Rose Marie Cunniffe – “Enchanted Places” : April 3rd – May 4th, 2015

An exhibition of acrylic paintings by area artist Rose Marie Cunniffe will be on display at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, from April 3 to May 4, 2015. The public is invited to the artist’s reception on Friday April 10 from 6 to 8 pm.  The reception and the exhibit are both free and open to the public.


The exhibit is entitled “Enchanted Places” and presents the paintings of Ms. Cunniffe, who has been called “a secret Delaware County treasure.”  A largely self-taught artist whose nature-based abstractions are built slowly, layer by layer. Ms. Cunniffe lives in Holmes and was born, raised and educated in Philadelphia.  She says, “I paint until a shape or color strikes a chord, and then the work begins. Eventually the painting tells a story and the canvas itself has a history.” Personal memories also play a role in her work. “In the process I strive for grace, a restrained sense of humor and the lyrical feeling that satisfies my sensibilities.”

Despite Ms. Cunniffe saying that she came to art later in life than most, her work has been included in more than 200 solo, group and juried exhibitions, including venues as varied as the Philadelphia Art Alliance; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington; Widener University; West Chester University; Penn State University, Malvern and Media campuses; Art of the State, Harrisburg; U.S. Artists American Fine Art Show (with Dolan/Maxwell Gallery); Philadelphia Sketch Club; Main Line Art Center, Haverford; and  the Wallingford Community Arts Center, where she is a member of the Exhibition Committee and has been active in curating and installing shows for more than 30 years. Her most distant exhibition was in Ireland, where she received two fellowships to live and paint at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in County Mayo.

Ms. Cunniffe’s work has also been selected for many individual and corporate collections, including QVC, The Scullin Group, Philadelphia Arts and Business Council, the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA, Astra-Zeneca and The Ballinglen Archive.

 The artist hopes that her work inspires people to find meaning in her paintings and hopes to encourage “thinking and feeling and looking, and especially finding.”  Examples of her work can be found on her website,

Paul Downie – “Many Lives” : March 4th – 29th, 2015

An exhibition of drawings and paintings by area artist Paul Downie will be on display from March 4 to 29, 2015 at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue, Swarthmore.  The public is invited to the artist’s reception, which will include live music performed by the artist and friends, on Friday March 6 from 6 to 8 pm.  The reception and the exhibit are both free and open to the public.


The exhibit, entitled “Many Lives”, presents the work of Mr. Downie, a Wynnewood artist, musician, educator and arts administrator who, in addition to his ongoing artistic work, currently serves as the Executive Director at the Community Art Center in Wallingford. He describes his work as being of the visionary and intuitive style, “with a focus on sacred geometry and the intuitive depiction of energy.”  He lists his primary artistic influences as Indian and Ethiopian painting styles, as well as the work of other contemporary urban, visionary and intuitive artists.

Of his approach to art, Mr. Downie states that he “seeks to depict the mystical world that constantly surrounds us, but that we rarely choose to acknowledge. [The goal is] to make tangible the things that appear in the mind’s eye as a part of universal experience. “

In addition to creating studio art, Mr. Downie is a muralist and since 2005 has painted over 30 murals in Philadelphia, as part of the Mural Arts Program, and in Chester.  He earned an M.Ed. from Tyler School of Art, where he has been an adjunct instructor; he has also served as an adjunct instructor at Delaware County Community College.  Prior to becoming the Executive Director at the Community Arts Center, he served there as the Program Director for 2 years.  He lives in Wynnewood with his wife and daughter.

More examples of his work can be found on his website,

Helen Larkin – “Landscapes of the Imagination” : February 4 – March 1, 2015


An exhibition of art quilts, wall hangings and handwrought jewelry created by Swarthmore artist Helen Larkin will be on display from February 4 through March 1, 2015 at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue, Swarthmore. The public is invited to the artist’s reception on Friday February 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, scheduled as part of Swarthmore’s First Friday.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, entitled “Landscapes of the Imagination,” presents the work of Ms. Larkin, a Swarthmore artist and former longtime Wallingford resident, which she describes as being inspired by nature and by her travels to China, the Poconos, Louisiana and the American Southwest.

