The Interview and The Opening Exhibition, Chantal Westby ”Spiritual Transition”.
By Alev Gefen
Photos by Inna Race
February 7th 215 was a beautiful Opening Night on at The Bazemore Gallery.
The gallery filled with harp music and interesting people who gathered to celebrate work by contemporary artist Chantal Westby. Neat and clean in her use of line, Westby’s works express an evocative feeling of vigor and vivaciousness.
With a sumptuously controlled color palette, the works are graceful in their spiritual fluidity of rhythm and measure. They are both Imaginative and meticulous in skill.
We had a chance to have an interview with Chantal.
Private Paparazzi Productions: Tell us a bit about yourself and your artistic journey.Chantal Westby: I have always had an artistic nature, whether designing “haute couture” in Paris or designing my house and furnishings in Bryn Mawr. I started to take formal lessons in Art at PAFA about 15 years ago.PPP: Where do you find your inspiration?
C.W.: I believe that there is more that is unknown than known about our world and our universe. While I am captivated by the visible beauty around us, I am even more so by the invisible beauty that can only be glimpsed through faith. I try to capture the spirit of that invisible beauty and incorporate it in my work.PPP: What message are your sending through your art? Describe your featured project.
C.W.: Mine is a message of incurable optimism, even in the face of the sometimes terrible events of the day. I believe my sense of hopefulness for the human race and for our world comes through in my art.PPP: What has been your biggest struggle as an artist?
C. W.: Finding a stable situation with a gallery to display my work. I spend a lot of time on marketing, usually via social media. While I enjoy doing this and realize that it is essential, it does take away from the time I could spend painting
PPP: What advice would you give to a new artist?C. W.: To remain true to his or her vision, regardless of the material results. Also to be aware right from the start that this is a business, and to make oneself aware of the need for marketing, etc.
PPP: How do you manage all of your personal and professional life?
C. W.: I am fortunate to do all of work out of my home, which is a wonderful, serene environment. This also makes it easier to incorporate my household responsibilities into my workday.
PPP: How would your professional life as an artist be, if you were still in France?
C. W.: I love America enough to have become an American citizen. PAFA is America’s oldest school of fine art, so I was heavily exposed to the traditions of American art. I do less painting in France, but I do have a number of works there that I exhibit form time to time throughout Europe. I believe I am actually better known as an artist there than I am here, and hope to continue my career on both sides of the Atlantic (and in Asia as well!).
C.W.: I recently had a solo opening at Lenny Bazemore’s wonderful gallery in Manayunk, and I am working on an entirely new body of work to be presented also as a solo at Edward Fong’s E-Modern Gallery in Philadelphia in September. I hope to have several works presented at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
PPP: What do you want to be known and remembered for? C. W.: As an honest artist, who always tried to express her deepest emotions and dreams in her work. The recognition of this quality seems to unite people in their appreciation of my art. I am also proud of my workmanship and believe I always present an elegantly finished piece to my public.
More pictures will be posted on Private Paparazzi Productions Facebook Page.
For more information About The Bazemore Gallery and Chantal Westby pleas visit http://www.thebazemoregallery.com