What To Do: Malvern Retreat House Art Show

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times 

Chester County hosts a huge number of special events every year and the annual schedule is always filled with art shows and equestrian events.

One of the most anticipated art shows each year is Malvern Retreat House’s Art Show (McShain-Horstmann Family Life Center, 315 South Warren Avenue, Malvern, 610-644-0400, www.MalvernRetreat.com).

While many shows are just weekend events, Malvern Retreat House’s Art Show 2017 spans a full five days — from February 1-5. The ambitious show will have more than 500 original works of art by more than 100 professional artists. The special feature this year is “Figurative Art.”

Two of the figurative art specialists will be exhibiting in their own “backyard” – Malvern’s Mark Fleming and Lisa Lynn. Fleming specializes in pop art and street art while Lynn uses nature as the inspiration for her ceramics.

The roster of special exhibit figurative artists also features Maria de los A. Morales (Paoli), Thomas M. Miles (Philadelphia), Greg Barkley (Springfield), Leah Macdonald (Roxborough), Joshua Ruggieri (West Chester), David Campbell Wilson (Philadelphia), Jessica Teti Turgoose (Parkesburg), Christopher Smith (Philadelphia), Nancy Catallo (Lansdowne), Liz Goldberg (Philadelphia), Rory Macdonald (Philadelphia), May Holton (North Coventry) and JaFang Lu (Philadelphia).

Each piece of artwork will be available for purchase and show attendees will be able to shop for items in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and glasswork.

There is an added incentive to purchase art at this event. A portion of the sales will benefit Malvern Retreat House.  There is no Pennsylvania sales tax and 35 per cent of all artwork purchased is tax deductible. 

The free show runs from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. from February 1-4 and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on February 5.

As an added attraction, there will be a “Wine and Cheese Reception” on February 2 from 5-8 p.m. The social gathering, which is also a free event, features a complimentary wine and cheese reception along with the opportunity for patrons to meet some of the participating artists.

It might be cold outside this weekend but there will be plenty of heat generated inside at the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com).  On January 28 and 29, the winery is hosting the annual “Chaddsford Winery Chili” featuring sampling chili recipes from local caterers paired alongside flavorful Chaddsford wines.

The “Chili Participants and Wine Pairings” are varied and extremely taste-tempting.

Brandywine Catering will feature a Kool Bean Chili paired with Hard Cider. The Millstone Café at the Brandywine River Museum of Art will feature a Pork Verde Chili paired with 2015 Artisan Series Traminette.

Serock Catering will feature a Smokin’ Three Bean Chili paired with 2015 Artisan Series Dry Rosé. Birchtree Catering will feature a Mexican Hot Chocolate Chili paired with 2015 Proprietors Reserve Red. Brandywine Prime Seafood and Chops will feature a Buffalo Run Ranch Bison Chili paired with 2014 Artisan Series Blaufränkisch.

On Saturday and Sunday, additional food items will be available for purchase from The Plum Pit Food truck from noon-5 p.m. Additionally. there will be live music performed by Ryan Shubert on Saturday from 1-4 p.m.

There is no cost to attend.  One chili-and-wine sample from each participant is complimentary for guests 21 and older while supplies last, and then all additional wine and food purchases are pay-as-you-go.

Bleak mid-winter days tend to make people cold and hungry. People in cold climates around the world are aware that a great way to get rid of the hunger and warm up is to sit down with a hot bowl of soup.

The Pea Soup and Punsch Supper

Sweden is definitely a cold-climate country with more than its share of bitter winter weather. As a result, the Swedish people are well aware of the nutritional and therapeutic benefits of hot soup.

In recognition of this, the American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776, http://www.americanswedish.org) will hold its annual Pea Soup and Punsch Supper on January 28.

This Saturday, visitors to the museum in South Philadelphia are invited to shake off the chill and warm up Swedish style with an evening of steamy soup and strong drink. This annual event, which is known as Ärtsoppa och Punschin Sweden, is hosted by the museum’s Pea Soup Committee.

Attendees will break bread together over a quintessential Swedish meal of pea soup and punsch, which is a sweet and strong Arrack liquor-based drink. Arrack, a strong Indian liquor, was imported from Java and became the base ingredient for making punsch, which has 25 per cent alcohol by volume and 30 per cent sugar.

This hearty meal, which also includes sharp cheese, bread and dessert, is inspired by a tradition that dates back to medieval times. On Thursday nights, the people of Sweden would eat this filling meal before beginning the weekly Friday fast.

Tickets for the Pea Soup and Punsch Supper are $30 each. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (215) 389-1776.

The Ferrari California T

The Philadelphia International Auto Show has something for everyone whether you’re a big-time automobile fan, someone considering buying a new auto or just a person with a casual interest in today’s cars. The 2017 edition of the popular show opens on January 28 and runs through February 5 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, 610 279-5229, www.phillyautoshow.com).

