Sunday, September 6, 2009

Arden Fair: Margaret's View

The Arden Fair is usually my first Christmas shopping adventure. My friend Carol and I have gone together for years. We arrive at 9 o’clock, walk the fair before the crowds arrive and plan our purchases. Then she has a fruit smoothie and I have two hot dogs. Fortified, we go back with our wallets ready.

We first encountered a revolutionary design of saltshaker – a beautiful ceramic dome, which, when inverted, can be filled with salt. Turn it back over and the shelf inside the dome keeps the salt from falling out until you shake it vigorously. Potter Suzanne Kent says she did not invent this, but her work is beautiful and practical.

But more inventions were present among the jewelers. Ava Leas brought her pins and chain-ges. She uses a simple chain with a ring on either end which she uses to make brooches into chokers. A wonderful way to wear that inherited heavy pin that you love but which would pull your blouse off your shoulder if you pinned it on. Leas creates pins which are layered metal in silvers, golds and bronzes – layered leaves, butterflies with a Jewish CHAI for life. She had many fanciful earrings, too.

Not present, to my chagrin, was Cynthia Marriott who invented the self-locking earring. Each stem is folded back and twisted so it will never fall out of your ear. (How many of us have a collection of single earrings because one fell out!). Will Cynthia show up at the Art on the Green in New Castle?

Also absent was Gwen of Gwen’s Goodies. I usually stock up on her jams for presents. Her rhubarb jam was so good I put down my toast and wrote her a letter right away.

But present, as ever, was George, (pictured above) whose hard work makes everything at Arden work, from directing traffic to saving shows with extra lighting solutions to booking the hottest musicians imagined and to just keeping everyone together. Can’t be done without him.

Suzanne Kent – 610-436-5806
See Ava Leas at
Cynthia Marriott – 610-647-7115
Gwen’s Goodies – 610-872-4041

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Newark Art Loop

Terry Foreman was locking up the door of the Newark Arts Alliance as we strolled up to enjoy our first Newark Art Loop. Apologetic, Foreman offered to reopen just for my friend and me. “The Newark Art Loop is not like the Wilmington Art Loop. The merchants are not hosting an evening like they do in Wilmington,” said Foreman.

Nonetheless, we still found a trove of treasures: At Newark Natural Foods, the delicate gouaches by Barbara Paul Selby had contrasting styles: the full-colored, delicate pastel effect and a gouache of green and blue reminiscent of book illustrations.

At Adria CafĂ©, Yaprak Soysal’s photographs showed his mastery of capturing reflections on water and the detail of enlarged flowers.

Samuel Coppola’s technique of intricately detailed
color and pencil work (see black and white sketch above) is an interesting contrast to his fantasy works, which had less appeal for me than the junk food on display in Cereal Bowl where the works are being shown.

Gecko does a regular exhibit of jewelry for each monthly loop: Lisette Ffolkes’ necklaces of jointed Chinese-style fish on a double necklace are worth seeing. A brief tour of Cucina di Napoli left me hungry to see more of Nancy Williams Woodward’s work in acrylic. Caffe Gelato featured acrylics by
Karin Lang – all scenes of Greece in a Mediterranean blue and white. Striking, but I felt they priced a bit high.

The Newark Arts Alliance will have a reception for the artists in the September show juried by Yolanda Chetwin on September 11 from 6 to 8 p.m.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

ARTY at the Party!

Our fun-loving, party-hopping correspondent, ARTY, is back---this time fresh from the City Theater Company Annual Picnic, held last Saturday at the home of CTC Board Prez, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald.

Arty was thrilled to rub elbows with BOTH long-time CTC actors and supporters as well as new fans & friends. Kerry Kristine McElrone and Jim Burns, CTC Gal and CTC Guy respectively, stopped by, taking time out from work on the upcoming "NOT Just Shakespeare in the Park", a free, three-day outdoor theater collaboration from CTC and the City of Wilmington. Be sure to join them for that event next week---September 8, 9 & 10 in Willingtown Square on Market Street.

CTC Producing Artistic Director Michael Gray was thrilled that there's already buzz on the street for the 09-10 season, launching with "Sweeney Todd" in December. Actor Mary Catherine Kelley, seen most recently as Queen Elizabeth in CTC's "Beard of Avon", arrived with a de-lish cake in hand...amaretto flavor, perhaps? Actor Todd Holtsberry--often seen as the CTC Barker--distributed postcards promoting his performances in "4Play", showing next week at Philly Fringe.

As I polished off my second piece of chicken along with a fabulous potato-and-bean salad from Barb Bullock and James Kassees, I got a sneak-peek at the season marketing materials. Great stuff by Phengo Photography+Design. I'm thinking I can't wait for December....CTC's coming season will deliver an early holiday gift, for sure!

If you, too, cannot wait that long to get your fix of "Delaware's Off-Broadway", look for info on CTC's annual "relive the retro" adult party & fundrasier, PROM NIGHT!, coming October 24.


Got a party you'd like ARTY to attend? Send us an email at