Art Watch: the Delaware County Studio Tour is on

By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

Rev up your engines and sync your google maps ap and prepare to explore the arts from the 51 artists at 19 studio locations showing throughout Delaware County this weekend! Most everyone knows about the Chester County Studio Tour which is now a blockbuster May event every year, but the Delaware County Studio Tour is still getting its sea legs, as it is just in its second year. No better time to check it out!

Also this weekend, is the Oxford Art Association’s annual National Juried Art Show that brought in 350 applicants from around the country and was judged by the brilliant and affable Executive Director of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Tom Padon.  Goggleworks in Reading has their annual Comicon-worthy fantasy illustration show “IX ” which is super cool. This weekend is jam-packed with extraordinary art adventures, and I wish you all the best in making your choices!

Painting by Alan Sofer, one of the artists participating in the Delaware County Studio Tour.

The Delaware County Studio Tour is this weekend, Saturday October 21 from 10am -6pm and Sunday October 22 from 11am – 5pm. The brain-child of artist Jeff Schaller, this studio tour includes 51 local artists who are showing in 19 art studio spaces. To get the map and artist information, go to www.delawarecountystudiotour.com.

This studio tour is only in its second year, so it is much easier to navigate than the Chester County Studio Tour which had over 100 artists scattered over 75 studio spaces…which is, unfortunately, so successful that it is impossible to visit every single studio in one weekend. The Delaware County Studio Tour is absolutely do-able, and a great fun art adventure for the whole family!  So exciting to see artists in the studios where they work, offering displays of artworks that they are proud of, at reasonable prices.

Jeff Schaller writes. “This is the second year for Delaware County and we are very excited to showcase 51 of the best artists from the area. There are 19 studios which can easily be done in a weekend. You can find prepared routes going East to West or West to East in DELCO on our website www.DelawareCountyStudioTour.com. We were also just named one of the 10 Best things to do in DELCO for the month of October!”  I am really loving that they have prepared routes from artist studio to artist studio, depending on the direction from where we are starting. Even with directions from the internet, the site and physical signs marking the studio locations, I always get lost, but it is still such a fun art adventure! If you get lost, take a break at a nearby coffee or lunch locale, and when you get back on your way you are guaranteed to have such a fun art day. Ask the artists questions, look at what inspires them, check out their creative space and buy something local and handmade from an artist that you have just connected with. It just doesn’t get better than this!

If you don’t want to have an art travel adventure, but would like to stick closer to home,  the opening reception for the National Juried Art Show for the Oxford Art Alliance is this Friday, October 20th from  5-8pm.  This show is a big deal in a small town at the outskirts of Chester County, but it drew almost 400 applications from around the country, and was  juried by the renowned Executive Director for the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Thomas Padon.

Every artwork that was selected was chosen with a keen eye towards contemporary art, and was chosen from among many artworks submitted from all over the country to bring on an exhibition that will make any Chester County native very proud. 46 artworks were selected by Thomas Padon, 23 from Pennsylvania and the rest from 10 other states. The opening artist reception party is Friday October 20 from 5-8pm at the Oxford Art Alliance at 38 South Third Street in Oxford and on this Sunday,  October 22, at 1pm, Thomas Padon will award the big winners of the show and explain what criteria he used in judging each entry. Take this opportunity to see art through the eyes of this accomplished expert, meet him and give a rousing cheers to the winners! Great art fun.( Fingers crossed that it might be me, but probably not — but isn’t that the excitement of this sort of thing?!) Bravo to the Oxford Art Alliance for creating such a successful national art venue, and also to Thomas Padon who helped to raise the bar.

Rocket Pop by Teresa Fischer, IX 2017 Show, Goggleworks.

So this weekend, if you are not really in the mood for local art adventures but would rather escape to a Star Trek far beyond, travel to Reading Pennsylvania and check out the annual Comicon-like art expo called IX, that showcases the best of the best in international “Fantasy” illustration at Goggleworks, 201 Washington Street in Reading PA.  Go to their website to get the best information, www.illuxcon.com,  but don’t worry, you can just pay for a one day pass  any day over the weekend, unless you are a die-hard fan and want to get one-on-ones with famous illustrators at special lectures and expositions. I will be there Saturday, paying $25 at the door, and I am high-tailing it to Scott Fischer, my all-time favorite fantasy illustrator in the world, as well as his wife Teresa Fischer and the world-famous BROM, will also be there. Everyone has their secret art passion , and mine is great graphic novel illustration in the form of these illustrious artist giants at Goggleworks this weekend!

In Philadelphia, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists presents Philadelphia Open Studio Tours this Saturday, October 14th for Northwest Philadelphia, and this Sunday for West Philadelphia. For more information about which artists are showing where and when, go to www.philadelphiaopenstudios.org.  There will be open studios, artist demonstrations, receptions, artists talks and more.  This is a great venue to see what is current in today’s art, and meet and chat with today’s artists living and working in Philadelphia.

Get out and support local, international, or national– just remember to support the arts this weekend!

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