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Bring your party hats and come up the hill to join us in celebrating Wharton Esherick’s 137th birthday on July 13, 2024, from 12:00 – 3:00 PM. Festivities include artist demonstrations, a pop-up exhibition of tools from the 1956 Workshop, timed walkthroughs of the Studio, and live music. We’ll be celebrating alongside our friends from the Dox Thrash House, Barnstone Art for Kids, and Nakashima Woodworkers. Enjoy hands-on activities exploring printmaking, textiles, and woodworking, and talks from artists featured in our 30th Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition.

Guests will be able to enjoy special access to Esherick’s 1956 Workshop along with festive fare and refreshments. During the party, we’ll be hosting a raffle offering unique experiences, artworks and more from members of the Esherick Museum family. Grab your tickets now and celebrate your creative side! Happy 137th Birthday, Wharton!


Raffle items include:

»  Six vouchers for a tour and refreshments in the Margaret Esherick House

»  Original sketches by Amy Forsyth

»  Collector’s Edition of Song of the Broad Axe 

»  Package of Wharton Esherick Museum books, books authored by WEM staff, and a voucher for the upcoming Crafted World of Wharton Esherick book

»  Piece by WEM’s own woodworker extraordinaire, Larissa Huff




12:15-2:45: Timed Studio Walkthroughs 

1:30-2:00: Artist Talks

2:00-2:30 Nature Walk with Raul De Lara

2:30-3:00 Nature Walk with Talia Drury




Our artist demonstrators for the day include:

Dana Meyer will be running a textile demonstration for visitors that highlights the  wonderful and recently discovered weavings made by Letty Esherick.

» About Dana Meyer: Dana has always been a maker. Her entire life has been centered around her creative ambitions and love for art and fashion. She currently works as a full-time fashion designer in New York City and has designed for Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Jessica Simpson and Lucky Brand. While apparel design is the foundation of her work, she focuses her artistic efforts on all types of textile art, manipulation and design. Her work is multi-faceted and emphasizes technical sewing construction, skill and detail in every medium she works with. This includes endeavors in needlepoint, hand embroidery, weaving, knit and crochet pieces, traditional tailoring methods and leather work.

Dana grew up on Valley Forge Mountain, where she still lives and works when not in NYC. She holds an MS in Fashion Design from Drexel University and a BA in Art and Art History from Elon University.


Raul De Lara and Talia Drury will co-lead a demonstration in woodworking and milk paint. Both artists, who each have artworks on view in the Rhythms: WEM’s 30th Annual Juried Woodworking exhibition, will also join us for a talk about their pieces in the show and lead guests on a guided nature walk on the WEM grounds.

» About Raul De Lara:
Raul De Lara is a sculptor based in NYC. His practice is rooted in storytelling via woodworking. De Lara immigrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 12, and has been a DACA recipient since 2012. Growing up in Texas as a non- English speaker, and still currently unable to leave the USA, his work questions ideas around nationality, queer identity, and the immigrant experience. Exploring forms inspired by flora, mask makers, furniture design and architecture, De Lara imbues his sculptures with a hybrid mixture of Mexican/American cultural references, and functions. His research preserves, honors and propels forward traditional uses of wood while combining them with new developments in the global industry of woodworking.

» About Talia Drury
Talia Drury is a woodworker and carver based in Rochester, New York, where she is completing her MFA in Furniture Design at the School of American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology. Growing up in Iowa, Talia developed a deep connection to nature, nurtured by her family’s love for the outdoors. Her grandmother often took her on walks through their wooded property, gathering nuts and seeds, hunting for mushrooms, and teaching her about the trees that surrounded them. Talia’s work is deeply influenced by her childhood memories and her ongoing curiosity about nature. She channels these influences into her woodworking and mark-making, creating pieces that invite viewers to pause, explore, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Through her art, Talia aims to foster a deeper connection between people and the environment, encouraging a sense of reverence for the Earth and its wonders.


Jessica Barber from the Dox Thrash House will lead guests in a printmaking activity – and share more about efforts to preserve the historic Dox Thrash House.

The Dox Thrash House Project is an informal collective of designers, students, architects, preservationists and enthusiasts that are passionate about history, social justice, and equitable development. Since 2016 we have been engaged in a project to save the historic Dox Thrash House and re-establish it as a community anchor in North Philly!

Dox Thrash was a prolific 20th century printmaker who settled in Philadelphia during the 1920s. Thrash became the first Black artist to work for the WPA’s Fine Print Workshop in Philadelphia. