Page 1

Crafting Custom Jewelry Preserving Our Architecture Consulting Home Design Experts WCU Art + Design

issue


2

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

3


MAY 4, 2018

First Friday • 5pm - 9pm (rain or shine) Art shows throughout downtown West Chester. Bring friends and make an evening of it!

www.GreaterWestChester.com

+ 3 0 One-N

ight-Only Art Shows

Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, 137 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19380 | 610.696.4046 | info@gwcc.org

www.GreaterWestChester.com

#WCGalleryWalk

@GreaterWestChester

@GWCC_PA

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

5


6

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


The

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” –Charles Eames

Press PUBLISHER Dan Mathers dan@thewcpress.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Nick Vecchio nick@thewcpress.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Skye McDonald skye@thewcpress.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nazarena Luzzi Castro nazarenaluzzi.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Kate Chadwick kchadwick@thewcpress.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Sabina Sister sabinasister@gmail.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Amy Tucker amytuckerphotography.com

on the

Cover

COLUMNISTS WC Food Co-op wcfoodcoop@thewcpress.com Becca Boyd bboyd@thewcpress.com Jamie Jones jjones@thewcpress.com Andrea Mason amason@thewcpress.com DJ Romeo romeo@thewcpress.com

The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit thewcpress.com. For more information about specific distribution locations, visit thewcpress.com/distribution.

Noting

Our no-nonsense table of contents

11

DESIGN TO SHINE Exploring the craft of custom jewelry

19

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH Realtor Erinn Hazley of the Kit Anstey Real Estate Teams

23

TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE Appreciating the Historic & Architectural Review Board

31 43 47

We appreciate your interest and look forward to earning your business.

Published By... Mathers Productions 12 E Barnard Street West Chester, PA 19382 mathersproductions.com 610-344-3463

THE DESIGNER: WCU grad Nazarena Luzzi Castro has worked with The WC Press since 2013, and her work has graced our cover nearly 30 times. She said of this design, "[The 'issue' font] was strategically chosen to clash with the other illustrations/fonts. I... really want to showcase the use of bold typography. It's supposed to be ironic. Also, a clash of "old" design (against new and modern design), since newspapers back in the day, and many still now, use those fonts."

Worth

Dave's Automotive Repair has served the West Chester, PA area with a commitment to service and value for over 40 years.

EXPERT ADVICE Consulting West Chester's top minds in home design BARTENDER OF THE MONTH Angelica Russert is behind the bar at Side Bar & Restaurant WCU ART + DESIGN These professors and students are the future of design

Our services include: ■

Auto Body & Collision Repair

Full Auto Detailing

PA State & Emissions Inspection

Tune-Ups

Engine Replacement

Oil, Lube & Filter Changes

Full-Service Machine Shop

Brake Service & Repair

Fleet Accounts

Tires & Alignments

Paintless Dent Repair

Belts & Hoses

Exhaust & Mufflers

Windshield Repair and Replacement

Shocks & Struts

Discounted Rental Car Rates

4-Wheel Drive & AWD Diagnostics & Repair

Free Estimates

Same Day Service

Local Shuttle Service

Transmission & Clutch Replacement

Engine Diagnostics

Fuel Injection Service

Visit our website to make an appointment online.

610-696-7153 www.DareAuto.com 301 S. Bolmar Street, West Chester, PA 19382 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday | 8:30-4:00 Saturday

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

7


8

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Letter

from the

Editor

Dan Mathers shares some personal insight about this month’s theme

Some people may call me a pessimist, but I say I’m a realist. The glass is half full if you half filled it—it’s half empty if it started full and you drank some. It’s that simple. But, even I will admit that my shade of realism can trend toward pessimism. If I was a bit more optimistic, I might have ended up as an artist of some sort. As a kid, I was always artistic. I loved painting and Pictionary, Playdough and colored pencils. Opening a fresh 64 pack of Crayola was as good as a holiday, and art-class day was always the best of the elementary week. This passion followed me into my teenage years, electing for art classes through LEEP and Probe, the WCASD gifted programs, sadly scrapped in 2005. My French teacher, Madame Jean Copeland, even had a hand in fostering my artistic growth. Rather than reprimand my inattentiveness, she noticed I was instead focused on sketching in my notebook and gifted me a one-class scholarship at the Moore College of Art & Design. But when Junior year rolled around and I had to think about a career, realism kicked in. “Artists don’t make money,” I told myself. I instead opted to find a middle ground and began applying to collegiate architecture programs. Reading To Protect & Preserve on page 23, I can’t help but envy our featured architects for their passion. It’s enough to make me second-guess the 18-year-old Dan who decided—after touring Penn State’s architecture department—that pursuing that degree would make for five arduous years while my peers enjoyed the time of their lives. I gave up entirely on the idea of art-as-career and elected to become an attorney. But you know I didn’t become an attorney. After three years of political science, my creative side clawed its way back to the surface, and I embarked on an internship at Exit Zero in Cape May, NJ that allowed me to write. After a summer, I was hooked. I worked for Exit Zero when I graduated, selling ads to supplement my intended career as a writer. After about a year of writing food and drink features and also selling ads to pay the bills, my realistic side fixated on the fact that one job made significantly more money, and I chose to focus on business over editorial. It was that decision which led me to where I am today, lucky to run this small company. If I was the publisher at a larger magazine, most of my creative side would be buried. Rather than focus solely on the management aspects here, I spend a few days a month working directly with designers and photographers, exploring imagery and layouts; I edit talented writers. It’s these artistic endeavors from which I derive the most enjoyment. As much as my inner realist pushes down the artist, my creativity always finds a way through. Whether redesigning my master bath (you’d better believe I’m taking cues from Expert Advice on page 31), or editing images for the Photo Hunt, page 53, art has always been integral in my life, and this issue has been an opportunity for me to explore that fact. I hope you find worthwhile influence in these pages, too. —dan@thewcpress.com

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

9


10

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


KAPLAN’S FINE JEWELRY & SUNSET HILL JEWELERS and craft of custom jewelry design STORY KATE CHADWICK

PHOTOS SABINA SISTER APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

11


12

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


W

E HUMANS have been adorning our bodies with jewelry—in one form or another—for tens of thousands of years. Statistics vary on exactly how long, but a 2015 article in the U.K.’s Daily Mail tells us about the discovery, in Croatia, of several eagles’ talons, polished and bearing notches that indicate they were strung together and worn, probably as a necklace. And it pins the creation of this piece as taking place some 130,000 years ago, making the creator—and presumed wearer, whether he kept it for himself or gave it to someone else—a Neanderthal. Clearly, the instinct for wearing decorative adornment, and, possibly, gifting it, has long been engrained in our culture (and even that of our close relatives). After all, the best thing about jewelry is something that hasn’t changed over the millennia: it always fits. Then, as now and through the ages, jewelry represents different things to different people. Whether it’s a symbol of wealth or status, a sentimental and treasured heirloom passed down through a family’s generations, as a means of participating in a fashion or cultural trend, or deliberately bucking against one, jewelry makes a statement. Sometimes that statement is defiance, like a ring through the nose of a teenager whose parents will be less than thrilled. An engagement ring’s statement is “Let’s forsake all others;” and a wedding band (theoretically) says “I’m taken.” A bold, outrageous necklace or bangle conveys confidence or—if that necklace happens to be a studded dog collar—“I’m a nonconformist.” There’s an old expression attributed to Mark Twain: “Clothes make the man; naked people have little or no influence on society.” If clothing is a sentence, jewelry is the punctuation. (Unless one were, in fact, naked, in which case the jewelry would be even more emphatic.)

previous page: Ivan Kaplan hand solders an engagment ring. above: Sandy Riper at work in her High Street storefront.

