Mala Galleria

is now

Nanci Hersh
Ho Holoway
Joe Jacobs
Robert Jenkins
David Katz
Milan Kecman
Celeste Kelly
Serge Krupnov
Yvette Lepley
Roberta Little
Lauren Litwa
Portia Mortensen
Susan B. Myers
Olga Nielsen
Roxan O'Brien
Rhoda Kahler
Marie Wolfington-Jones

Following graduation from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia she began her career in the arts as a freelance signpainter.  Since signpainters are practically extinct today, it’s legitimate to assume that she's been at this since well into the last century.

Fortunately for her the tech revolution that has transformed nearly every industry, including graphic arts and signmaking, has allowed her to channel her affinity for paintbrushes and paint in the direction of fine arts.

Her style leans toward traditional realism but her subject matter is definitely contemporary - it’s in the sights and sounds of everyday that she finds her inspiration and, if these paintings are successful, her connection.

With two grown sons and a family pet cemetery, She and her husband have earned our empty nest and plan to enjoy it until the next generation arrives.

Rhoda Kahler is a ceramic artist living in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Her tile work has been featured in magazines, newspapers and on television, including on the Home and Garden Television network (HGTV). Rhoda has also taught classes and workshops at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, at regional art centers and has participated in a wide range of Resident Artist programs, including a Guest Artist Residency at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for their Form and Art Program. For the last 6 years, Rhoda has been Artist in Residence at Inglis House, heading their art program.  Rhoda created the centennial tiles for the Delaware Art Museum in her Alphabet City motif. Working with a select group from the Chester County Art Association, Rhoda’s art has also been spotlighted in several award-winning displays at the Philadelphia Flower Show, receiving the blue ribbon in 2008 and 2011. Drawing from nature, much of her art bends toward the organic, making use of abstraction and collage. There is a tactile intimacy that is translated through the mud between her fingers to her pieces that beg to be touched. Her handmade tile murals appear in public and private collections throughout the Delaware Valley—her most recent murals are located on the Planetarium and new E.O.Bull Center for the Arts at West Chester University. One of these exterior walls spans 85 feet x 15 feet, covered in handmade tile and other shards with a painted background. Other murals include the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry and the Historical Kearsley Building in Philadelphia, among other sites. An occasional adjunct faculty member at West Chester University, she graduated from WCU in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Rhoda exhibits her hand-sculpted tiles and sculpture regularly at fine art galleries while also working on her commissioned tile work. 

Roxan O’Brien is a self-taught bead artist, whose work has been awarded juried status by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, the first ever awarded in the medium of bead embroidery. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in jewelry making, with a background in oil painting, silversmithing, enameling, colored pencil on metal, and chasing and repousse. Her style, elegant with bold use of color and texture, in a most wearable design, makes Roxan one of the leading artists in her field.

Roxan studied jewelry design and metal work at Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pennsylvania. She shares her knowledge and passion for her craft, as the founder of the Central PA Bead and Jewelry Society, a nonprofit organization, with many local jewelry artists, where they can find workshops, classes, and support for their craft. Roxan’s work is represented in fine galleries and at fine art and craft shows throughout the east coast. She teaches jewelry classes in her studio and throughout east coast.

I was born in Russia and attended the Moscow School of Fine Arts, where I studied art history and figure painting and drawing in the classical realistic tradition, with anatomy studies, and drawing and painting from life models. I also studied at the Department of Applied Arts and Design at Moscow Textile Institute and graduated with a BFA in painting, textile design and fashion illustration and design in 1977. Before immigrating to the United States, I spent the summer of 1981 in Italy, studying art at the greatest museums. To be in Rome, to spend days in front of the masterpieces in the Vatican and to study for weeks the works of the Masters was an unforgettable experience. After moving to Philadelphia, I worked for many years in design departments of textile and fashion industry companies. I continued to paint and draw and exhibited at the local art centers and galleries and in 1998 started working full-time as a professional figurative artist. At that time my interest in sculpture grew stronger and I started working in terra cotta. I went back to school at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2005 to study stone sculpture and figure modeling.

Most of my bronze and stone sculptures, paintings and drawings focus on the female figure, because portraying women lets me address my own experiences as a woman, as a mother, lets me reflect on everyday moments of our lives, share their poetry and their timeless universal meaning. Many of my works are in private and public collections, majority of them are small sculptures, pastel figure drawings, and privately commissioned portraits, several sculptures are public works for church and school. I have exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in the Delaware Valley and in the national and international exhibitions and received many awards for my works. I'm an Elected member of National Sculpture Society, and a Signature Status member of the Portrait Society of America. Presently I live and work in Wilmington, Delaware and teach portrait and figure drawing and sculpting at the local art centers and at the Delaware College of Art and Design.

