Art

Top-left: Song of the River by Younghee Choi Martin, Oil on linen, 26" x 26", 2014. Top-right: Self Portrait 2 by Kouta Sasai, Oil pastel on Arches paper, 12.2” x 9.5", 2019. Bottom-left: Green Apple and frame by Robert M. Kulicke, Oil on canvas on masonite, 4 1/2" x 5", 1995. Bottom-right: Still Life Painting after Bonnard by Mayumi Sarai, Wood, 10″ x 9″ x 3″, 2010

 

WRIGHTSTOWN >> Art at Kings Oaks, an artist-led art exhibition on an historic Bucks County farm near Newtown, will return for a 7th year October 4 to 20. The curation includes paintings, drawings, prints, collage, ceramics, and sculpture by 28 artists from across the U.S., the U.K., and Japan, presented in an historic barn and chapel.

Newtown painter Alex Cohen and Alaskan theatre artist Clara Weishahn present Art at Kings Oaks in an 1839 barn and stone chapel on the grounds of their home, Kings Oaks. Cohen and Weishahn immerse themselves in artwork from American and international artists throughout the year and each summer they redirect energy from their individual careers into the five-month collaborative process of producing the exhibition. In preparation, the walls of their carriage house are papered with images, maps, calendars, and checklists. When possible they visit the artists in their studios and homes, this year selecting over 200 pieces from the 28 participants.

While there isn’t a unifying theme for Art at Kings Oaks, Cohen and Weishahn are drawn to work that conveys the artist’s hand and a deep connection to craft. The couple also has to envision how the artwork will resonate with their non-traditional spaces.

“We’re fortunate to have this historic architecture to dialogue with and the result is much more powerful than we can ever anticipate at the outset,” says Cohen. Within the barn there are 20-foot-high stone walls and intimate wooden partitions, while the arched doorways and leaded windows of the chapel propose tranquility and balance. Weishahn and Cohen curate Art at Kings Oaks as a painter might approach a canvas or a director might shape a stage play, intuitively bringing all the elements together, with a personal and intimate focus.

Presenting an intergenerational group of artists is a core element of Art at Kings Oaks, with work from advanced-career artists like Lois Dodd (b. 1927) whose observational landscapes bring a clarity of expression honed throughout her celebrated 70-year career, to rising star SaraNoa Mark (b. 1991) whose carved clay paper sculptures suggest an interpretive engagement with antiquities. Other highlights include the luscious oil paintings of New Yorker Younghee Choi Martin, transporting the viewer into a dream of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, while Leroy Johnson’s mixed-media collages explore the past and present landscape of inner city Philadelphia. Decorative scagliola - imitation marble - friezes and sculptures by Kathleen Vissar, co-founder of Philadelphia’s Wells Vissar, will be installed in the chapel. Work by New York City painter and master frame-maker Robert M. Kulicke (1924-2007) will be displayed alongside work by his widow, painter and master frame-maker Pam Sheehan. International artists include Londoner Naomi Grant and Kouta Sasai from Japan, both sending arresting self-portraits.

While they grew up in vastly different regions, Cohen in Bucks County and Weishahn on a remote family farm in Southeast Alaska, their developmental years were equally infused with creative energy. “Alaskans are some of the most creative people I know,” says Weishahn. “They carve out an existence in remote and challenging landscapes, finding unique and often hand-crafted solutions to daily life challenges. Alex and I share an ever-expanding perspective on how creative expression can support and transform communities.”

Exhibiting Artists: Younghee Choi Martin, Alex Cohen, Lois Dodd, Mike Dowley, David Fertig, Dorothy Frey, Naomi Grant, Nancy Gruskin, Eric Holzman, Leroy Johnson, Deborah Kahn, James Kao, Benjamin King, Robert M. Kulicke, David MacDonald, Elizabeth MacDonald, SaraNoa Mark, Ruth Miller, Melvin Nesbitt Jr., Sarah Norsworthy, Drew Panckeri, E.M. Saniga, Mayumi Sarai, Kouta Sasai, Pam Sheehan, Laura Vahlberg, Wells Vissar, and Scott Wheelock.

Opening Reception: 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 4; Closing Reception, 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 20. Open 12 to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; 12 to 8 p.m. on Friday; and by appointment. Closed Tuesday. Kings Oaks is located at 756 Worthington Mill Road, Newtown (Wrightstown) 18940. Free admission, onsite parking, and the artwork is for sale. Call 215-603-6573 for more information.

Art at Kings Oaks reimagines an historic stone chapel and barn near Newtown as unique settings to commune with artwork. Now in its 7th year, the invitational exhibition features 28 local, national, and international artists. For more information visit www.kingsoaksart.com, call 215-603-6573, or write kingsoaks@comcast.net. Follow @kingsoaksart on Facebook, @artatkingsoaks on Instagram.

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