STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For Digital First Media
The winter world outside is gray (sky), brown (grass and trees), and possibly white (snow!). The world inside Malvern’s JAM Gallery is bright and colorful, though, due to its Winter Exhibition.
The display features contemporary paintings and sculpture of 14 artists, mostly from the Philadelphia region. Some of the exhibited artists: Linda Guenste, Rhoda Kahler, Madeleine Kelly, Rose Manteghian, Doug Mott, and Stan Smokler.
Owner and resident artist Melanie Fisher displays some of her work, too. One, called “Little Dreamers,” is a stylized painting with a lot of pattern work. It features a tiger and two kittens.
“The kittens are on their backs, asleep, and dreaming of being tigers,” she said. “My works are whimsical, cheerful and colorful.”
She also frequently uses patterns which harkens back to her first job out of art school — she was a wallpaper designer.
She thinks the reason her works are cheerful is because of her process.
“It’s soothing and relaxing and I feel happy when I am painting,” she said. “I think it’s a reflection of my feelings. My favorite time of the day is in the evenings in my studio. That comes through.”
Fisher thinks that people will enjoy the variety in the show.
“There are many colorful large works, some really intriguing abstract black and white works, three-dimensional works,” she said. “Everyone can become engaged by something here.”
And on the second Saturday of the exhibit (Feb. 14), people can meet some of the artists whose work is displayed, including Lynnette Shelley. She’s the marketing director and a resident artist at the gallery.
Shelley, of Ambler, specializes in stylized images that incorporate archetypes, patterns, and symbols, and animal art work. She’s also interested in folk tales and world cultures.
She has eight pieces displayed in the show, including “Crimson Dragon.” That piece is a merge of Asian and Celtic art, she said, and features vibrant reds. The Celtic influence is inspired by her Irish mother. And she’s inspired by the fluid brushstrokes of Japanese art.
She’s inspired by art from all over the world, though.
“Whenever I can, I like to go to museums to get inspiration,” she said.
She’s inspired by the artists that exhibit in the gallery, too.
“Each show is so different,” she said, “but there’s cohesiveness in the quality of the work.”
Shelley will be at the second Saturday event and likes meeting the public, discussing her works and those of others. A lot of the featured artists are from Chester County and Shelley thinks it’s important to support local talent. People who view — and buy — works from the gallery see or get something unique and handmade, but it’s more than that.
“You’re supporting a local business and local art. You’re supporting the community,” she said. “It’s important to keep art and the local community alive.”
IF YOU GO
What: JAM Gallery Winter Exhibition
Where: JAM Gallery, 321 East King St., Malvern.
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, through Feb. 28. Second Saturday reception 5-8 p.m. Feb. 14.
Info.: Call (484) 328-3509 or visit www.jamgallerymalvern.com.