What began in ancient times with things like feathers, beads, and even bones, eventually evolved into metals and gems, and has continued to evolve. Today it is a multibillion dollar industry worldwide, with China, the United States, and India occupying the top three spots

in the jewelry consumer market. In recent years, mass produced costume jewelry, sold online and in big box stores, has gained a foothold with consumers, with names like Walmart, Zales, and QVC among the top five money makers in the bauble business, generating revenues in the billions of dollars. So where does that leave the small business jeweler with the brick-and-mortar store? Sitting pretty, in point of fact, because here is another, equally import-

ant thing about humans and jewelry, whether buying or wearing: it is personal. Among the other statistics we found while researching this story is that more than 50% of jewelry buyers take into account a store’s reputation, and customer care (as well as other services like repair and cleaning), and a salesperson’s knowledge and honesty. And it’s just such personal contact and customer service that have kept Sunset Hill Jewelers and Kaplan’s Fine Jewelry thriving in West Chester for the past 35 and 40 years, respectively.

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

13


CONVENIENT, FULL-DAY

KINDERGARTEN AT THE Y KINDERGARTEN AT THE OSCAR LASKO YMCA AND CHILDCARE CENTER prepares your child for success in a safe learning environment.

• Literacy-building activities, math, science, social studies and technology development • Spanish language instruction offered • Weekly gymnastics and swim lessons included • Before and after school care, with after care until 6:30 pm (half-hour later than most programs) • PA State Department of Education licensed

JOIN US FOR AN OPEN HOUSE! April 14, 10 am • April 24, 6 pm

The YMCA is a cause-driven charitable organization that provides financial assistance for programs. Ask us for details.

Photos from the 2017 YMCA Fashion Show

Located in downtown West Chester!

For details, visit www.ymcagbw.org/childcare or contact the Y today. OSCAR LASKO YMCA AND CHILDCARE CENTER 610-696-9622 • One E. Chestnut Street, West Chester, PA 19380 a branch of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine

14

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Sandy Riper is the owner of Sunset Hill Jewelers, and she has had a front-row seat to the evolution of the industry, as well as being an active participant in it. “When I first started in the jewelry business, I was dealing mostly in Victorian pieces,” she told us. “Then later it was art deco vintage jewelry. Style and the ideas that go with it throughout history seem to be cyclical. But everyone is influenced by something from the past. Architecture, nature, fashion, and technology have all played a part in jewelry design over the centuries.” Today, custom jewelry accounts for nearly half Sunset Hill’s business. And for Sandy, that custom piece does more than just accentuate an outfit or make one simple statement—it tells a tale. “The design of a piece tells a story of its time, which in turn becomes part of the wearer’s story,” she said. “That is the part that fascinates me the most. People often bring me their family jewelry with questions, and they are shocked when I am able to tell them things about it that fill in some of the unknown family facts.” Indeed, family plays a part in many of her custom pieces. “My most memorable piece was for a family,” Sandy told us. “Before her early death, a customer came to me with a family diamond brooch from Europe. She wanted her daughter, daugh-

ter-in-law, and granddaughters all to have a piece of diamond jewelry made from this family treasure, and the memory of receiving it from her.”

Knowing the durability and the other gemological factors play a part in what stones are better to use for a specific piece. -Sandy Riper

Sandy says that while engagement rings account for the majority of her custom pieces, no matter what a particular customer is looking for, each one is different. Some walk into the store knowing exactly what they want. And others... well, not so much. “Many of my clients will come to me with absolutely no idea of what they want,” she said. “And some come in with phones loaded with pictures. A few of them are artistic and they will bring in sketches—or, they’ll simply draw what they want right in front of me.” And while such enthusiasm and creative input can be useful to her, “Occasionally I do have to explain that on paper it might look good, but that there are technical reasons it just won’t.” Evan Kaplan, over at Kaplan’s Fine Jewelers, understands that experience all too well. “We get both kinds of custom jewelry client,” he said. “Some of them want to be very involved in the process, and to do most of the decision making themselves. Others want to just give us their

idea and materials and let Ivan [his father and business owner] design the piece. We’re always happy to accommodate either client, and we specialize in meeting any client’s needs.” Indeed there is a five-step process—outlined on their website—starting with the consultation and ending with the finished product. Part of that step-by-step process for Kaplan’s custom jewelry design involves 3-D computer imaging these days, and that is where Evan’s other interests lie. “I am very into the tech scene and chose computer science as my major in college,” he said. But the love of working with one’s hands has been passed down from father to son at Kaplan’s. It’s one thing to be able to create something on a computer screen, state-of-the-art software notwithstanding. It’s quite another to take an image and craft it into an exquisite physical object. “My dad started out as a mechanic before working on jewelry, and he has bestowed his love of working with his hands onto me,” Evan told us. “We’ve taken glassblowing, welding, and blacksmithing classes together, and I think we would still be working with our hands in some cre-

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

15


16

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


The finished product might be pretty than what he crafted in his previous career as a mechanic, but Ivan Kaplan’s workshop looks like any other.

ative field if we weren’t jewelers.”

For Evan, jewelry has been part of his life for as long as he can remember. Kaplan’s was started in 1976 and remains in the family to the present day. “I’ve been in and out of the store since I was two years old,” he told us. “I always loved to touch the shiniest jewelry, and when I was growing up, all of my school projects and papers were about jewelry.” That kind of interest obviously will not go untapped by any smart business owner and/or parent, and in Evan’s case, his father Ivan is both. “I have been an actual part of the business for eight years now,” Evan said. While custom design does offer a great deal of creativity, it is detailed, labor-intensive, and not without the occasional hitches. “The most challenging custom job we’ve ever worked on is also one of the most memorable,” Evan recounted. “It was a diamond link bracelet with alternating marquis and square shaped links,

each being set with a matching marquis or princess-cut diamond, and surrounded by smaller, round diamonds. It was difficult and time consuming, but it is one of our favorite pieces—we also made a matching set of diamond earrings!” Another favorite piece of Evan’s goes back to that family element. “It was a pearl and diamond piece that my dad made for my mom when I was very young. It’s a black and white pearl pin, with the pearls set on either end of the pin, and diamonds set between the two.” Are there two things that go together better than diamonds and pearls, besides peanut butter and jelly? I think not. Design inspiration comes from “artwork, architecture and nature, and I love color and notice detail in everything around me,” Sandy said. And her extensive knowledge of gemstones plays a large part in guiding her designs. “Knowing the durability and the other gemological factors play a part in what stones are better to use for a specific piece, especially when it comes to wedding jewelry,” she told us. An obvious bonus to being in the custom jewelry business is the ability to cre-

ate your own pieces. “I do design a lot of my own jewelry and some for my shop, but what I think I am best at is designing for individual people,” she said. “I ask them questions, and I listen carefully to the answers, and from there I find a way to design and create something that is perfect. I’m not a fan of branded designers that are more representative of the name than person wearing the piece.” And, what is her personal go-to when it comes to adornment? “I’m a diamond girl! Engagement ring, earrings, and a great watch.” Like Evan, Sandy has been in the jewelry business her entire life, her parents having gotten the ball rolling with Sunset Hill Jewelers. And if her path hadn’t led her to this career? “If I hadn’t become a jeweler, I would like to have been a lawyer,” Sandy said. “And mayor of West Chester.” Two creative ambitions indeed, but for now, both she and Evan find contentment and joy in their present careers, and in creating the perfect pieces for their clients. As Sandy put it, “The greatest compliment for me to hear when a customer picks up a finished piece is ‘This is so me.’”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

