Thank you to everyone who attended Art Show 2017! If you would still like to support our show, you can still purchase artwork from any of our participating artists and benefit Malvern Retreat House. Until the beginning of March, 35% of the sales amount of any art purchase from these artists will benefit our retreat center if you mention you heard about the artist through our show.
Art Show 2017
Wednesday, February 1 – Sunday, February 5, 2017
Show Hours – Wednesday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Complimentary Wine & Cheese Reception – Thursday, February 2 5pm-8pm
This year we are offering gallery talks with two special focus artists:
John Suplee Wednesday at 2 pm
Rachel Romano Saturday at 2 pm
Every day there also will be artists available to talk about their work or have a chat about art.
Dozens of miles separate the homes and workplaces of various well-known artists, who will participate in the Malvern Retreat House Art Show this February 1-5. The show organizers cast a wider geographic net this year to attract not only some of the best artists in Chester County and nearby suburban counties, but also a large variety of artists from Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware and the rural towns of Pennsylvania.
More than 80 of these artists will participate in the general show that will include art forms ranging from paintings to jewelry to sculpture. The remaining artists, including a number from Philadelphia, will participate in a special exhibit that is included each year in the show. This year’s focus will be figurative art with a particular emphasis on the human body or body-like forms. Longtime art show volunteer Susan Thompson says she is very excited about this year’s focus.
“The caliber of artists participating in our show is always high and the feature exhibit certainly matches that expectation,” Thompson said. “I’ve been involved in art shows for more than 30 years, so I know high quality work when I see it.”
Among the figurative artists from Philadelphia are Leah MacDonald and her exceptionally talented teenage son Rory MacDonald. Rory makes metal figurative robots, using welding skills he learned from his father. His mother creates very different art pieces. Leah takes photographs of women and embellishes them with beeswax, colored wax, painting and drawing. Some of her most compelling pieces were made after she had a serious motorcycle accident and decided to work with models who had also experienced physical trauma or injury.
“I wanted to help women dealing with physical problems to feel beautiful and heal,” MacDonald said.
Her exhibit of this work inspired other local artists, who collaborated to create a musical called “In My Body.” The project turned out to be so successful that at one point it attracted the attention of Hamilton star Javier Munoz, who participated in a developmental workshop for the show and highly endorsed it.
MacDonald is not alone in this kind of success. Figurative artist Liz Goldberg, who will also participate in the Malvern show, reached new milestones when she took her work in different directions. She teamed up with Temple University film professor Warren Bass to create eight films featuring her work. In 2003, one of their films won the British Animation Award. Goldberg says she created about 3000 images for each film, which are then edited together for the final production.
“I start drawing and the characters come to life,” Goldberg said. “Each one has a name and full personality, and the movement on the film is based on a Latin dance component.”
Goldberg will bring one of her films to the Malvern Art Show, and she will also bring paintings featuring the characters in the film. In the same exhibit room, Joshua Ruggeri’s work, which also has been utilized in video productions, will be on display. Before he became a full-time artist, Ruggeri worked for an Ebay office that did photography and videography work. In the office, his paintings were exhibited on the walls. Some clients began requesting the use of his paintings in their commercial shoots. One of the clients, the Aeropostale Apparel Company, even asked if their teenage model could pretend to paint one of Ruggeri’s pieces during their commercial.
These kind of moments led Ruggeri to become a full-time artist. He promotes his neo-pop art primarily through social media, but he says both he and artist Mark Fleming, who shares a studio with Ruggeri, are looking forward to the Malvern Retreat House Show. He says he was impressed by the professionalism of the volunteers organizing the show.
“I was really excited that they were picking pieces that were fresh and were at the top of my mind at the time,” Ruggeri said. “I’m also really excited that our work will offer something different than what you may see at other art shows.”
Overall, more than 2000 art pieces will be for sale during the show. The event will be held February 1-5 in the McShain-Horstmann Family Life Center at 315 S. Warren Avenue in Malvern. The show hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 10am-7pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm. A complimentary wine & cheese reception will be held Thursday, February 2 from 5pm-8pm. For more information, please visit malvernretreat.com/artshow.