I’ve been a local to the Delaware County area of Pennsylvania all my life. Yet I never took the windy roads leading to Heron Crest Studios and neighboring art sites, collectively called Rockdale Arts District. One artist was talking to a visitor about the crowd being drawn to the open house event this past weekend and for me, it was due to social media. A woman in a group on Meetup suggested it as an outing and I signed up to go.
My favorite moment was another artist’s story about one of her paintings, depicting a ditch in Iowa. It’s interesting to find out what’s behind artwork and she described this as a teaching piece. Although the colors and patterns were attractive, the scene was of environmental loss. She went on to tell how pesticides impacted the ditch area negatively.
Paintings by other artists hung on hallway walls and in their individual studio, including many nature view I love. Among them were groups of trees topped with autumn foliage, shorelines reflecting vibrant sunsets, an old ship out on the sea. They make me wish I had the talent to paint, imagining myself set up with art supplies in stunning natural surroundings to recreate what I see. The studios overlooked wooded areas, which would surely bring about inspiration just gazing into the tree-covered hills. Even a walk along the streets could do so. This small tree filled with purple blossoms is worth taking brush strokes from easel to canvas.
Some artists had jewelry and re-purposed textiles which they used to make clothes and accessories ready for sale. Even the way in which creations were displayed would appeal to the taste of anyone who loves interior design. A coffee table was made out of polished wood in an abstract shape, complimented by a vase of orange flowers just off center. Above a hallway doorframe, small pieces of nature-inspired art were placed in square shelf sections.
I loved such details for giving a place that personal feel of home. But I was also drawn to old architecture nearby. Many elements of time-worn structures always have something about them that stand out to me. This old church had the name Crozerville on it and several towns away in Chester is Crozer Hospital, which has ties to the Civil War era. Walking along a ground-floor hallway, you’ll see a photographic timeline of the medical center’s past to present. So the church name made me wonder about any historical connection.
Houses neighboring the church also looked to be of old architecture, yet in good shape. There was even an empty Breyer’s Ice Cream store, one side almost completely ivy-clad. I never knew that brand was in the area, other than containers of it’s cool treat being sold at grocery chains.
Overall, visiting the art studios made for a nice day out and between stops at them, I saw other new-to-me sites. There was a small park for enjoying a picnic and the sounds of creek waters nearby. At a fork-in-the-road intersection, a WWII memorial stands to honor fallen soldiers. I’ll have to go back for more on-foot exploring, as I was behind the wheel when these came into view.