Art Watch: an ‘Insatiable eye’ for art

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

This weekend, “The Insatiable Eye” opens at Church Street Gallery and also check out “Operation” which is on view through July 28th at the Art Trust at the Meridian Bank. The first ever Montgomery County Studio tour is also this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, and next week David Katz opens in Coatesville and Galer Estate Winery hosts the big art/jazz event for The Oxford Arts Alliance.

The opening reception for artist Serge Krupnov’s “Insatiable Eye” is this Friday June 9th from 5-9pm at Church Street Gallery, 12 South Church Street in West Chester. The gallery is full of 30-40 oil paintings on cradled wood board, ranging in subject matter from florals, to landscapes, nudes and details from nature.

John Suplee and Serge Krupnov at Church Street Gallery.

Essentially there is no theme, except the artist’s “insatiable eye” in painting whatever moves and inspires him.

Serge says that his paintings all focus on one thing, he explains, “like Don Giovanni who loves many many women for a short amount of time (and does not return to them!).. but the feeling is very genuine at the time.”

Now picture that being said by a very good looking artist with a European accent, and suddenly the fruit, flowers and shells are slightly sexier looking. My favorite painting is a large canvas with two Magnolia leaves. Serge said that every Sunday he takes a long walk through his neighboring Philadelphia park and in the Fall these enormous Magnolia leaves tumble to the ground in an extraordinary event; so he decided to take two leaves home and paint them.

After moving to Philadelphia from Lithuania 25 years ago, Serge started painting only 5 years ago, and has been showing in galleries ever since. He is self taught and was suddenly drawn to painting, “Something swished in my brain and I cannot stop!” he explained. His paintings are all reasonably priced with smaller works starting around $350. Come to the opening of “Insatiable Eye” this Friday and meet the talented artist and enjoy a feast for the senses in this enjoyable new show at Church Street Gallery.

Inside/Outside by Lorraine Glessner, Montgomery County Studio Tour.

The first ever Montgomery County Studio Tour is here this weekend. Get ready for another whirlwind art adventure from Pottstown to Bala Cynwyd, with 51 artists showing and selling their work at 20 studios peppered throughout Montgomery County. As with the Chester County Studio Tour, you can download the map of the studios or get a map within the catalogue, with which to plan your trip.

County Studio Tour Founder and organizer, Jeff Schaller says that he bought his first house in Montgomery County, and “It feels great to be able to bring something so successful in Chester County to Montgomery County”, adding “there is a lot of art going on in Montgomery County!”

Signs will be posted everywhere to indicate the nearest studios, and you can always go to the website www.countystudiotour.com to find your favorite artists and start your weekend art journey. Montgomery County is quite large, and also has a strong artistic presence, with 4 major arts associations and many galleries. In Pottstown, for example , you will find assemblage sculptor Bob Hakun and visual storyteller Lisa Muller, at their studios. In Rockledge you can visit the Lorraine Glessner art studio and also see the works of Karen Freedman and Brenda Howell. Lorraine Glessner is well known for her beautiful encaustics that are like scrapbooks of lovely images with colors, lines and texture. If art can be described as delicious, Lorraine’s encaustics are exactly that. What fun to travel from one studio to another! Be inspired, buy art, and enjoy a beautiful weekend getting to know Montgomery County!

Coatesville Dawn by David Katz.

Lindsay Brinton, Executive Director of Art Partners Studio in Coatesville, just sent me an announcement of their opening this weekend at the Coatesville Savings Bank for Chester County artist David Katz. The opening reception for “Sky Painter” is Tuesday, June 14th from 5-7pm, where there will be food and refreshments and a chance to chat with the funny, delightful and charismatic artist. The show continues through the end of August. David’s work is well known in this area, and has, for the past few years, concentrated on views of the sky from a higher ground. Generally his canvases only show a glimpse of a rooftop; David says, “In Chester County, all you have to do is look up, and there’s your inspiration right there.” Art Partners Studio is dedicated to embracing and cultivating the arts throughout Coatesville, with community art partnerships, art activities and events that make art a buzz from one end of town to the other. Or more information go to www.artpartnersstudio.org.

Another interesting art event which we will have more about next week, is The Oxford Arts Alliance Garden Party, held at Galer Estate Winery Friday June 16th. This year it is called “Jazz in the Vineyard” as fabulous singer Wendi Grantham and her jazz accompanists will play music, while artists show and sell their artworks throughout the winery, with a portion of the sales going to support the great work of the Oxford Arts Alliance. Following the “Jazz” theme, there will also be many interpretations of Matisse’s famous “Jazz Series” cut outs, in both painting and metal. There will be more information next week in Art Watch, but meanwhile you can get your tickets online at http://www.oxfordart.org/garden-party-tickets.

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