17


18

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Employee of the

Month

PHOTO Sabina Sister INTERVIEW Skye McDonald

Talking the joys of real estate with Realtor Erinn Hazley of the Kit Anstey Real Estate Team How long have you been with the Kit Anstey Real Estate Team? Since 2013. Why did you start working with them? My family is in the construction and development industry, Hazley Builders. I’ve been around it my entire life. After I graduated from James Madison University, I worked at a civil engineering company, then worked at Hazley. At that point, in 2008, I decided to get my real estate license. At Hazley, I was helping clients make selections for different projects, like investing in flips—when you buy houses that need lots of renovations. I started working at Kit Anstey, briefly left, and then returned here

full-time in real estate. I got into real estate because I love the historical houses, especially the ones in our area. Have you encountered any exceptional examples? There was a house I sold in Glen Mills, next to the train station. It was a big, Victorian house that used to have a store on the first floor. Up in the attic, there used to be a dance hall and there were all these old pictures that were drawn on the wall that the sellers had left there. They were beautiful grounds. It was neat to go in and see the bones of the home. It’s nice to see historical homes like these preserved. What’s the benefit of working here, versus working with family? It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work with them. Working in real estate is a good complement to Hazley, but it’s also something I can do on my own. Here it’s not just renovations and new homes—it’s everything from helping first-time home buyers into their first home to people who are downsizing. You seem like a people person. It’s a lot about relationships. When you’re spending that much time with people— sometimes up to three years—you get to know them and get a better idea of what

they’re looking for. Buying and selling a house is a really personal experience. A lot of the customers I’ve worked with have been through referrals, through friends, clients or from volunteering at the Chester County Hospital Ladies Auxiliary. Tell me more! The hospital is becoming a big part of West Chester. It’s so nice to see how much it’s grown since it joined the Penn Medicine system. Our auxiliary helps with the prenatal clinic, and we spearhead the Hospital Polo Cup every June. All the money goes to the clinic from that. I’ve been volunteering for about four years. What do you like the most about working here? Kit is really supportive of all of his agents, and there are a lot of experience levels. I’ve learned so much working with other agents and hearing about their observations. The lessons you learn aren’t necessarily taught in classes. What do you think is most rewarding? I love seeing everyone’s excitement when they’re buying a home for the first time. You can spend a long time looking for a certain house and once you find it, you just know. It’s a good feeling. Most of the time, it’s not a house—it’s a home.

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

19


Home

Grown

Suzanne Adams shares info on local food and the efforts of West Chester Cooperative

Kick off the local food season on Saturday, April 14 with West Chester Cooperative’s Local Food Tasting. You’ll meet and talk with local farmers while tasting their products in creative dishes prepared by local chefs. The event is free and open to all; tastings require a ticket (limited quantities available at $15) which can be purchased by visiting thewcpress.com/food-tasting. The event is open from 12-3pm. Buy a ticket and make lunch a Local Food Tasting. If you want to learn more about what makes local sustainable food different and how to work with it in your kitchen, this is the event for you. You can taste the difference in dishes prepared with pastured meats and certified organic local produce. Each tasting station will include recipes for the farm products and how to buy. Farmers will also have their products available for sale; you can plan on taking home some local goods to stock your pantry. Certified-organic, local produce from Crawford Organics (East Earl, PA) will include fresh greens (lettuce, kale, chard, scallions, radishes, spinach, and cilantro) as well as some cold storage vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes). Farmer Jonathan Crawford uses high tunnels, unheated greenhouses, and row covers to grow early spring vegetables. Because they require protection, early spring produce availability is limited, so come early and don’t miss out. According to Jonathan, “Each year we try to extend the growing season as early and late as possible. There is something satisfying about the quality of cold-loving plants grown in the cold. They have a sturdy look about them.” Pastured beef will be available from Katt and Mathy Farm (Cochranville, PA) who manage a pastured herd of Black Angus cattle born and raised on Chester County grass. You’ll taste the difference in complexity and flavor; their beef is rich and satisfying without the fatty texture of factory-raised, grain-fed beef. Keiser Pheasantry (Glen Rock, PA) will be there to expand your poultry horizons, with pastured ducks, pheasants, and turkeys. These delicious pastured birds make chicken seem boring. Learn the joy of duck and the juicy, complex flavor of small, pastured turkeys. Earl’s birds range freely, foraging for bugs and seeds… they taste nothing like bland, factory raised birds! The event is being held at the Chester County Art Association, so you’ll be able to enjoy local art along with your local food. Check the Art Association website, chestercountyarts.org, for exhibits. Starting at 2pm, West Chester Cooperative will convene a gathering of Member-owners. The gathering is an opportunity to learn about the Co-op, provide feedback to its leadership, and engage with cooperative development. All member-owners are invited to attend and the public is welcome as well. –wcfoodcoop@thewcpress.com Cooperatives are businesses formed to serve the needs of their member-owners. West Chester Cooperative is working to build a member-owned, full-service grocery store in West Chester. Learn more about the Co-op, our Local Food Program, and how to become part of it all at www.wcfood.coop.


22

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


To Protect & Preserve Although often misunderstood and sometimes maligned, the West Chester Historic & Architectural Review Board is integral to preserving the history of building design that makes this borough the place we all love. story Catherine Quillman, photos Sabina Sister

W

EST CHESTER offers an encyclopedia of historic architectural styles, from the stately Federal to the outlandish Gothic. Perhaps more amazingly, it’s a town that continues to evolve despite its size—a mere 1.8 square miles—and some restrictive building ordinances. As a longtime resident, I feel embedded in a community of local residents who love West Chester’s historic character and friendly neighborhood atmosphere. The two qualities are intertwined largely because there’s long been an effort to ensure that progress doesn’t come at the expense of historic structures. Look around West Chester’s tidy downtown and you’ll notice a flow and uniformity to the streetscapes—or what one important borough group promotes as “historic integrity. “ It’s not just the clutter-free façades—no garish blinking neon lights, no billboards slapped on walls. It’s

the historic fabric of the town as a whole, that allusive quality you might not notice until it’s suddenly absent. Those absences manifest as architectural mistakes, buildings that date themselves much like a 1970s strip mall. One such building, with glaring plateglass windows on each of its three stories, stands out like the proverbial sore thumb at 17 W Gay Street. The original limestone building that once stood there was razed, I’m told, right before the Historic and Architectural Review Board, or HARB, had its first meeting in January 1989.

