by Pete Mazzaccaro

Every spring and fall, Chestnut Hill’s seasonal street fairs seem to attract more and more people who crowd Germantown Avenue, browsing the art, listening to bands and eating food from the local vendors.

But Chestnut Hill is a place where you can find art every day. Chestnut Hill does not have a reputation for being a great art neighborhood, but it has more than its fair share of art – from visual arts to literature to music. You don’t have to wait for one of the seasonal art invasions of Germantown Avenue to find art in your backyard.

First, we have one of the best art museums in the city in the Woodmere Art Museum. The institution has recently become a showcase for great regional artists. Take the museum’s new exhibition of the work of Mt. Airy artist Peter Paone. (See museum director William Valerio’s column about the exhibit)

There are art galleries galore, too. From The Carol Schwartz Gallery to Gravers Lane Gallery and Chestnut Hill Gallery and Frame Shop, where legitimate works of art by well known artists can be purchased. There’s Wendy Concannon’s Photography studio – she has her own work and that of others. She recently had a show of Photographer Steve Ladner, a former New York City fashion photographer, who has shot for the Local, too. Off the avenue is The McCarty Gallery, too. There are many more.

We also have the Muse Center for Literary Arts, where visitors can take classes and catch readings by notable local poets and writers. From poetry retreats to haiku workshops, it is the kind of resource few other communities enjoy.

For music, there’s always The Mermaid Inn, the small stage of which is a regular site for small rock, folk and blues bands. It’s a good place to see local legends like the Ted Fink, Roger Learnard Band and Rev. Chris and the High Rollers.

Those are just off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m forgetting others, and it’s not intended to be a slight. There are many artists in Chestnut Hill and many venues where their works can be found. It’s important to support them every chance we get.

And speaking of local arts it’s time for the Kids Edition

Chestnut Hill artists start young. And the Local likes to give young artists an early start on finding a place to display their best work in our annual Kids Edition. We’re doing this edition later than we’ve done in the past, in part to feature it at a time when the season is busier and more people are reading the paper.

There are some important “rules” worth mentioning.

First, all submissions should be clearly labeled “Kids Edition” on either the envelope in which it is sent or on the subject line if it is emailed as a jpg attachment. Send physical copies to the Chestnut Hill Local, Kids Edition, 8434 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19118. Email submissions to Remember to put Kids Edition in the subject line.

As in the past, we’re looking for drawings, paintings, creative photos and sketches. We’re also looking for stories and poems, but they must be short. Stories and poems must be a page or less in length. Visual arts must also be no bigger than one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper unless it is emailed in.

We always get a lot of submissions and do our best to run as much as we can, but space is limited.

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