‘Face of West Chester’: Pandemic Portrait Project Brings Neighborhoods Together

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) – Susan Curtin has been an artist all her life. She recalls how the hobby helped her get rid of shyness in her youth. And after her latest project, she has become the furthest away from shyness.

“During the pandemic, I was very isolated from everyone and I missed everyone,” she said. “I started mulling over this idea that I wanted to draw pictures of children.”

During his daily walks, Curtin, 70, often asks his neighbors for permission to take their pictures. Then she would go home and create a wonderful sketch within three days.

After two years, the “Faces of West Chester” project ended with about 145 portraits depicting all ages and walks of life.

Neighbor Dena Beeghly said: ‘It made me feel like a real part of the world anyway.

Curtin’s hobby has become a sport for neighbors who follow her on the internet.

“You recognize people on Facebook when she posts them,” says Maryann Nicholson. “While you don’t know who they are, you realize that they are a part of your life.”

Before long, the Western Chester community will see their faces in the limelight. Curtin’s portraits will be the headlines for a 10-day exhibition that can be enjoyed by the public. Church Street Gallery will be open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm to 4pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 5pm. The show begins with a grand opening on Wednesday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m., and the show’s final day is Saturday, July 9.

Curtin hopes her project will inspire neighbors near and far to come together and build a strong sense of community together.

“I hope that others realize that the casual greeting and asking if you need help can go a long way,” she said.

To learn more about the upcoming exhibit, visit the Church Street Gallery website.

RELATED: Artist with autism wins award, scores first solo exhibition

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https://6abc.com/faces-of-west-chester-portrait/11990976/ ‘Face of West Chester’: Pandemic Portrait Project Brings Neighborhoods Together

Mike Fahey

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