INSTITUTING GUIDELINES As its name suggests, the HARB is comprised of board members appointed by the borough to review any proposed changes to the town’s historic or architectural appearance—the “tell-tale fabric,” to use a nonprofessional term. Members of the

HARB, all volunteers and usually involved in other community projects as well, tend to have their own lexicon. The jargon may be due to the fact that HARBs, authorized in Pennsylvania by the Historic District Act of 1961, are required to have at least one engineer, one architect, and one realtor, as well as a member of the planning commission, on its board. And when it comes to protecting historic buildings, original facades, and architectural features, there’s a specific focus. A project that falls within HARB’s purview is generally any exterior work visible from a public street or alley, or a historic structure, defined as any building more than 50 years old that has architecturally significant details, and is located within a federally designated historic district. Regardless of whether you are a new business owner with a new sign to hang, or a developer seeking approval for a major overhaul of a historic storefront, everyone

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

23


24

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


As an architectural historian, Jane Dorchester understands the mission of HARB better than most.

goes through the same application process to achieve what is called a “certificate of appropriateness.” Former HARB member Jane Dorchester remembers the origins of HARB, and as an architectural historian, she certainly understand its significance better than most. “It was part of the movement that started in the late 1970s to revitalize the downtown. But they specifically wanted to use historic preservation as a vehicle for that.” As it relates specifically to West Chester, the story begins in 1985, when the heart of West Chester’s business district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and became known as the West Chester Downtown Historic District. But it wasn’t until the HARB was created four years later that preservation ordinances were enacted to prevent what some termed the Alice-in-Wonderland mentality of “out with the old, in with the new.” Dorchester credits Ray Ott of Ott Associates for turning the tide towards preservation. “Ray convinced the business district owners to support the creation of a HARB or local historic district.”

SAVING STRUCTURES Joseph Martino, an engineer who has served on the eight-member HARB since 2000, describes the HARB’s job as helping

to develop an agreement that considers the applicant’s needs within the context of preserving the historic district. “The fundamental responsibility of the HARB is to make recommendations of appropriateness to borough council,” Martino says, “But I like to think of the process as a conversation or a dialogue with the applicant.” Such dialogues are occasionally heated, however, and Martino cites a case that came through HARB when he was chair as proof: When the new justice center, one of West Chester’s largest and most recognizable projects, was proposed back in 2000, it was initially expected to span the block framed by Market, Church and Gay. This span included several buildings documented in a historical and architectural heritage survey Martino calls “persuasive and influential,” including the rare, c. 1833 building at 15 N Church St. The initial plans for the project might have seen the demolition of these important structures. It was the HARB’s efforts that successfully lead to the relocation of the justice center to its location on West Market, allowing Zukin Realty the opportunity to appropriately rehab the Church Street property and turn it into the home of Yori’s Bakery. “It helped alter or change the opinion of the borough council to consider another location,” said Martino. But, this intervention isn’t always appre-

ciated by business interests. “Sometimes I feel that we are seen as the arch enemy,” says HARB chair Carol Jean Quigley. An architect with the restoration architectural firm of Frens & Frens, LLC., Quigley has served on the HARB so long she can only guess at the length of her tenure (roughly 15 years). She knows every nook and cranny of the Downtown Historic District. The town’s alleys and backyards also get explored, since the HARB is responsible for changes made to historic carriage houses, under an ordinance passed in 2001. Quigley understands the frustration that people might feel when going through the permitting process, and she tries to keep that in mind while working with business owners. After all, most people don’t have the requisite background to really understand what’s at stake. “It’s partly because people might not see the results of maintaining historic structures,” she says. “But I find it’s something everyone loves about West Chester, but not everyone can put their finger on exactly what it is.”

SHEPHERDING DESIGN According to Phil Yocum, an architect with the HARB, most HARBs follow federal standards for historic structures, established by the National Register of Historic Places, but thanks to local efforts, West Chester has been able to develop-

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

25


26

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


ment its own set of specifications that directly reflect our distinct culture. In fact, the HARB has a custom-made guidebook called the Design Guidelines for the West Chester Historic District. Published in 2002 with the assistance of Ott Associates and Frens & Frens, it includes a history of West Chester and its architectural styles. Yocum sees the guidelines as a tool for educating people about the delicate balance of knowing where their rights end, and where those of the society begin. “It’s really about living in a community where there must be compromises,” he says. “One of the misconceptions of the HARB is that we want to freeze the town and are not interested in progress,” Yocum says. “That’s not the case at all. We understand that any historic building, unless it’s Mount Vernon, has to be useable. Whether it accommodates stores or apartments, it needs to be economically viable. “

Carol Jean Quigley and Phil Yocum within the entry of the F&M Building, one of Carol’s favorites, at the corner of High and Market.

Not surprisingly, Malcolm Johnstone, the director of the borough’s Business Improvement district, or BID, believes that the custom guidelines have helped West Chester retains its unique economic vibe and vision. “Historic preservation is not one size fits all. It’s about the community and how it’s defined by its particular history and culture.”

PRESERVING CULTURE In recent years, the HARB have shepherded major renovation projects towards borough approval by making a characteristic recommendation. HARB member James “Jimmer” Breen explains, “The first step is getting the applicant to repair instead of replace—older buildings are better built,” says Breen, the owner of Breen Company, a custom carpentry business. “You need to respect the building, but you can also show a continuity,” he says.

Foundation’s annual preservation awards. The late Stan Zukin was praised for using old photographs to determine that the original storefront had been greatly altered. In restoring it, the façade was rebuilt with the best materials—Spanish cedar and Douglas fir—to replicate what was called the “original shallow arched design.”

To prevent what Breen calls “faux” architectural styles, ones that break the allusion that a building has evolved over time, the HARB encourages the use of old photographs. Martino is a collector who says that old images can ensure sympathetic changes to historic structures.

Old photographs were also used to guide the renovation of the 1888 firehouse building, now 51 Tap & Spirits, on North Church. “We often suggest mimicking historic details,” Quigley says of the restaurant’s arched windows that repeat the circle theme found throughout the building.

