Whether you’re artist or simply an art appreciator, you’ll love the atmosphere surrounding the Chester County Art Association tonight from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Featuring the John L. Hall Sr., Marion D. Hall, and Bonnie L. Hall Collection, the Hall family made it a trend among themselves to collect as many stunning canvases as they could throughout their lives. I spoke with Angie Meanix, the communications director, and she informed me that the collection will work as a preview for the auction, which will be held on October 28th at 5pm, which will feature the work of Andrew Wyeth, Barclay Rubincam, and Phil Jamison. Phil, along with his good friends John Suplee and Carol Giblin, talked this evening about the collection. I spoke with Wendy Kershner, executive director, about her hopes for what this collection will bring to the CCAA.
“October is fundraiser month,” she said. “And the Hall Collection is a bonus fundraiser. We have one special exhibit and various lectures throughout the month. Part of the funds will support the operations here, as well as the local artists.”
But what is it that Wendy is most excited about?
“It gives everyone inspiration,” she said. “I’m very impressed by what the artists do. Some artists create new work especially to be exhibited here.”
Phil told me why the John L. Hall Sr. Collection means so much to him.
“I was a good friend of John’s. We were West Chester people,” he said. “I prefer painting watercolors of Chester County and areas of Maine. Why do I paint in this area? I was born here and I love it!”
Phil attended the University of Arts in Philadelphia, where he also returned to teach art for a time. He began collecting art work with John L. Hall 45 years ago and had his own work featured in a gallery in New York for 25 years, an accomplishment that he seemed extremely proud of. But no matter his own personal feats, the main focus of tonight was to remember John L. Hall, a local artist who passed away in 2010, as well as his family, all remembered by the John Suplee, Phil, and Carol, and cherished by everyone in attendance.
Phil and John explained that there was a fire a few years ago in the late John Hall’s home after the artist had passed away that claimed the life of his daughter, Bonnie.
“It was so tragic,” Phil said. “Bonnie’s life was music. I thought she would have made it on Broadway if she had the chance. And every painting in that house was in terrible shape after the fire at had to be restored in New York.”
Wendy provided more information on Bonnie.
“She shared her father’s passion for the art,” she said. “She was a fantastic musician, as well as a singer.”
John Suplee added a profound and powerful statement.
“The idea of art has changed a great deal,” he said. “And what unifies the art in this room is that the artists, including Phil, create their art in relation to their personal experiences. Elements like who they are and what they care about. Your humanity doesn’t get in the way of your art.”