Two Intriguing Art Exhibits Open in May

by Diane VanDyke

Montgomery County Community College is hosting the 70th Anniversary Celebration Exhibition of the Greater Norristown Art League (GNAL) from May 14 to June 15 at the College’s Fine Arts Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held Wednesday, June 6, from 5-7 p.m. with awards at 6 p.m. The art juror is Professor of Fine Arts Frank Short, and the show’s sponsor is Rainbow Arts & Crafts of East Norriton.

Both the exhibit and artists’ reception are open to the public and free of charge.

Approximately 60 to 70 pieces of art, representing GNAL’s membership of more than 450 professional and non-professional artists, will be displayed through a diversity of mediums, from watercolors, oils and mixed media to photography and sculpture.

Founded in 1941 and chartered in 1957, the GNAL is a non-profit organization based in the Old Norriton Schoolhouse and is considered one of East Norriton Township’s Historical Resources.

GNAL actively promotes and teaches the arts through a variety of day and evening classes for all ages, workshops in all media, exhibition opportunities, life classes, Saturday classes and summer camps for children.

The Fine Arts Center Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“Early Riser” by GNAL member Susannah Hart Thomer

The College’s West Campus will feature the vivid barn and landscape paintings of artist Sherry McVickar at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High St., Pottstown, from May 21 through June 29.

A special artist reception will be held on Wednesday, June 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. with a gallery talk at 6 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. This show is sponsored by Alice Legge Penza and Roger A. Cairns.

McVickar’s artwork has been described as “oil paintings with a consistent palette-knife style and vigorous color” that express an “American literal style.” Her barn portraits, as she refers to them, have earned her the name of the “Barn Lady of Chester County.”

This prolific artist was born and raised in Chester County and spent part of her childhood living in a renovated barn that was her home. As the daughter of two artists, she learned much from her parents as she grew up and experimented in different media. She then studied at Sarah Lawrence College, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and in Florence, Italy.

After living in California for 30 or so years, McVickar returned to Chester County and was appalled at the continual disappearance of farms and farmland. She started painting barns as a way to preserve the agricultural heritage of the area.

For more information about Sherry McVickar and her artwork, visit

West Campus Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“Barn at Annandale” by Sherry McVickar

For more information about either exhibit, contact Montgomery County Community College Galleries Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or

Help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of The Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s