Art Watch: Great new gallery — Malvern’s new place to be!

Editor’s Note: Lele Galer is away this week, prowling the galleries of Prague, and immersing herself in Berlin’s Art Week. In her absence, Laurie Lamont Murray is keeping watch. Laurie is an abstract painter and metal sculptor whose years as an architecturally-trained interior designer are revealed in her work. She serves on the board of DVAL and ARTsisters, and has enjoyed being a substitute art instructor at several area schools. Like Lele, Laurie is continually amazed by the wealth of talent in our region.

By Laurie Lamont Murray, Special to The Times

Andrea Strang (owner of Gallery 222), Laurie Murray (artist and writer here), and Jeanne Marston (DVAL President) on the far right

From left, Andrea Strang, the owner of Gallery 222, Laurie Murray, artist and writer here, and Jeanne Marston, DVAL President.

Art Lovers (you know who you are)… here’s one you won’t want to miss:

The grand opening of Gallery 222 in Malvern this Saturday night. You are invited, so put 222 East King Street, Malvern, Sept 24, 6-10 pm on your calendars!

Thirty eight of the Delaware Valley Art League’s finest artists will be featured in a show that includes oils and acrylics, pastels, watercolors and mixed media. With a membership hovering around 200, DVAL is this region’s preeminent organization of artists. Professionalism is a priority, but DVAL also has several emerging artists, and a few others who are more interested in painting than emerging. It is a great group of people offering many opportunities to show and sell your work, attend great workshops and join in on a host of other activities. (

I talked with owner Andrea Strang about Gallery 222, and was wowed by her level of commitment. She has put a lot of thought into the way 222 should look and feel, and she has also rented studio space to a diverse range of art makers. Most importantly, Andrea’s refreshing vision is a gallery that isn’t pretentious or intimidating. She would like to see people who haven’t had much experience with art or artists be able to relax, linger and learn more about what they like, and why. To that end 222 has been designed with a large comfortable kitchen where visitors and artists can mingle with each other, and a beautiful garden to spend time enjoying art and life.

I wondered whether Andrea is also an artist. Turns out she has taken classes with several people in the area, including Nathan Durnin, who will be the juror for prizes at the DVAL Opening. The award ceremony is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Andrea’s latest love is architectural salvage, so we can look forward to some fun furniture pieces in addition to the monthly shows she has already scheduled for the next year. We are sure to see work by her tenants: Randall Graham, a realist landscape painter and Malvern’s resident muralist, jewelry artist Jessica Turner who was at 222 when it was the Picket Fence, Tom Trio, a photographic artist best known for weddings and landscapes, and Jill Huentelman, who is a stained glass artist. Andrea plans to have Gallery Talks which will offer an entertaining and enlightening overview of artists at work. Gallery 222 has a waiting list for studio space rentals, so the big next project will be renovation of another building on the property.

On your way to Gallery 222, stop by JAM Gallery across the street, where the Fall show is underway. Owner Melanie Fisher promises “magical landscapes and dreamlike imagery to capture the bittersweet beauty of Autumn.” Sounds like a great way to enjoy the weekend!

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