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New ‘Roots’ exhibit at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville explores cultural perspectives

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STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN 
bbingaman@thereporteronline.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

Among the 25 education and recreational businesses in the re-purposed silk/carpet mill building at 400 Franklin Ave., Phoenixville, is The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons.
When the calendar flips to August, it’ll be time to get some fresh perspective on place, diversity, language and more as the gallery unveils the culturally-inspired exhibition “Roots.”
“There’s certainly some deep conversation pieces here,” said the gallery’s art curator, Katie Naber, adding that “Roots” was sparked by her travel experiences. “The world is more diverse than you think. We encourage people to explore outside their norm.”

"Transformations" by Kate Saurman is part of the "Roots" exhibit. Photo by Kate Saurman

“Transformations” by Kate Saurman is part of the “Roots” exhibit.
Photo by Kate Saurman

Some artists, like painter Mary Kane, will show you the farmhouse they grew up in; while others, like Kate Saurman, want to draw attention to people in distress in different areas, impacted by prostitution or poverty.
“Roots” runs through Sept. 10 and is free to attend.

The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons is shown. Submitted photo

The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons is shown during a previews exhibition.
Submitted photo

On opening day, Aug. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. Jill Skaist — who has a piece in the exhibit titled “Still Life: Sri Lanka, or Civil War” — will discuss the cultural forces that inform her work. Other opening day guests will be jewelry artist Susan Heaver and live music by violinist Valerie Vuolo.
Upcoming free programming at The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons to encourage education and conversation of the arts includes the first of a monthly series of peer Art Critiques for emerging and professional artists at 7 p.m. Aug. 10. “Family Art Night!” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 14 features art activities and a scavenger hunt in the gallery. A clothed model will walk around the gallery and pose for Open Figure Drawing sessions starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 17. This is also intended to be a monthly event, and a donation is requested to support the model.
The entrance to The Art Gallery is accessible from the Main Lot of Franklin Commons off of Franklin Street.
For more on Franklin Commons, go to www.franklincommons.net and check out www.facebook.com/TheArtGalleryatFranklinCommons.

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