The Philly Auto Show is one of the premier auto shows in the nation and one reason is that it never has been content to rest on its laurels. The well-attended annual event continually grows, evolves and re-invents itself with new attractions every year. The 2017 show will be the biggest yet with more than 700 vehicles — and more than 40 brands — on display under one roof.

This year’s 116th annual staging of the event features a 700,000-square foot display floor with a wide array of pre-production, production, exotic, classic, and concept cars. As one of the largest auto shows in the nation, the Philadelphia Auto Show annually welcomes approximately 250,000 attendees during its nine-day run.

The Philadelphia Auto Show is a showcase for the newest batch of models to capture the public’s eye including Karma Revero, Ferrari California T, SSC Ultimate Aero, 2017 Bentley Betayga, Mosler Raptor GTR, 2018 Lexus LC500 and Maserati Quattroporte S Q4.

A new attraction this year will be the Hollywood Rides display. It will feature many of the movie industry’s most iconic automobiles including “Ghostbusters”’ ESTO1, “Dumb & Dumber”’s Mutt Cuts van, “Back to the Future”’s DeLorean and “Batman”’s Batmobile.

Camp Jeep will feature the Jeep Test Track, a 30,000-square-foot interactive adventure zone where professional 4×4 drivers allow riders to experience a Jeep’s on- and off-road capabilities. Featured models will be Cherokee Trailhawk, Wrangler Unlimited, Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

The 2017 Philadelphia Auto Show hours are noon-10 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on January 29 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on February 5. Tickets are $14 for adults (age 13 and up), $11 for active military, $7 for seniors and children (ages 7-12). Children age 6 and younger do not require a ticket.

Frederick Douglas

February is African American History Month and the National Constitution Center National Constitution Center (525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, 215-409-6700, www.constitutioncenter.org) is honoring it with a number of special events and attractions that are running now through the end of February.

During the month of February, the National Constitution Center will pay tribute to the achievements and the courageous sacrifices made by African Americans throughout history as they strived to become recognized as an integral part of “We the People.” 

Activities at the Center will feature interactive programming designed for visitors of all ages. There will be artifacts highlighting important moments in African American history including a rare printing of the Emancipation Proclamation which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

The integral document is also featured in the “Decoding the Document: Emancipation Proclamation Document Workshop.”

Visitors are able to take a closer look at the museum’s rare printing of the Emancipation Proclamation to learn more about its history, the history of the Civil War, and the background of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

The “Breaking Barriers Show” looks at the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson, and other extraordinary African Americans throughout history to provide insight into the issues they faced and the rights they secured for all Americans. 

On the “Self-Guided African American History Tour”, visitors can tour the Center’s main exhibition “The Story of We the People” and discover important moments in African American history through historical artifacts.

Some of the featured attractions on the tour are rare, signed copies of the Thirteenth Amendments and Emancipation Proclamation, President Obama inauguration artifacts, The American National Tree (featuring influential African Americans including Paul Robeson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ward Connerly and Muhammad Ali) and an original printing of the Supreme Court’s controversial Dred Scott decision.

As part of the museum’s interactive daily programming in February, visitors can test their knowledge of African American history at the museum’s “Giant Game Board.” Children and families compete to see who can cross the finish line first.  Participants serve as game pieces as they roll the giant dice, answer questions and work their way across the board.

As an added attraction, the Center is offering a special “Winter Sale” on admission. Now through March 31, tickets are only $10 for adults and $7.50 for children.

This weekend, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Chester County (610-269-5499, www.gsschesco.org) will present four performances of “Ruddigore.” The show will be performed at West Chester University’s Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre (Swope Music Building, 817 South High Street, West Chester) now through January 29.

“Ruddigore,” which was also knwn as “The Witch’s Curse,” was the 10th collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan. The “supernatural opera” opened on January 21, 1887 at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 288 performances. It was not revived until 1920 when it was substantially cut and provided with a new overture arranged by Geoffrey Toye.

The opera is a parody of the stock melodrama — the villain who carries off the maiden; the priggishly good-mannered poor-but-virtuous-heroine; the hero in disguise, and his faithful old retainer who dreams of their former glory days; the snake in the grass who claims to be following his heart; the wild, mad girl; the swagger of fire-eating patriotism; ghosts coming to life to enforce a curse; and so forth.

But, in this piece, Gilbert turns the moral absolutes of melodrama upside down — good becomes bad, bad becomes good, and heroes take the easy way out.

The Baronets of Ruddigore are cursed. Anyone who succeeds to the title must to commit a crime every day or perish in inconceivable agony.

Robin Oakapple, a young farmer loves Rose Maybud, but both are too shy to tell the other. Robin has a secret. He is really Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, the rightful Baronet of Ruddigore, in disguise.

His younger brother, Despard, believing Ruthven to be dead, has assumed the title. Robin’s foster brother, Richard, seeking Rose for himself, tells Despard of Robin’s deception, and Robin is forced to accept his true position, losing Rose to Richard in the process.

Now the Baronet of Ruddigore, Robin is confronted by the ghosts of his ancestors who step from their picture frames in the gallery of Ruddigore Castle to confront him for failing to conscientiously commit his daily crime. Robin eventually finds a way of satisfying his ancestors demands while continuing to live a blameless life.