One example is building that houses The Social on East Gay, one of several Zukin properties that earned a “Bricks & Mortar” honor from the West Chester Downtown

And then there’s the brick building next door. Stoves were produced there as early as 1847, and the era of steam is revealed in the three-story hoist shaft found in

the adjacent alley. In the days before the HARB, this bit of industrial past might have been destroyed, but now passersby can view the original gear-driven hoist system through a full-height glass panel. As for the allusive quality of this town’s historic streetscape that many residents can’t pinpoint, it’s not wrong to credit HARB’s gentle persuasion in working with borough council and promoting our hidden-but-in-plain-sight history. When asked about HARB’s influence, borough council president Diane LeBold praised their efforts. “I thank the board members for their commitment to protecting what’s good about our historic buildings,” she said, “and for making sure that, when something new is built in the Historic District, it works with the historic fabric.”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

27


28

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Near and Far

Jamie Jones of Whirlaway Travel explores some travel options abroad and highlights their local counterparts

I recently returned from a river cruise down the Rhine and Mosel Rivers in Germany. During our trip we traveled through the Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Dotted with more than 40 castles, countless southern-facing vineyards and historic towns, this 65km stretch of river is rich with history and flows freely with some of the best wine and beer in the world. As we cruised leisurely down the Rhine, it seemed as though there was a new castle around every bend of the river. The river’s long been a transit route, and transporters are required to pay tolls as they passed through each territory, benefitting the local communities you pass. We had the opportunity to visit a few of the castles on tours and for cocktail receptions. Some were to gaudy for my taste, but Lahneck Castle stood out. Perched high atop the hill dividing the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine Rivers, this castle was not as grand as others and has been maintained near its original state, with few upgrades over the past 800 years. The exterior appears to be an immense fortress, but a drawbridge leads into the courtyard of what can best be described as a quaint abode. We walked through a modest kitchen and into the dungeon, which had previously been closed off from any outside access except through a hole in the ceiling where prisoners were lowered to their doom. A later renovation added a spiral staircase leading from that dungeon to the tower, and in 1851—unbeknownst to her family—a young girl climbed the staircase to sketch. The stairs collapsed behind her, and she died of dehydration in the tower, unable to descend. Her remains were found nine years later with her last words scribbled in her diary tucked away in the wall. Castles have always been mysterious to me. I am not sure if those feelings were bred from the haunting night in England I shared with a knight’s armor casting shadows in the moonlight, or Hollywood’s romanticism of the Dark Ages. Walking through Castle Lahneck transported my imagination to a period where, despite four-foot thick walls, the cold of winter chilled the bones and modern creature comforts were a century away. After my return, while speaking about my trip with a friend who moved to West Chester a few years ago, she brought up a really good point: even though we travel far to learn about ancient times, there is incredible history that we sometimes take for granted right under our noses in Chester County. Upon returning home, local historic sites like the Brandywine Battlefield, Greystone Hall, The Lincoln Building, Warner Theater and the Farmers and Mechanics Building have evoked intrigue in the tale of our town. Every time I cross Jefferis Bridge on Allerton Road I recall the story that has been passed down through generations about how my family showed the British where to ford the Brandywine during the Revolutionary War. I guess, as the castles of Europe illustrate, there’s plenty of important history that’s neither pleasant nor pretty. —jjones@thewcpress.com

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

29


30

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


What should I do on my own?

If I’ve only got the budget for one project, what’s the best bang for my buck?

Expert Advice What are other homeowners investing in these days?

What is the new design trend we’re going to be seeing a lot of in the future?

Should I hire a professional for this project?

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

31


32

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


"We take what people like in their budget, and we make it work." -Andrea Mason

N

ow that it’s April —and, hopefully, the snow has gone— you’re probably looking at your home and all the wreckage left behind by winter. Maybe your walkway wasn’t as cracked in October, or maybe you remember your lawn being a whole lot less patchy. Maybe after all these months indoors, your interior could use a little freshening up, to match what Mother Nature is doing for the outdoors. Now that it’s warmer and lighter out, it’s time to spruce up your style. And, lucky for you, West Chester is full of talented and professional home designers. From interior design and architecture, to landscaping and hardscaping, here’s the best suggestions from the area’s experts. –Skye McDonald

Interior Design Andrea Mason Perception Interiors doorstepdesigner.com DIY Advice Like just about everything these days, a good place to start for interior inspiration is the internet. Designer Andrea Mason recommends trying out Houzz.com, a website where you can create idea books. It’s a feature similar to Pinterest (which Andrea also advises using), but it’s home-focused. When it comes time to execute, don’t settle for your first option. “I always tell people to shop around,” she says. “That goes for any trade.” Homeowners should be applying this same advice when shopping for furniture. Not only can you be sure you’re getting

© Perceptions Interiors

a great price, but your rooms will look like you put more thought into them by varying the origins of your pieces.

Leave it to The Pros You may have all the right items and ideas, but you could be having trouble making your rooms look as chic as what you see in pictures. A professional interior designer can fit everything in place, like puzzle pieces. For Andrea, this is the number one problem she find: clients unable to make their ideas mesh. Best Bang for Your Buck “Painting. For sure,” says Andrea. Out of all the design changes a homeowner can make, painting’s the most affordable, yet it can have the biggest impression on a room. “Changing the color of your walls can make the biggest difference for the least amount of money,” she says. If your living room has always been a darker, neutral color, perhaps it’s time to

freshen things up with a lighter coat to make the room brighter. If you’re looking for a moodier and more serious atmosphere in your living room, then darker colors are the way to go. Trending Topics Everyone seems to be mixing styles. If a home has a few antique pieces, a homeowner may want to mix them with more contemporary and modern pieces, and vise versa. “The key is to find a common element within those styles to make it work, like light walnut tones or similar fabric colors,” Andrea says. “There has to be a common theme, so you can mix all those styles accordingly.” Future Proofing According to Andrea, you can expect to see homeowners again opting for matching wallpapers and fabrics. Unlike the chintzy, floral patterned trends of the 1980s, expect these designs to be elegant. “You can pair your wallpaper with your chair or your chair with your drapery,” she says. “Otherwise your room will look too busy and really cluttered.”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

33


"Removable wallpaper is great for anyone who wants to change their style frequently because there is no wall damage" -Krystal Reinhard

© Old Soul Decor

Krystal Reinhard Old Soul Decor oldsouldecor.com what to diy In one word: everything. Or at least, as much as possible. Krystal is a believer of doing everything yourself, but it really comes down to how much creative insight you’ve got. “Some people are able to paint, hang up wallpaper, and select decor beforehand, while others don’t know where to start,” she says. “That’s when they hire a designer.” But if there’s one element Krystal says people can or should be able to do before hiring a designer, it’s paint their rooms, since it’s one of the easier design choices. Leave it to The Pros Home renovation, hands down. So many variables could go wrong when your home is not renovated by a professional, Krystal warns. “At Old Soul Decor, we offer a full interior design service,” she says.

That means no worry about under-prepared, over-priced contractors. “We can renovate your home, develop styling plans, manage your projects, and design custom-made furniture for you. We’re a name people trust.” Best Bang for Your Buck Removable wallpaper. “It can change a room quickly and affordably,” Krystal says. Old Soul Decor currently offers 160 removable wallpaper patterns, and Krystal believes removable patterns are great because you can change up the wallpaper frequently and easily. Plus, there is no damage to your wall upon removal. Trending Topics Homeowners are bringing the outdoors inside, blurring the line between interior and exterior. This means more industrial exteriors inside, like live-edge and reclaimed wood designs. “I typically hate the word ‘trending’ because really, anything can work,” she says. “But I am seeing a lot more plants and wood features in the homes; it’s really caught on.”

