Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Painting Studio and Gallery in New Hope, PA

Le Kaloidis is an excellent abstract oil painter who recently opened a studio and gallery at 43 Bridge Street, in the back portion of the New Hope Arts Center building overlooking the Delaware Canal.

But what's particularly interesting and refreshing is that one can barely get the man to talk about himself; instead he'll shift the conversation to how great the Arts Center's sculpture show is and how much he loves watching the wildlife in the nearly-dry canal. He didn't even mention that his work on paper is on display in the PNC Branch on N. Main Street in New Hope through the end of June.

It also takes a certain amount of chutzpah to be try to make and sell abstract art in a town better known for mixed media paintings of barns and black and white photos of local canal bridges in the fog. But the art he creates has a certain coherence, vibrancy and movement, and when you visit Lee he's clearly more interested in sharing ideas, good company, and promoting art in New Hope rather than selling you a painting.

And if New Hope continues to add working artist studio spaces at reasonable rates around the Art Center nucleus and beyond, then the town will solidify its reputation as a regional art powerhouse. "Art towns" are gauged, after all, not only by the presence of galleries, but on the number of artists living and producing quality work within their boundaries.

One wonders if the owner of the abandoned Zadar's building occupying much of New Hope's prime waterfront would consider the tax advantages of providing low-cost studio spaces for artists there; it would also go a long way to generating goodwill among the town's residents and leadership.

Meanwhile, you might want to check out Lee's place at 43 Bridge. He's an interesting guy and he's got good art. :-)

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