West Chester artist’s craving to see faces through the pandemic evokes ‘Faces within the Neighborhood’ – Every day Native


WEST CHESTER — For native artist Susan Curtin, the pandemic has turn out to be an eye-opening expertise.

Curtin’s stated her world was “upended like everyone else’s.” Whereas most wore masks, the artist missed seeing faces on her common walks across the borough.

Curtin’s craving led to a 145-piece assortment of pencil drawings now exhibited on the Church Avenue Gallery at 12 S. Church St. in West Chester.

A patron of the arts checks out the art of Susan Curtin at Church Street Gallery in West Chester. (BILL RETTEW-MEDIANEWS GROUP)
A patron of the humanities checks out the artwork of Susan Curtin at Church Avenue Gallery in West Chester.(BILL RETTEW / MEDIANEWS GROUP)

Curtin requested neighbors to drag down their masks for an prompt so she may snap a photograph. She then created 9 by 12 inch pencil portraits at house on her easel, every throughout a 3 day time interval.

“I began noticing kids’s birthday events and drive-bys with thrown presents,” Curtin stated, throughout a cellphone interview. “It made me so unhappy.

“The children had been insulated. I wished to make a distinction — possibly draw portraits of the youngsters.”

She quickly moved on to painting neighboring adults. She named her creations “Faces within the Neighborhood,” which then turned “Faces of West Chester.”

The 70-year outdated artist bought to know her neighbors.

“I didn’t actually know these individuals earlier than the pandemic,” she stated. “Throughout the pandemic, and as soon as I began drawing, I developed a deeper relationship and so they turned human beings to me.”

Some who posed stated that Curtin, who has taught artwork for 35 years, went into extra element than required and typically confirmed too many wrinkles, whereas others had been happy along with her work.

When Curtin, who has additionally labored with pastels, oils and sculpture posted her new portraits on Fb, as a part of a ten day problem, the response was very optimistic.

So how did Curtin change?

“I came upon extra about how I understand individuals — it was a transformational factor,” she stated. “And I bought to know my neighbors.

“I recognize dwelling on this space. This can be a very particular place. The small interactions that we have now day-after-day, even when they’re individuals we don’t know effectively, are essential. To have these interactions makes you are feeling part of the neighborhood.”

When Carol Giblin and her husband John Suplee, at Church Avenue Gallery, noticed the drawings, they wished to exhibit the work.

“I really feel like COVID performed a particular function in these portraits,”Suplee stated. “The apply of photo-based portraiture is quite common and these drawings had been made out of necessity in that style.

“The extraordinary factor about them is that Susan has given them an unbelievable dose of humanity. They’ve a soul–presumably as a result of we had been feeling so separated on the time.”

The exhibit runs by July 9. For extra info, go to www.churchstreetgallerywc.com.

For the exhibit, the gallery will probably be open from midday to 4 p.m., every day, aside from Sunday when it’s closed, and from 11 a.m. to five p.m. on Saturday. For First Friday festivities on July 1, the gallery will probably be open from midday to 7 p.m.



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