Art Watch: ‘Marching’ into a busy local art schedule

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By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

Three great shows are opening this Friday, March 10th, and it might be a difficult choice for art lovers!

The 8th Annual Radley Run Art Show start this Friday night, from 6-10pm and continues Saturday from 10am-3pm at the beautiful Radley Run Country Club in West Chester. Church Street Gallery in West Chester opens a new solo show with phenomenal landscape painter Stefanie Lieberman, with artist’s reception 5-9pm this Friday. In Haverford, the Main Line Art Center has a gala event art opening for three artists in “Draw the Line”, also this Friday from 5:30-8:30. Each of these art events are free to the public, and offer an array of complimentary treats, music, food, wine and of course great art and a chance to chat with the artists. So much to do this weekend that it will be hard to pick which event to go to!

Before starting with the wonderful weekend art events, the Amanda C. Burden lecture series at The Brandywine River Museum of Art , “Her America: Three Women Artists from The Phillips Collection,” starts up with an in depth lecture on Georgia O’Keefe, from 11am – 12noon on Wednesday March 8. The series continues March 15, with a lecture on artist Doris Lee, and on March 22 with a talk about Grandma Moses. Amanda is a well-respected art historian and associate curator at The Brandywine River Museum of Art. The lecture series should be lively and informative and a great experience for everyone. It would be great if this series could also be in the evening so that more young people could attend. Young people need to know that art history isn’t boring at all – it is lively and engaging and opens your creative senses up to a whole new way of looking at the world. Visitors may purchase individual or whole series ($10 members, $15 non-members for each lecture or $25 members and $35 non-members for whole series).

Omega by Paul Santoleri, at the Main Line Art Center.

“Draw the Line” is the blockbuster art opening at the Main Line Art Center this Friday from 5:30-8:30 at their location at 746 Panmure Road in Haverford . The three “Draw The Line” artists are Paul Santoleri, Joanna Platt and Kelley Donohue. Paul Santoleri has created an extraordinary paper drawing installation that covers the walls, floor and ceiling. Clay sculptures by Donohue and unique light installations by Platt complete a “Wow!” show that is unlike anything ever seen in our area.

Amie Potsic, Executive Director and Chief Curator, wrote “I feel so fortunate to be showing such talented artists in Draw the Line.  Each artist’s work uniquely involves the drawn line, but does so in surprising ways by using ceramics, conduit, ink, tape, and paint…. Our galleries will be transformed by their installations, sculptures, and videos so that audiences are transported with visions of the past and future.”

The event at Main Line Art Center begins with an artists’ talk and walk through the gallery show at 5:30, and then the gala event begins formally at 6:30. “It’s exciting to provide opportunities to engage directly with the award winning artists in person as they share the complex and compassionate experiences that inform their work” says Potsic. While you are gasping at the wonderful exhibition, meeting the artists and the curator, be sure to also check out the Main Line Art Center’s huge list of classes and workshops, and become a member. This is an amazing show, and the center is a terrific creative space for students and artist’s alike.

For theater lovers, make sure to go online and purchase your tickets to the first ever Residential Theater Company performance at the newly renovated Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester (the old armory building across the street from the Chester County Historical Society). This has been a very long time in the making, and it must be a terrific thrill for everyone who has worked do hard to bring theater alive in West Chester. Their inaugural show is Spamalot, an extremely funny Monty Python musical which opens March 31, and you should get your tickets now. Monday March 13th is a music filled gala benefit kick-off event “An Evening of Kings, Queens and Stars” from 6-10pm, to benefit the RTC. There is music, performances, food, wine, beer, silent auction and more, all for $45 each, and you should go to the RTC website to get tickets. Sounds like a fantastic date night!

The annual Radley Run Art Show event, also starts Friday March 10 and continues through Saturday the 11th. Artist Karl Kuerner is the featured artist for the show this year, exhibiting along with 50 local artists at the “clubhouse” located at 1100 Country Club Road in West Chester. The show is a curated array of artists that range from abstract to traditional, steel sculpture to clay. It has something for everyone, and the art sales benefit two respected charitable organizations: Community Volunteers in Medicine, and the Chester County Arts Association. The warm, cozy environment of the clubhouse, with a great bar, delicious appetizers and a friendly atmosphere, make this a particularly enjoyable art event. Friday March 10 from 6-10pm is packed with people and has a party atmosphere, and Saturday it is more kid-friendly, showing from 10am -3pm. Book a brunch or lunch at the club’s bar for a hearty, relaxing treat with the family.

Spring Marsh by Stefanie Lieberman, at the Church Street Gallery.

Church Street Gallery never fails to point their gallery spotlight at a terrific artist, and this March, they celebrate the paintings of Stefanie Lieberman, A PAFA educated landscape artist , who is, to quote a famous local artist, “really really good.” Stefanie’s images are often huge cloud-filled or ocean filled vistas that take up a majority of the canvas, leaving only a slim area to ground the viewer. She is not afraid to freefall into “Nature’s Majesty”, and she does so without sentimentality, and without over-doing it. She paints those moments when we pull over the car to marvel at the sky or the shoreline or we take endless iphone snapshots that can never capture how beautiful the landscape is at that “wow” spot of time; and she paints that moment perfectly. She is a brave painter to take on such subject matter, and I can’t wait to meet her in person and see more of her work up close! The artist’s reception for “Natural Pleasures” with Stefanie Lieberman is this Friday, March 10th from 5-9pm, and the show continues through April 1st at Church Street Gallery in West Chester.

Ivystone Studio plans a reception, March 11.

Saturday March 11, from 4-10pm is another open-to-the public fun Spring Art Show at Ivystone Studio in Downingtown. With new art and a new executive director, Ivystone is finding its contemporary art niche and celebrating with a 6 hour party/reception. What a great way to spend a Saturday night! 30 artists and counting, music, food, and more- check out Ivystone Studio this Saturday, or all during the week, located at 138 Moore Road in Downingtown. Check their website for their open hours, and definitely check out their latest art party on Saturday.

Art Event recap:

Wednesday March 8 11am-12noon, Amanda C. Burden lecture on Georgia O’Keefe at Brandywine River Museum of Art ($15)

Friday March 10 5:30-8:30 “Draw the Line” blockbuster show and gala artist opening, Main Line Art Center in Haverford (free)

Friday March 10 5-9pm: Church Street Gallery opening Stefanie Lieberman, West Chester (free)

Friday March 10 6-10pm -Saturday March 11 10am-3pm : The Radley Run Art Show, Radley Run Country Club, West Chester (free)

Saturday March 11 4-10pm: Ivystone Studio Sprint Art Show opening reception, Downingtown

Monday March 13 6-10pm: Residential Theater Company “An Evening of Kings, Queens and Stars” gala event and fundraiser ($45)

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