artists

  • Midge Diener, 316 Glen Road (Britni Doughten-Fiscus)
  • Kathy Ruck, 113 Stoney Ridge Road (Rachel Ruck, Nancy Wickes, Creekside Coffee)
  • Caryn Hetherston, 111 Chesterville Road (Chad Cortez Everett)
  • Mindy Hadley Dole, 526 Newark Road 
  • Frank DePietro, 5 Springbenny Turn (Dragonfly Leathrum)
  • Estelle Lukoff, 283 Reynolds Road (Elaine Brooks, Mary Coleman, Brenda Kingham, Jar’d by Gail Brennan)
  • Debbie Huff, 10 Wilkinson Drive (Jenny Wood)
  • Nanci Hersh, 9 Okie Drive (Megan Flachier, Scout & Cellar Wines)
Photos in Carousel:
Hetherston FaceNecklace Courtesy images Face necklace by Caryn Hetherston.

Ruck, Warm & Wooly “Warm and Wooly,” by Kathy Ruck.

Hersh, Nanci “Sound proof,” by Nanci Hersh.

Dole, Sunflowers “Sunflowers,” by Mindy Hadley Dole.

Lberg artists 3 lukoff Jewelry by Estelle Lukoff.

Depietro ginkotree “Ginko tree,” by Frank DePietro.

Diener, boat “Boat,” by Midge Diener.

Huff, Debbie crazy cat “Crazy cat,” by Debbie Huff.