Landscape Design Jim Piazza ProTree Services protreehelps.com

Leave it to The Pros Homeowners should definitely hire a professional landscaper for pruning. “When trees are pruned wrong, they can either die or grow in a gnarly, twisted way that nature never intended,” says ProTree Services owner Jim Piazza. And, especially when it comes to larger jobs, having a professional crew with a bucket truck makes the job a lot safer, too. Popular Options Out of all the landscaping work that ProTree offers, the most common project Jim encounters is the general clean-up, which includes everything from picking up sticks, trimming plants, cleaning out garden beds, and weeding. “Those are the most common calls,” Jim says, “because, while it’s definitely something people could do on their own, it’s a lot of tedious, laborious work and homeowners often just don’t have the time to do it themselves.”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

35


EMPOWER MORE THAN YOURSELF We are committed to not only being your home for fitness, but also a place of community and belonging. Our passion is to provide you the opportunity to develop relationships, achieve your goals and belong to something bigger than yourself. Join the YMCA TODAY for more than just a workout! For a better us.

WATER PARK FAMILY RATE ONLY

www.ymcagbw.org/join Accepted at the Y

Income-based membership is available.

WEST CHESTER AREA YMCA West Chester • 610-431-9622

a branch of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine

36

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH

$259*

THROUGH APRIL 30!

THAT’S 30% OFF THE REGULAR RATE! *Must be a West Chester Area YMCA member


"With stamped concrete, You get the look of real brick, stone, flagstone but at the third of the cost." -Eddie Smith Mark Lowery Lowery Lawn & Landscape lowerylawnlandscape.com Getting Started Before hiring a professional, you should have a clear idea of what you want in your yard. “This is essential,” Mark says. “One of the first things the landscape designer will do is recommend a lot of different plantings with a variety of styles. So, getting a firm idea of what landscape designs you like will smooth the process immensely.” Mark suggests doing some online research and looking at other landscapes to help assess your likes and dislikes. Best Bang for Your Buck “I would say go for something that may not necessarily add value but will limit the potential for loss,” Marks says. As an example, he suggests setting up appropriate grading, away from the foundation of the home, to help avoid water intrusion problems. The same goes for downspouts. Ensure that these all point away from your foundation. “And gutter cleaning is essential!” Mark says. “If gutters aren’t functioning properly, there’s a higher risk for water intrusion in your home.”

Looking Forward Believe it or not, according to Mark, artificial turf is up-and-coming. Although he never saw it a couple of years ago, it’s really becoming prominent in the landscape design world. The benefit, other than having everlasting green grass, is a serious decrease in maintenance. “You are also decreasing environmental impact,” Mark says, “because you don’t have to mow, weedwhack or water it.” And it drains well, so say goodbye to mud puddles and torn-up patches scattered throughout your lawn.

Hardscape Design Eddie Smith Asphalt Paving Group rsmithpaving.com Leave it to The Pros Eddie always recommends professional driveway paving, and remarks that it’s not as expensive as you think to get your driveway paved professionally. Often it’s actually more cost-effective. “Everyone thinks they can easily do it themselves,” Eddie says. “But often, people take a day off to do the job and make mistakes. So when they come to us, we have to repair the damage and start from scratch. That’s when

it becomes double the cost of what they would have paid if they hired a professional in the first place.” Best Bang for Your Buck “Coated and stamped concrete or asphalt,” says Eddie. With both of these, you can get the look of real stone at a fraction of the cost. According to Eddie, when stamped concrete is done right, it’s difficult to tell the difference, but it’ll still make your patios, sidewalks, and walkways look immaculate. “There are tremendous savings and the outcome is beautiful,” he says. “We recently paved BB&T Pavilion and saved them $50,000 from what they would have paid for stone/pavers.” Trending Topics The most popular trend Eddie is seeing is accents and imprints. People want to be more creative, so they stamp their driveways with a letter in colored asphalt, or print their address in a natural-stone tablet. “It really makes the driveways and homes pop,” Eddie says. “And it looks way more expensive than it actually is. It just gives your home that extra finishing touch.” Up-and-Coming With so many harsh winters behind and in front of us, heated driveways are

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

37


38

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


"We’ve worked on bathrooms, all the way up to multi-million dollar homes, and every part of it matters. Design to me matters for the smallest of detail up to the biggest of homes" -Doug Hertsenberg © Bernardon

the up-and-coming trend. While it is a more expensive feature, it’s definitely worth it. And because it’s automatic, you never have to worry about shoveling, plowing, or laying chemicals. “As soon as it starts snowing, it will melt the driveway,” says Eddie. “It’s especially helpful for steep driveways.”

Architectural Design Doug Hertsenberg Bernardon bernardon.com Getting Started According to Architect Doug Hertsenberg, collecting visual ideas from magazine clippings or architectural websites is a great first step for clients to help assess their design style. “If there’s an exterior aesthetic or certain spatial arrangements they enjoy, researching can help start the process sooner,” says Doug. Still, if you’re unsure where to begin, a professional team like Bernardon can have a general

conversation to determine the architectural details you want to implement. Leave it to The Pros “Everything!” says Doug. “Every piece has to be explored, every nook, every cranny, every detail matters.” Whether you’re designing a half bath or a 25,000sqft home, the size of the job doesn’t matter; regardless of scale, professional experience is important. Popular Options People are often designing their homes around how they actually live. “They don’t necessarily need the formal rooms,” says Doug. Instead, the focus is on creating natural movement between rooms. “If you build a room, and it means another room doesn’t get used, have you really done the right thing for the overall use of the home?” Trending Topics Doug is seeing a lot more focus on

the first floor. “People still have second floors, but generally, it may just be a couple bedrooms,” Doug says. “They want to keep everyone together.” That means adding additional rooms and functionality to the lower level of the house, with multi-functional rooms making their way to the ground floor. “The days of having upstairs sitting rooms for the kids is passe,” says Doug. “Folks are trying to keep the family more engaged.” Bang for Your Buck “In terms of the market and real estate, the kitchens and bathrooms are the hot buttons these days,” says Doug. When it comes to these rooms, while you’re not adding space, you’re actively crafting them to suit your needs. But, Doug suggests not getting too focused on resale value. “At the end of the day, it’s about you,” Doug says. “Focus on finding the best result for how you want to live and feel in the space.”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

39


Home

Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at homebeccanomics.com

Beccanomics

All you have to do is take a quick scroll through any social media feed to know that we like our food to look pretty. I’m usually more concerned with how it tastes and what it can do for my body, but every once in a while I can have my proverbial cake and eat it too. Both of these recipes are company-pretty, amazingly flavorful and as healthy as can be. Plus, if you find yourself with leftover dip you can add it to cooked chicken, yielding a #nofilter needed weekday lunch. –bboyd@thewcpress.com Chicken Tahini Greek Bowl serves 4 1 eggplant, sliced 1/4 in thick Sauce 3 small zucchini, sliced thinly 1/3 c. tahini Olive Oil 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper Juice of one lemon 1 tsp. kosher salt Bowl 3 chicken breasts, cooked and 1/4 tsp. cumin big pinch cayenne chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 c. cooked brown rice ~1 tbsp. water to thin 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved 1/3 c. fresh parsley, fine chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets with

nonstick spray. Arrange zucchini on one cookie sheet, eggplant on another, spacing as evenly as possible. 2. Brush veggies on both sides lightly with oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp. salt per cookie sheet). 3. Bake for about 35 minutes, switching pans halfway, or until golden brown. If necessary, broil eggplant to desired brownness. 6. To make sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. 7. Divide rice between bowls. Top with veggies, then chicken. Arrange tomatoes around bowl then top with parsley. Healthy Spinach and Parmesan Dip serves 10-12 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 large white onion, diced 1/2 tsp. black pepper 3 garlic cloves, minced Pita Chips 1 lb. fresh baby spinach Baby carrots 1 c. plain (whole) Greek yogurt Bell pepper strips 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. In pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion

and garlic; sauté, stirring occasionally until softened (about 5 minutes). 2. Add spinach and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted and liquid is evaporated. 3. Transfer mixture to a colander set over a bowl; let cool completely. Press with spoon to rid of any excess moisture. 4. Place spinach mixture in food processor. Add yogurt, cheese, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth. 5. Transfer to serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with pita chips, carrots and peppers.

