Art of Caring Fest today in West Chester


“Sumo Barnacle Sculpture” by Meghan Bergman.

WEST CHESTER — The Hickman Art of Caring Festival, happening today from 10 am to 4 pm today at 400 North Walnut Street, is featuring displays and work for sale by more than two dozen local and regional artists from a variety of disciplines. We spoke with three of the participating artists: Meghan Bergman, Erica Brown and Corey Johnson.

Meghan Bergman works in ceramics and teaches kindergarten through fifth grade at Greenwood Elementary School in the Kennett Consolidated School District. She says that teaching is “a challenging but rewarding career to harvest the energy and creativity of students into engaging art lessons.” Meghan added that she appreciates the innocent outside of the box perspective her students bring to the classroom. When asked what advice she would give to others considering pursuing their passion in the arts, she said, “As a young artist you have your whole career ahead of you, which is a very exciting time. As you mature as an artist, make sure to invest in your network and connect with other artists. The art community is fantastic and can provide you with support, some fresh ideas, and, most importantly, critiques of your work to make it that much better.  Never stop experimenting and pushing your work further.”


Painting titled “Verity” by Erica Brown.

Erica Brown, a painter, lives in West Chester and has been working as a professional artist for more than ten years. “Painting and drawing have always come more naturally to me, even as a child,” she said. “While I have tried many other mediums and have great respect for them, my creative process just doesn’t flow through them in the same way.”  Erica’s advice for aspiring artists involves a mix of passion and practicality. ”It can be really hard,” she said, “to pour your heart into creating your art and then also have it be your business can be difficult. One’s integrity as an artist should be of utmost importance; stay true to your own creativity and at the same time have good business practices.”


Bowl by Corey Johnson.

Corey Johnson is a potter from State College, and a recent graduate of West Chester University. He believes that handmade pots hold a great deal of significance because of the time and dedication it takes to make and design them. “When using handmade pots, there is a connection between the maker and the user,” he said. “I consider what shapes of a mug or cup would be most inviting to use and how I can make a handle more comfortable but still elegant.” Earlier this year, Corey took a trip to Nicaragua with the Potters for Peace Brigade. The experience “changed my life,” he said. “The journey took me out of my comfort zone and opened me up to new ways of thinking, working, and living. I wanted to go on this expedition to experience ceramic water filtration facilities, learn different methods of making from indigenous Nicaraguan ceramic artists, and discover alternative ways of firing and processing clay.” As for his advice for burgeoning artists, Corey recommends being persistent. “If you want to do what you love, it’s going to take hard work, time, and dedication,” he said. “You have to be committed to your craft and wear many hats in order to be successful.”

In addition to these three and many other featured artists at The Hickman Art of Caring Festival, there will be live music and a variety of interactive children’s activities. If you are driving to the Festival, please note that North Walnut Street will be closed off to traffic between East Biddle Street and East Lafayette Street for the event, but there is street parking available in the immediate surrounding area.

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