Susan B. Myers was born in New York City, grew up in New Rochelle, New York, and now resides in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, she has studied painting with Rea Redifer, Charles Reid, Caroline Anderson and Eo Omwake and at the Philadelphia College of the Arts. She is a signature member of the Philadelphia Water Color Society, the Chester County Art Association and The Delaware Foundation for the Visual Arts. Myers has had several one-woman shows in regional galleries and has participated in many group shows. Her work has been selected to be shown in numerous significant juried exhibitions and has earned distinctive awards from, among others, The Philadelphia Water Color Society and the Chester County Art Association. Myers’ work has appeared in the Wilmington Trust calendar and she has been the featured Print and Poster artist for the Wilmington Flower Market. Paintings by Myers were used to illustrate the articles” A Watercolor Garden” which appeared in WOMAN’S DAY: WEEKEND GARDENING IDEAS and “Design Your Dream Garden” which appeared in WOMAN’S DAY: GARDEN AND DECK DESIGN. Myers is one of the artists featured in a recently published book, 100 ARTISTS OF THE BRANDYWINE VALLEY and her painting “Blue Poppy” was selected for exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. Myers is also an instructor in the Odyssey Art at Sea Program.

“I would describe my paintings as “notations of balance”. This series of paintings is inspired by three major influences: the canopy of color suspended through the change of season in my adopted home of Pennsylvania; my relationship to the horses I train and learn from every day; and the concept of visual pattern that is found in written language. These influences all converge to determine the feel, movement and content of each piece. Moving from Zimbabwe, Africa, to the East Coast, has opened me up to the generosity of color offered by the seasons. Spring heralds in longed-for warmth and flowering trees, in summer the daylilies shimmer in heat and humidity, fall sees the leaves dazzle in death, and winter purges the canvas with whiteness and brilliant light. This ever-changing suspension of color influences my painting at its core level. My other passion in life, dressage, is about balance, cadence, tempo, and rhythm. All these elements are central themes of my work. A study of the physical balance of two entities becoming one. In riding, and painting, the artist has to work through a set tonal structure and trust her instincts to find her way out of a maze of infinite possibilities. A painting is a living thing, and, like a horse, must be listened to. I often consider a painting finished when I can hear it. The visual pattern found in written language is a concept I am intrigued with. Be it calligraphy, sheet music, a page of Braille, or something as simple as a shopping list. In an abstract sense there is an ebb and flow of characters on the page, a balance and rhythm between positive and negative shapes. In a parallel yet more literal sense, “reading between the lines” there is often more importance in what is left unsaid. And so I ask the viewer, to really look, what is the subject matter, the rocks, circles, squares or the foreground? The illusion of space or dimensionality? The putting on, or the taking off of paint? That which is erased, or that which is evident?” Portia Mortensen was born in Zimbabwe, Africa in 1970 and lived most of her adult life there. The core experience of her life is African. Tertiary education was done in London, United Kingdom. After meeting her husband she moved to California and lived there for 5 years. They recently moved to a small farm in Pennsylvania where Portia paints and trains her horses.

Joanne Mark grew up in Westtown, PA and currently lives near Marsh Creek State Park in Chester County, PA. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Millersville University; it was a natural transition from studying the science of life to painting it. She has studied at Chester Springs Studio, Chester County Art Association, Wayne Art Center and Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. She presently exhibits her paintings at local galleries. She has also shown her paintings at C.C.A.A.; earning her two honorable mentions at the C.C.A.A. Juried Member Show and Brights Show. She also won an award recently at the L.C.A.A. (Lancaster County Art Association) 2016 Spring Member Show. She has exhibited at the 2015 at Yellow Springs Art Show, 2015 Sunset Hill Fine Arts Show (West Chester, PA) and the 2016 Academy of Notre Dame de Namur Show (Villanova, PA). Whether her focus is a traffic sign in the city, an old car in the woods, or storm clouds in the sky, she aims to capture the beauty in everyday scenes. She invites the viewer to appreciate her unique interpretation of life through her use of vivid color and dramatic light and shadow. Her eclectic landscapes and portraits are painted in oil and mixed media.

