Today I had a meeting with someone at The Buttery in Malvern (one of my favorite places). On my way out of the door, I realized I had not been able to make the opening over the weekend of the brand spanking new gallery that opened on King in Malvern.
And there it was, across the street.
So I crossed King (carefully, today pedestrians in the crosswalks were largely invisible and ignored by drivers – Malvern PD can you do some enforcement?) and cheated on my Malvern favorite, JAM Gallery.
In my own defense, I love local art and I love welcoming galleries even more. And Gallery 222 just beckoned me like an old friend.
I did a Facebook live video that is loaded on this blog’s Facebook page but the audio today on every Facebook live thing I tried was messed up, but it is a very nice virtual tool.
The owner, Andrea, is a friend of a friend. And much like walking into JAM which is across the street and down a piece, it’s a comfortable feeling when you enter. And the art is lovely. I saw several pieces that also like at JAM, are reasonably priced.
Andrea said to me that this is her dream to have a gallery. I totally get that, and her dream is ever so lovely. She will also have artist space above the gallery floor, which to me is so cool. She is creating an artists’ colony right in her building!
Malvern having a presence in the local art scene with galleries and artists in residence is a great idea, and so positive for a small town.
Ironically, I have a friend who shares this vision. My friend Sherry Tillman who owns Past*Present*Future in Ardmore, PA and who is an artist in her own right. She had the vision to create First Friday Main Line to put art in unexpected places. For several years before I moved to Chester County, I did the event PR and photography for First Friday Main Line and loved every minute.
Sherry made me remember why I loved local and regional art. It wasn’t about the price point or if they were a listed artist, it was about liking what you saw. Did it evoke an emotion? Strike a memory chord? That was the thing: you liked a piece for whatever reason. And when the art is affordable, you can take that piece of happiness home and look at it every day.
Looking at art is a wonderful experience. And no, you do not have to like all of it. For example, I might be committing art sacrilege but I do not like Picasso anything. I never saw the genius.
I like landscapes. I love portraits that tell a story. I like my farm animals and my farmhouse scenes. I also like a lot of the work of my parents’ friends who are (and were) artists. Joyce De Guatemala, Harry Niblock, Margery Niblock, Noel Miles.
I don’t know the artists of some of the stuff I have picked up over the years. I just bought whatever because I liked it. It made me happy. I have a watercolor of three girls and a dog that was an early 20th century equivalent of sofa art. I found the piece on a trash pile years ago when a developer was getting ready to tear down what was the Clothier House in Haverford on Buck Lane. I saw it and felt bad for a piece of art tossed like a sack of rotting potatoes on the trash pile. I was walking my dogs when I saw it and walked it across Lancaster Avenue and had it re-framed. It has no real value but I like it.
Local artists have a way of connecting us to where we live in very special ways, so I am happy Malvern is becoming a gallery town at one end. I told Andrea today that 222 and JAM should do a Gallery Night – maybe quarterly as the seasons change. I learned from First Friday Main Line that bringing art to the community is so positive, so why not spread the love further in Malvern?
I wish Gallery 222 in Malvern a long and happy existence! I look forward to their next show and JAM Gallery’s as well. I like the idea of Malvern being an art destination.
Gallery 222. 222 East King Street Malvern Pennsylvania 19355
610.608.6636 | firstname.lastname@example.org