Artist Jim Bracken (left) chats with arts patrons Lynn Koziol (center) and Raymond Vivacqua, who actually purchased a painting. Photos courtesy of Linda Braceland.

Art sparks downtown renaissance

Many people believe Chester’s downtown business district can be vibrant again with arts and entertainment venues as a foundation. Chester Business Association President Linda Braceland, also a founding member of Art on the Avenue, hopes to jumpstart that renaissance by creating an artist colony where artists can work and a gallery to exhibit and sell what they create.

A recent art show and sale Braceland sponsored in the 500 block of Avenue of the States drew a sizeable audience and offered hope for an arts-led renaissance of the area. Braceland said, “This is the first of many art shows we plan to have. We are currently working to establish a permanent gallery to host a variety of events in conjunction with changing art shows.We plan to make this a venue with an emphasis on art, entertainment and community involvement.”

She said the event was so successful that she opened what was formerly a storage area to host special shows and student artists.

Chester artist Courtland Craig (wearing hat) and other artists including John Keaton (center) and Jim Bracken (at right) got to mingle with patrons of the arts at the recent gathering sponsored by Art on the Avenue, a group committed to promoting art and entertainment _to revitalize downtown Chester.

Linda Braceland (left) said attendees like Haydee and Gib Gullaksen really enjoyed the event and that the group, Art on the Avenue plans to sponsor more.

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