Her interest in quilts was sparked by early experiences with her grandmother, who used remnants from Ms. Larkin’s sewn clothing in her quilts.  She describes herself as having been fascinated with the graphic quality of the quilts she saw in a mid-1970s quilt exhibit at the Whitney Museum, and that her attraction to pattern and texture in fabric led her to a quilting class taught by Nancy Rose of Swarthmore in 1985, and then to an exhibit of contemporary quilts at the Quilt National 1987 biennial exhibit.  She says that the inspiration from those quilts has “led me on an adventure exploring two different facets of this historic art form: the graphic aspects of design inherent in the quilt-making process, and the use of fabric to translate my impressions of our natural surroundings.”

In the early 1960s, she took her first jewelry class with Miriam Elsbree at the Community Arts Center, Wallingford, followed by classes and workshops with artists Don Pyewell, Faith Pfaffet-Lugassy, Harold O’Connor and Marcia Clark.  Her pins and pendants are made from metals such as silver and copper, and semiprecious stones such as, picture jasper and plume agate.  She says “the beauty that comes from the earth, and the process of creating a wearable piece of jewelry, never ceases to amaze and inspire me.  I enjoy both the puzzle and the mechanics of translating that inspiration with a melding of earth’s rocks and earth’s metals into jewelry.”

Ms. Larkin has exhibited locally in a number of area shows and juried exhibits, including the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, and has won a number of prizes for her art quilts and her jewelry.  She has been a member of Main Line Quilters since 1987, and a participant in the Advanced Jewelry Studio Workshop at the Community Arts Center since 2000.

Bobbie Davis : December 31, 2014 – February 1, 2015

An exhibition of original watercolor paintings by local artist Bobbie Davis will be on display from December 31, 2014 through February 1, 2015 at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue, Swarthmore.  The public is invited to the artist’s reception on Friday January 2 from 5 to 7 pm, which is scheduled as part of Swarthmore’s First Friday.

The exhibit presents the paintings of Mrs. Davis, a Swarthmore resident who describes  her work as intended to convey the beauty in nature to the viewer.  Her art education includes classes at Stephens College in Missouri with Judi Antonelli and Phil Blank, as well as locally at the Community Arts Center with teacher and painter Jane Miluski.  Mrs. Davis has exhibited her paintings locally in area venues, including the Community Arts Center in Wallingford and several local hospitals, as well as in previous shows sponsored by Swarthmore Friends of the Arts at Swarthmore Borough Hall.

Michele Southworth – “Along The Way” : November 15 through December 30, 2014

In the Big City - Southworth
“In The Big City” – Michele Southworth

An exhibition of mixed media paintings and ceramic work by area artist Michele Southworth will be on display from November 15  through December 30, 2014 at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Avenue, Swarthmore. The public is invited to the artist’s reception on Friday December 5 from 6 to 8 pm, scheduled as part of Swarthmore’s First Friday.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, entitled “Along the Way” presents selected work by Ms. Southworth, a Lansdowne artist and former longtime Swarthmore resident, from the last 20 years.  Her more recent impressionistic, semi-abstract paintings and her older ceramic work have been called “playful and even exuberant, with a twist that causes the viewer to look more deeply at what is being depicted”.  Her work is often inspired by city scenes, figures and nature, all with a sense of light and joy.

Ms. Southworth attended ceramics classes at Swarthmore High School in the 1960s; upon her return to the area after 20 years away, she then studied ceramics again as an adult at the Wallingford Arts Center with local ceramic artists Robert Deane, Anne Suchecki, and Barbara Hanselman, as well as with her former high school ceramics teacher Trudy Battershaw.  Feeling the need to explore a new medium after a number of years, she took a class at the Arts Center in mixed media in 2011 from local mixed media painter Nancy Barch, and says that she has “never looked back”.  A former attorney, she works as a family therapist and divorce mediator in Swarthmore and Philadelphia as her “day job”.  Because of this work, she says “I know I could devote some time to figuring out the meaning of my work in my psyche.  Part of the joy of artistic creation for me, though, lies in fully indulging the part of me that wants the pure experience of creation, unmediated by logic, purposefulness, or even comprehension.”

Ms. Southworth has exhibited locally in a number of area shows and juried exhibits, including at the Wallingford Community Arts Center, and has won several prizes for her mixed media and ceramic work.  She is in the process of establishing a painting studio in Lansdown, where she will continue to develop her mixed media paintings.  You can see more of her art on her website,

On a Moonlit NIght - Southworth
“On A Moonlit Night” – Michele Southworth