Performances are scheduled for January 27 at 8 p.m., January 28 at 2 and 8 p.m. and January 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $23 for adults, $19 for seniors and $10 for children (ages 7-21).

If you’re in the mood to get in touch with nature this weekend, the Lancaster County Parks Environmental Center (One Natures Way, Lancaster, 717-295-2055, http://web.co.lancaster.pa.us) is presenting an event that you might like.

SNOW: It’s More than a Four Letter Word

On January 28, the park, which is both fun and educational, is presenting “SNOW: It’s More than a Four Letter Word.” The all-ages event will be held from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

At the event, which will take place in and around the Environmental Center, naturalist Tina Mark will lead family outdoor activities and explore the science behind snow. Snow or not, visitors will have the opportunity to walk and look for tracks, make a craft and enjoy other activities.

Participants are advised to dress for the outdoors and hope for snow. The cost for this event is $2 per person.

A popular celebration of the season of cold weather is scheduled for January 28 in Philly. “Winterfest Live!” will be held from 3-7 p.m. at Xfinity Live! Philadelphia (1100 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, www.xfinitylive.com).

The event, which is also billed as “The Great Philadelphia Winter Craft Beer Festival,” will feature a number of beer gardens — six spectacular areas with more than 150 craft beers from 75 breweries available for unlimited sampling.

The beer selection will range from winter warm-up lagers to porters and stouts.

Other attractions at the fourth annual staging of the event include live DJs, a variety of local bands onstage, fun-filled contests in Victory Beer Hall, outdoor fire pits, games, activities, prizes and giveaways. Tickets, which are $45 ($20 for designated drivers), include a souvenir beer stein, and access to the official after party. Free parking will be available in lots S and T starting at 1 pm. Lots S and T are on Pattison Ave near Citizens Bank Park across from XFINITY Live! 

The 2017 Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival (Various locations around New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey, 215-862-5067, www.Winterfestival.net) is moving into its final weekend and will run through January 29 in the two towns which straddle the Delaware River in Upper Bucks County — New Hope in Pennsylvania and Lambertville in New Jersey.

The festival’s organizers list two main goals — to provide a healthy cold-weather experience in their river town communities and to demonstrate that their diverse communities are alive and well in the winter.

The list of ticketed events includes Concert & VIP reception at Odette’s on January 27, Karaoke Night on January 28 at the Eagle Fire Company, and Chili Cook-off on January 29 at the Triumph Brewing Company.

Artists will be presenting live sculpting demonstrations at three locations — Lambertville Station (11 Bridge Street, Lambertville) at 11 a.m. on January 28, HG Giuseppe’s Pizza Restaurant (6510 Lower York Road, New Hope) on January 28 at 2 p.m. and Triumph Brewing Company (400 Union Square Drive, New Hope) at 1 p.m. on January 29.

The Chinese (or Lunar) New Year has arrived. The Chinese zodiac is a rotating cycle of 12 years in which each year is represented by a specific animal and its characteristics — rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

2017 is the “Year of the Rooster” according to Chinese zodiac. Occupying the 10th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Rooster symbolizes such character traits as confidence, pompousness and motivation. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are loyal, trustworthy individuals who are blunt when it comes to offering their opinions.

On January 27, the International House (3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-387-5125, ihousephilly.org) is hosting its Year of the Rooster celebration. The event will include a tasting of delicious Chinese cuisine followed by a live show in the Ibrahim Theater featuring traditional Chinese music, dance and martial arts performances.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., are $15 for adults and $8 for children (12 and under).

On January 27, Philadelphia’s Chinatown (10th and Race streets, http://chinatown-pcdc.org) will have a Chinese New Year’s Eve party featuring fireworks, a midnight parade and the Philadelphia Suns performing Lion Dances in the streets. The event will get underway at 11 p.m.

As an added attraction, there will be a Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade with all the same attractions at the same location on January 29 at 11 a.m.

There will also be a Lunar New Year at the Independence Seaport Museum (211 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, http://www.phillyseaport.org) on January 28 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

There will be full slate of fun activities based on the New Year customs of Asian cultures including making Chinese lanterns, building a Japanese Luck Cat, playing a traditional Korean board game, designing a Vietnamese dragon mask and calligraphy.

Visitors will be able to test their martial arts moves with demonstrations by Zhang Sah Martial Arts at 11 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. Additionally, JNA Institute of Culinary Arts will be providing tasty food samples.

Tickets for the event are $16 for adults and $12 for children.

Another culinary attraction is the Center City District Restaurant Week (http://www.centercityphila.org/life/RestaurantWeek.php) which runs from January 27 through February 3.

More than 120 restaurants in Rittenhouse, Midtown Village and Old City will be participating in this year’s event with discounted three-course meals during lunch and/or dinner. Lunchtime offerings cost $20 and dinner meals will cost $35. These prices do not include alcoholic beverages, tax or gratuity.

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