Art News and Notes The Gallery at 122 Main will continue to show new works from artists based at the gallery. This August, gallery co-owners Ki Crittenden, Paula Graham and Carol Mangano will share what they’ve been working on. The three will host an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday with Agros olive and olive oil tastings, and wine tastings from Chesapeake City’s Chateau Bu-De. Anyone who has taken a painting class with Mangano might want to stop by. During recent workshops with the longtime fine arts painter, Mangano created alongside her students. She said it inspired her as well as helped students grasp what she’s teaching. “I’m working on my painting as I’m giving direction. They take a look at my work and I take a look at their work,” Mangano explained. Her finished products, some of which feature peaches and zinnias from the Elkton Farmers Market, are now on display. A painter and creativity coach, Graham brings a series of six new charcoal works to the gallery. Graham created the abstract series “Radiance” outdoors by splattering charcoal powder and water on watercolor paper. The experiment, which Graham called “a radical departure” from her usual cheery floral watercolors, is now framed and ready for viewing. “I wanted to invite people to see or to reflect on the light in the dark times in life,” Graham said, adding she hopes to spark conversation based on what people find hidden in the works. Crittenden, known for her functional and ornate ceramics inspired by nature, will refresh her shelves this month. In July, she was one of 100 artisans in the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Now she will bring ceramics from that show to the gallery. Gallery 122 is located at 122 E. Main St. in Elkton and can also be found on Facebook. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery is also open the first Friday of each month for a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m.
ELKTON — This month, history and innovation will blend at The Palette & The Page.
Both artists balance new and old in their works. Chen, a graphic designer by trade, delves into the more traditional field of oil painting, while Valuck, who got her start restoring historic windows, hopes to introduce stained glass to a new generation.
“I haven’t always been as interested in art as I am now,” explained Chen, adding she worked in the business world for several years.
Working with ad agencies piqued her interest in graphic design, so she went back to school to study visual communications at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. The led her to launch her graphic design company, Chengraphix, 15 years ago. A few years later, she tried out oil painting when looking for a new creative outlet.
Chen credits her mother, an interior decorator, with exposing her to art as a child. Now a resident of Wilmington, Delaware, Chen, 47, said she grew up visiting local art museums or working on arts and crafts projects with her mother.
Although her painting style is more classical, Chen said she appreciates abstract art and is open to new ideas. She will work out of her home, but maintains a studio at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, where she is surrounded by fellow artists.
Her first show at DCCA was a series of portraits of her ancestors.
“Good art always has a bit of truth in it. You recognize something that you feel and appreciate,” Chen said.
Her nine pieces currently at The Palette & The Page focus on landscapes and cityscapes from as far away as Hong Kong. The piece “Musical Chairs” is from much closer to home. While out for a jog, Chen happened upon the playful scene of a preschool teacher setting up a circle of bright yellow chairs under a tree.
“My God, this moment is too good,” Chen recalled thinking.
Like Chen, it took Valuck some time before she found the right medium.
Valuck graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997 with a degree in jewelry and metals. But when looking for work after graduation, she found a classified ad for an apprenticeship at The Art of Glass in Media, Pennsylvania.
“When you first come in as an apprentice, you’re doing all the dirty work,” Valuck said, adding it took some time before she felt comfortable carrying around panes of glass.
Valuck, now 41, went on to participate in stained glass restoration projects up and down the East Coast — including at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the Princeton University Chapel — before launching her own studio in Aston, Pennsylvania, in 2014.
Her current job is a mix of restoration and commission. She specializes in detailed glass-painting techniques. Depending on size and complexity, a piece can take anywhere from a month to three months to complete.
The largest project for Valuck since opening the studio is an ongoing one. Once scheduled for demolition, the former St. Peter’s Church of Christ in West Philadelphia is now being restored and converted into a preschool. So far, Valuck has rebuilt 12 of the windows, salvaging as much of the original glass as possible. There are approximately 50 more windows in the church, but due to damage, not all will be saved.
For Valuck, working in stained glass represents the best of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, as she is building an object and painting an image, she explained. Her work is influenced by botanical drawings, as well as the art nouveau and arts and crafts movements. Visitors to The Palette & The Page will see a bit of Valuck’s garden in the piece “Cascade Begonias,” one of roughly 20 pieces from her in the show.
“I do a lot of gardening myself. When I grow something in my garden and I really like the look of it, a lot to the time it will end up translated into a piece,” said Valuck, who lives in Media with her husband, a woodworker.
When it comes to updating viewers, Valuck said her biggest challenge is getting people to see stained glass as something that can be enjoyed today. One way she does this is through her rose windows, a simpler take on the large and ornate circular windows found in Gothic cathedrals.
“It’s nice for me to be able to do art shows, show different styles people may not think of otherwise,” she said.
“Free Flowing Static — Applications in Color” will be on display through Aug. 27.