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

41


42

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Bartender of the Month

PHOTO Sabina Sister INTERVIEW Skye McDonald

Angelica Russert talks good friends and great food, craft beer and cocktails from behind the bar at Side Bar & Restaurant How long have you been working at Side Bar? About seven years. I started as a hostess when I was 19, and then I cycled through all the positions up to bartender. What do you enjoy most? It’s a really good time. All of my friends work here, so it’s like my social life. Most of them have been here a long time, too? Yep! Most of the staff has been here since the beginning, and we’ve been open for eight years. What’s kept you around for so long? Honestly, these people are like my family. They’re my best friends. It’s definitely the family aspect that keeps me

here. Justin and Adam are such great owners that there’s no real need to go anywhere else. Like every year in June, we do a Side Bar Golf Outing at Applecross. You can sign up in teams of four. People either play or volunteer to work. It’s a really awesome day for us because we get to hang out as a staff. When do you normally work? I work behind the bar on Wednesday and Saturday nights, Friday during the day for Happy Hour, and I serve Sunday brunch. I love my Friday day shift because a lot of the regulars come in, and I love my Wednesday nights because a lot of the staff comes in. Does Side Bar have any special nights? We have Tuesday Trivia with Big Mike. It’s challenging, but a good time. Fridays and Saturdays, we have our DJs too. On Thursday nights, we serve $3 local drafts. We offer different food specials throughout the week, so people look out for those. What’s your favorite on the menu? Our new carne asada tacos. They’re soooo good. They’re steak tacos with pickled onions on top with cotija cheese. You can get two or three, and I always get three because really, why only get two!?

Any drinks to go with those tacos? I like making espresso martinis. Sometimes, I put a touch of Godiva chocolate in it with the espresso vodka, espresso, a little bit of Bailey’s. But we’re a big craft beer bar, so I can talk to customers about breweries and they can sample drafts. What’s the most popular craft beer? We recently had our big Pliny Day, where we offered a bunch of rare beers that Justin worked hard to get. People often come in for Russian River Sours, but I’ve been pushing the 2SP Simcoe Daddy. We have so many awesome options. What’re your go-to drinks? I love Gin on the Rocks. That’s my Thursday night drink because that’s the only night I really go out. I also like Cabernet Sauvignon. Meet any interesting customers? It’s fun meeting strangers and hearing their stories. You can connect with regulars and keep up with each other. What draws you into Side Bar? You gotta work for your position. It’s hard to get away from, but I wouldn’t want to. I also work at the West Chester Veterinary Clinic, which is always hectic, but that’s good for me. Neither of my jobs are boring. I like to be challenged.

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

43


44

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Design Dilemmas Andrea Mason of Perceptions Interiors is a professional interior designer who wants to help you upgrade your space

A common design dilemma for me is trying to fill a blank wall on a budget. The framing and art work itself can add up quickly, but by creating your own artwork you can save money and add something personal to your home. Creating artwork yourself is not as daunting as it sounds, and you don’t need to be an artist to do it. Not only will you have something one-of-a-kind in your home, but you can also customize the art to make it any size you want. Check out the ideas below for artistic inspiration on how to add some life to your walls. Fabric: You can take a beautiful piece of fabric and frame it behind glass or have it stretched out around a wood frame. It’s a fantastic way to add a punch of personality to a space. It’s also a really great idea for a piece of fabric that is fragile or sentimental that you would like to display and preserve. Wallpaper: Using the same concept as above, you can take a fun wallpaper pattern or texture and leave it framed or unframed. Another great idea is to cut the wallpaper into an interesting shape and then frame it as art. This is a fun way to display unused material that’s been laying around the house. Rugs or Tapestries: Hanging a rug or tapestry on the wall will cover a large blank wall nicely. I love the texture and dimension that this brings to a space. These can be heavy and easily sag on the wall if not hung properly. I like to use a long piece of wood and tack strips to help the rug hang straight. Kids Art: Who says that your children’s art can’t look professional? Make them feel special and frame a few pieces that mean a lot to them. Children’s art looks great displayed withwhite matting and white frames. It makes the art pop and gives it a gallery look. Choose a frame that is versatile and makes it easy to change out artwork as the years pass. Tiles: Another fantastic material that will add dimension and variety to a room is tile. I just picked up a few colorful tiles from my trip to Portugal, and I plan on grouping them in a frame. You can also hang each one on its own using a disc adhesive plate hanger to help the tile lay flat on the wall. Framing: When it comes time to frame art, you don’t have to spend a fortune. The best places to look for affordable frames and matting are local craft stores. If you want the job done professionally, you can head on over to Visual Expansion Gallery right on High Street (visualexpansiongallery.com). It’s time to decorate your blank wall and make it something personal. Creating unique art is a fun activity that will help to complete your space without busting your budget. For more design tips, check our website at perceptionsinteriors.com, or reach out to me directly—I’d love to help you out with your latest design dilemma.—amason@thewcpress.com

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

45


46

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


story by WCU Student Payton Johnson, photos by WCU GRAD Sabina Sister

T

HE SMELLS OF POTTERY AND PAINT FILL THE AIR, and a long ribbon of hallways containing all manner of artwork wind through two floors of E.O. Bull Center on West Chester University’s campus, just south of Rosedale Ave, tucked between Walnut and High. The rooms branching off the hallways offer a behind-the-scenes look at how this beautiful art is made. One houses towering shelves of pottery, each piece at a differ-

ent stage of completion. The bottom shelf is home to deep red and brown pieces anxiously awaiting their time in the kiln, while the shelves above showcase glossy, vibrant works of art in all colors, sparkling under the fluorescent lights. In another room, a young woman puts the finishing touches on her painting. Her curly brown hair pulled out of her face in a messy bun, with the colors of her current masterpiece on her hands and the sides of

her face, she paints to the beat of the song in her earbuds. She is so enthralled in her work and the rhythm of the music that she’s oblivious to all who pass. The West Chester University Art + Design Department takes up a large portion of the E.O. Bull Center. It’s filled with students in a variety of artistic disciplines: graphic and interactive design, studio arts —like painting and sculpture—and even art history. These students have the

