December's First Friday Show
Our Brandywine Roots
featuring works by Mark Dance and Karl Kuerner
Friday, December 1, 2017 6-9pm
Alejandro Lemus, sculpture
Amy Bruckner, mosaics
Mark Dance discovered at an early age that the “Brandywine Tradition” would be an ongoing and ever-present influence. His father, Robert Dance, studied at he Philadelphia Museum College of Art where he thrived under the instruction of early twentieth century illustrator Henry Pitz who authored books on Howard Pyle and the Brandywine School. Today, Robert Dance is regarded as one of America’s premier maritime realists. Father and son work toward portraying two branches of the Brandywine aesthetic. One grounded in the realist manner in which Robert works, and the other rooted in the Pennsylvania Impressionist style that Mark embraces. The lives of Mark and Robert Dance have also been undoubtedly shaped by an artistic heritage that began in the 1700s when Nathaniel and George Dance founded the Royal Academy of Arts.
Karl Kuerner Jr., comes from a family who have tilled and cultivated the rich Brandywine landscape for generations. Karl, studied with Carolyn Wyeth and was also mentored by her husband Andrew. Kuerner is an exceptional painter who has contributed greatly to the tradition of American realism and has been recognized as a major force in American art. The Kuerner legacy in Chadds Ford is renowned not only for his own artistic talents but his family’s deep historical connection to the area. Each painting by Kuerner bears proof to an ageless and abiding Brandywine heritage.
Robert Dionne studied illustration and fine art at The Art Institute of Boston. The epicenter of the Golden Age of Illustration was The Brandywine School of Illustrators. Today’s standard bearer of the tradition, inspired by Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth, is Robert S. Dionne. Not far from the Brandywine River Museum, Dionne now works with spot-on quality and technique of paint application. Every painting sustains and illuminates the strength of our regional past. In addition to fine art, Dionne is also a highly sought after decorative artist and muralist due to his focus and deep appreciation for the 18th Century Brandywine history.
Alejandro Lemus was born in Mexico City. A descendant of an artistic family, he is a third generation sculptor. Alejandro entered his father’s atelier at 11 years old, where he began sculpting and designing marionettes as his father and grandfather had done before him. He also worked as a marionette restorer for The Children’s Theatre Center, and as an an apprentice at the Fundidores Artisticos, a bronze foundry, while attending La Esmeralda School of Fine Arts, majoring in Sculpture. Alejandro came to the US in 1984 to work as a figurative sculptor in New York City and to attend the prestigious Parson’s School of Design.
His reputation as a fine sculptor preceded him, and in a short time he was designing and creating fine dolls and figurative sculptures for a number of leading companies like Lenox, The Franklin Mint, Bradford Exchange to name a few. Since 1985 he has participated in solo and group exhibitions in New York City, Pennsylvania and Mexico City. In 1987 he moved to Chester County, PA where he has his home and studio and lives with his three pups, Violeta, Claire and Lola.
While he still continues sculpting for companies in the collectible market, he is also involved in creating his own work, which is being showcased in local galleries and in Mexico City.
Amy Bruckner is the creative engine driving Piece of Mind Mosaics. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, she began her career as a mosaic artist 12 years ago by taking a weekend workshop with award-winning mosaic mural artist Isaiah Zagar, best known for his brilliantly eclectic Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. Amy has always been involved with one art form or another, from pottery to watercolor painting but creating beautiful, original mosaics is what she loves most and makes her come alive. She works out of her home studio near Downingtown, PA, shows her work in local galleries and juried art shows, and teaches mosaic classes in the area.
In 2012, a mosaic violin she created for the Painted Violin Project fundraiser for the Community Music School in Trappe, PA was on display at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA and was eventually auctioned to raise funds for the music school. That violin was created to represent Copland's "Appalachian Spring". Amy chose dogwoods and redbuds for the violin because they embodied the essence of spring in Virginia where she lived for several years. She fell in love with working on instruments, the challenge of the shapes and curves and how these instruments could be transformed to visual art once their life in musical art was spent.
The instruments are created using the Double indirect method where each glass piece is first individually cut and laid out on clear sticky paper on top of the design. Once the whole mosaic is laid out, it is “sandwiched” between two pieces of sticky paper, flipped over and sticky paper carefully removed from the back. For complex shapes such as instruments, a fiberglass netting is applied to the back of the mosaic and it becomes a single sheet. Thin-set mortar is applied to the instrument surface and the whole mosaic is laid in place. Finally, once the mortar is cured, the mosaic is grouted and polished. The entire process can take between 30 and 40 hours, depending on the intricacy of the design!
Al Moretti is an artistic soul and devoted his life to the arts - spending the majority of his life creating magic with music. The West Chester artist holds Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in Music Performance and Composition from West Chester University. He continues to perform live Jazz programs in the area. In 1990 Al opened Moretti Music Studio, Downingtown where he continues teaching and mentoring teachers. He also serves as a music editor at JWPepper music, Exton. During the past decade, he has turned his artistic focus to painting. Though colorblind he has found a distinct painting style. His approach to painting is driven thru a musical lens. "The language of descriptive expression in music and art are exactly alike; their dynamics and creative processes are the same. Many times, when I’m improvising on my horn I see colors associated with those expressions and sounds." This brightly colored series of Great American Composers pays homage to their great influences in music; each explodes with color and one can hear the music pulsing through the deliberate color choices and bold brushwork.
Portraits of the American composers by Al Morretti are exhibited at Kennett Symphony, just two doors down from Mala Galleria at 206 East State Street. Please inquire about the purchase at Mala Galleria.
On December 1st, Kuerner, Dionne and the Dances come together for the exhibition of the year at Mala Galleria. Each artist has a tall faith and deep roots in a custom of artistic expression which captures the meandering creeks, verdant pastures and rich history of our Brandywine Valley. It is an American style of painting that began here in the nineteenth century and still bears fruit today in “Our Brandywine Roots”.
Available Works by Philip Jamison
24 - 33
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Tuesday - Saturday 11am to 6pm
Other times by appointment
200 East State Street Kennett Square, PA 19348
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