There’s a conversation between myself and the drawing or brush strokes on the canvas. One mark or color leads you on to the next . Staying open to the process and “listening” to that response, is what makes interesting paintings. I like to create a setting or environment, someplace where you can enter the painting and also be a part of painting.  I’m influenced by local architecture and dream images.  I like to get an eerie feeling to my landscapes.  While there may not be any figures in some of my work, there is always the sense of a presence in the paintings.  I include a concern for the environment and there is an underlying spirituality that is a part of each painting.  Whatever the subject matter is, it becomes my fanciful, lyrical and mysterious world.  There is something magical that happens when painting layer after layer of colors. It becomes a meditative experience. Creating art is to be fully present and alive. Exhibitions include the PA State Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Noyes Museum, Philadelphia Artists Alliance, Center for Emerging Visual Artists, American Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Suzanne Arnold Gallery,  Nexus Gallery, Keystone Art Gallery, PA Arts Experience and Stuart Levy Gallery. Awards include the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant, First Prize for Painting and Museum Purchase Award at PA State Museum and the William Emlen Cresson Traveling Scholarship Award. Residencies include the Margo-Kelb Dune Shack in Cape Cod and La Villa Arrigo in Florence, Italy. Publications include Studio Visit Magazine, The Hunt Magazine, Signature Brandywine Magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Collectors & Visitors are welcome to visit the studio in Wawa, PA

Roberta (Bert) Little graduated with a BS in Art Education from Miami University of Ohio. She resides in Kennett Square, PA. with her husband. Her professional career as an artist/craftsman has spanned forty years. Currently doing art that reflects her sense of humor and playful spirit, Roberta creates whimsical sculptures from found objects. She also explores mixed medium fiber, jewelry, collage, acrylic and encaustic. Roberta’s jewelry designs have earned her Master Craftsmen distinction with the PA Guild of Craftsmen. Little's work has won awards for innovation/excellence and appears in private collections across the nation.

When I was seven and living in Detroit, my mother gave me an old blender (minus the blade) to play.  I sat down with some mud, dug from the yard, and pretended to throw pottery.  And there I sat until the motor died!  I took my first clay class 20 years later. I attended college in Maryland.  I started working as the studio assistant, while I finished my AA degree in Education.  I worked at a local elementary school during the day, the college nights, and made custom pottery and gargoyle wall hangings in the late evening and weekends. I then studied at Tennessee State University where I earned a degree in Studio Art: Concentration in Ceramics.  My main focus was figurative sculpture. I used the potter’s wheel to throw the starting shapes, which I then altered into realistic and abstract human forms. I returned to MD to work at Cecil College.  It was during this time that I met Punxsutawney,PA artist, Bill Lepley.  I have been living in Punxsy with Bill, and now our boys, since 2004. I have a small shop and studio, here on our property and I sell at several small business retailers in PA.  I attend several art/craft shows per year.  Thanks to the internet, I have regular collectors all over the United States, and sales abroad as well.  Most of my work is functional with a sculptural flair.  I sculpt anything from realistic historical figures on face jugs to turning stopper less salt shakers into small animals.  I create work to amuse myself and my customers.  Life can be difficult. I try to lighten load.

At 50 got struck by lightning (or was it?) and as a result suddenly started painting. Doing that ever since exploring the hidden meanings of seemingly mundane things." Born in Vilnius, Lithuania. Lives in Philadelphia.

Celeste Kelly is a mosaic artist who loves to break things up and rearrange them into her own traffic stopping creations. While visiting a friend in Barcelona, Spain, she unexpectedly viewed the work of Antonio Gaudi and was singularly inspired by his art and architecture. Her mosaic birdbaths, benches and garden sculptures are unique and made to enchant and inspire your garden, patio, or deck. They can also adorn the inside of your home. She accepts commissions for all her art work which can be custom designed upon request. The bases of her mosaic art are conjured up to move, flow and sing with the elements inside and out. They are made out of either cement or a combination of cement and fiberglass. These bases are covered with materials such as glass, mirror, and porcelain tile that can withstand both the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Celeste designs and teaches mosaics as a visiting Artist in Residence. Her recent artist/student collaborations can be seen in Hockessin, Delaware, Avon Grove, Pennsylvania, and Haverford, Maryland.

Creates art in a variety of styles. His work conveys a flexible approach that brings a unique conceptual vision to each piece. He has worked in B&W scratchboard with color wash added in both traditional and digital applications. Currently has been painting in acrylics and oils. Drawing from early influences in mythology, folk tales and Aesop’s fables he makes frequent use of allegory and humor in a style perhaps best described as “visual storytelling”.