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

47


48

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


opportunity to work with and learn from professors who are established, practicing professional artists and designers. The professors in the Art + Design Department provide their students reallife examples of what they can achieve with their degrees. The faculty consists of 15 members, all of whom balance teaching upcoming artists and designers while working at their own craft. They constantly work on projects around the country, and even the world. One notable example is that of Sally Van Orden, professor of art and foundations, who recently had a solo exhibition at Cerulean Art Gallery in Philadelphia. The exhibit consisted of steel and clay sculptures inspired by Van Orden’s Iceland research, a trip supported by a WCU grant. Another department professor, Jeremy Holmes, was recently selected to be one of 10 artists illustrating the Bill of Rights for the National Constitution Center’s newest exhibit, Constituting Liberty. “Philadelphia and NYC will be sharing the right to display an original copy of the Bill of Rights,” Holmes said. “As part of the Philadelphia exhibition of the Bill of Rights, the Constitution Center brought in 10 area artists to create 10 pieces, each inspired by a specific amendment,” Holmes said. “I was chosen as one of the candidates due to my extensive work in children’s books, especially my work in the middle-grade genre. A large part of the Constitution Center’s audience are middle-grade students.” Holmes was given six weeks to complete his piece on his amendment, the fourth, which focuses on unreasonable search and seizure. Once completed, the artists were invited to the opening of the exhibition, which Holmes described as.one of the proudest moments of his creative career. “To make a piece of art that sits next to one of the most important documents of all time was quite humbling and is an extreme honor I’ll cherish forever,” he said.

The Fourth Ammendment pencil and watercolor on vellum by Jeremy Holmes

Not only do the students get to work with great professors, they also receive critiques on their work from artists, designers, and notable alumni who visit the uni- potential in myself that sometimes even I versity, of which the department has a long didn’t see,” she says. “In turn, I learned to list. A degree in art and design lends itself push myself further than I ever could have to many of different career paths, exempli- on my own.” fied by examining the current career’s of College is a time of great growth, some of the department’s distinguished socially and academically, for every stualumni. Justin Rentzel, a 2008 graduate, dent. West Chester freshman Yolanda who worked as the senior arts director Nodarse is studying graphic design, for Tattoo Projects, one of the top-ranked and she says that even though she has advertising and proonly taken foundational To make a piece of art that courses, her knowledge duction agencies in the country. In this about art and design has sits next to one of the role Rentzel worked grown. Nodarse is excited on advertising cam- most important documents to get past these beginpaigns for notable and ning classes and get into of all time was quite diverse companies like the thick of her major. “It’s Victory Motorcycles humbling and is an extreme only been one year,” and Sheetz. exclaims Nodarse, “I honor I’ll cherish forever. can’t even imagine Alumnus Jon Yucis after I graduate!” (2003) is co-founder of Practice Creative in Phoenixville and recently worked with The Ram Shop on High Street in an effort to launch a complete rebranding of the business. There’s also Nancy Mata (1991) who decided to stick to the collegiate path and is now an associate professor in Graphic and Interactive Design at Millersville University. Every graphic design ever hired by this magazine has been a WCU grad, including Nazarena Luzzi Castro (2013), a creative partner at Muhlenhaupt + Company in Manayunk, who designed this month’s cover. “The department and the professors pushed me to see the

Sophomore Kelsey Mountford has always has had an interest in all things creative, so Art + Design was an obvious choice for her. “I took a photography class in high school and loved it so much that I wanted even more classes like it,” she said. “That’s when I took two graphics classes and realized that it was something I could do the rest of my life.” Mountford’s art history minor was almost accidental. “It was required for us to take a few art history courses along our curriculum plan, and I did really well and enjoyed it so much I decided to minor in it.”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

49


50

THE WC PRESS VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


The coolest part of my major is seeing my actual artwork printed out on real products. It was so surreal seeing my design printed out and on a book! -Erica Burcz

The program seems to attract students who possess a strong passion and interest in the field, but they don’t need to be experts to gain entry. “I came to West Chester with very little experience,” notes Victoria Killen, a junior majoring in graphic and interactive design, “This program has completely shaped me as a designer.” Erica Burcz is another student my major, I was who agrees with Killen. While This program has switched much happier and my grades now in her fourth year, Burcz, who started out her time at West completely shaped are so much better now.” Chester as a business manage- me as a designer. For Burcz, it’s the tangiment major, had a change of heart ble result of her work that part way through her university -victoria killen makes the program so experience and switched into the rewarding. “The coolest part of my major art program, which puts her on pace with is seeing my actual artwork printed out her sophomore peers. “I was originally on real products,” she says. “It was so very unhappy in my major; I struggled in surreal seeing my design printed out and classes and barely passed most of them,” on a book! It’s also really amazing to see she said. Now Burcz is thriving in the Art some of my work hung in the halls or in + Design Department, as a graphic design showcases.” Burcz has learned a lot in her major. “I always loved art and had such a time in the department. “This program has great appreciation for it, so when I finally helped me to grow in so many ways, learn-

That’s when I took two graphics classes and realized that it was something I could do the rest of my life. -Kelsey Mountford ing so many new techniques and ways of viewing everything,” she said. “It’s helped me to become a more creative thinker and a better problem solver.” The Art + Design Department work around the clock to try and prepare their students for the real world. These students have the opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, not just their professors, but the students who walked the halls of E.O. Bull before them, the alumni whose experience at West Chester University has allowed them to live out their dreams as artists and designers.

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

51


Spot the five differences between theese two images of a carefully stylized designer’s desk, then send your answer to contests@thewcpress.com for your chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate. Congrats to February winners Mark and Marianne Bausinger of East Bradford who identified all the changes to the Walmart photo

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

53


April Playlist DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks you’ll be enjoying all month long. The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months. You’ll soon know them by heart and play them ‘til they’re tired. But, good news: you can download them first and look like the cool musical genius to all of your friends. djromeo@thewcpress.com

www.djromeo.fm | @DJRomeo24

Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown – “Freaky Friday” Kygo ft. Miguel – “Remind Me to Forget” Logic & Marshmello – “Everyday” Khalid ft. Normani – “Love Lies” N.E.R.D. ft. Rihanna – “Lemon” (Drake Remix) The Chainsmokers – “Everybody Hates Me” Pearl Jam – “Can’t Deny Me” Chris Stapleton – “I Want Love” Jason Derulo – “Colors” RL Grime ft. Daya – “I Wanna Know” Eminem ft. Kehlani – “Nowhere Fast” Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Psycho” SLANDER – “Happy Now” Leon Bridges – “Bad Bad News” Meghan Trainor – “No Excuses” Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani – “Done For Me” Duke Dumont ft. Ebenezer – “Inhale” The Decemberists – “I’ll Be Your Girl” Echosmith – “Over My Head” Jason Aldean – “You Make It Easy” Mat Kearney ft. RAC – “Memorized” The Driver Era – “Preacher Man” James Bay – “Wild Love” Kaskade ft. Charlotte Lawrence – “Cold as Stone” Marshmello & Anne-Marie – “Friends” Jimmie Allen – “Best Shot” 5 Seconds Of Summer – “Want You Back” Hayley Kiyoko – “Let It Be” Cheat Codes ft. Danny Quest – “NSFW” Janelle Monae – “Make Me Feel”

APRIL 2018 THEWCPRESS.COM

55


The WC Press Design Issue - April 2018  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Design Issue - April 2018  

Voice of the Borough