A BFA graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art has also worked as a graphic designer and art director. Pursued a career in illustration and worked as a freelance illustrator until 1995 when he took a position as an editorial artist with The Cleveland Plain Dealer. No longer with the paper he is currently devoting time to exploring new creative directions. Familiar with photography and the computer as visual tools. He also takes on commissioned work in addition to reproducing some work as limited edition Giclee prints. Has done public art projects and completed a large outdoor mural in the summer of 2010. He is active in the Northern Ohio Illustrators Society having served as vice president for a number of years. In addition to NOIS, he is also a member in various community art groups in northeast Ohio. He has exhibited in local art festivals for several years. Has won a Best of Show in the Hudson Art on the Green 2011, and Honorable Mentions at the 6th and 8th Annual Crocker Park Art Fairs. He has been accepted into juried art shows at the Chagrin Valley Art Center, The Annual May Show at Lakeland Community College, The Shaker Heights Library, the 5th Annual Ohio Online Visual Registry Show in Columbus, and juried shows at the Artists Archives of Western Reserve. He has also exhibited at the Waterloo Artists Exhibition and the Fairmount Art Center for the Arts where he won second place in the painting category in 2015. Accepted at Art Neo “Cleveland Creates” exhibition at the W.78th St. Studios, in addition to being juried into the Mandel JCC-J Show and The Bayarts Exhibition in BayVillage, OH. In 2015 his Head2Head solo exhibit premiered at Bayarts. Since then he has showcased this latest body of work as a traveling exhibit having had it shown at the Cleveland Public Library, five canvases were part of a group show at Cuyahoga Community College entitled “About Face”, The Malvina J. Freedson Gallery in Lakewood Ohio and currently on exhibit at Gallery Plus in Cleveland

Born in 1954 in Haifa Israel, painter David Katz studied at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has two studios.... one in Philadelphia where he does collage-based work and another studio in West Chester where landscapes are painted.

His work is limitless,colorful and musical interpretative art that is collage based.

Each painting is made on my own hand made stretchers. I paint to music and really love the challenge of painting each new collage. I paint with passion. I have a goal. It is that the viewer feel the music and feel the life in each piece. If that happens then I have succeeded.

Robert Jenkins grew up in southern Chester County, the second of three children. The outdoors played a large role in Roberts life, including regular trips to the mountains for hunting and fishing.  During these trips, he would explore the unfamiliar territories searching for things he had never seen before. Robert is a graduate of the Coatesville Area School District where he began his journey with art. Robert’s next step was receiving his BFA from Kutztown University in 2009 and from there he attended Penn State University and complete his MFA in 2012. Since starting his career in art, Robert has showcased his work in numerous exhibitions including Philadelphia Watercolor Society and Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, where he received Best of Show in their 66th Annual Exhibition. Robert is currently residing in West Grove, PA where he teaches private lessons at his studio and continues to cultivate his craft.

Joe Jacobs is a self-taught artist. Over the years, he has done numerous art shows throughout the country. While involved in the art shows, he has won many awards. Frequent subjects of his art are familiar animals with unexpected looks. Joe resides in Dallastown, PA.

Ho Holoway says, "Before separation, before description, before the me-cramp, there was wonder, joy, the circle. My earliest teachers were of the natural world. It spoke of integrity — I listened, became aware of the songs of the earth, and later drew and sculpted their melodies, phrases, and harmonies. This was and is a life-long quest for peace on earth that is available to all if only they would listen. The logs that contain the forms are found: blow-downs give way to create new life. The forms are always within and I simply release them."

Work in public and private collections includes sculpture (welded, wood carvings, plaster/wire) and drawings (pencil, ink -- both brush and pen, and conte). Holoway is a long-time practitioner of meditation, Tai Chi, and Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Passionate about creating community through art, Nanci Hersh has been a professional and teaching artist for over 25 years. Her mixed media, tactile, expressive works are an ongoing narrative of people, places and experiences in her life. Partnering with her cousin and author, Ellen McVicker, Nanci illustrated her personal story and their award winning book, Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer... a helpful, hopeful book for children which is now is its fourth printing and recently released in Spanish. She was awarded a Leeway Art & Change Grant for 2010 in which she partnered with The Garage in Kennett Square, PA for a series of printmaking workshops with Young Moms resulting in a community exhibition of the work they had done. Her work has been exhibited in Japan, Australia, Estonia and throughout the United States including “The Demoiselles Revisited” at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York, “As She Sees It: 8 Artists” at the Pierro Gallery of South Orange, New Jersey, and the 43rd Annual National Print Exhibition at the Hunterdon Museum in New Jersey with her print, Women’s Work, selected for the invitation. Ms. Hersh’s print Birdbath, is included in The Best of Printmaking: An International Collection selected by Lynne Anne and Phyllis McGibbon and published by Rockport Publishers, Inc. 1997. A Jersey Girl with a deep connection to Hawaii from her years lived there, she presently lives with her family in Chester County, PA.

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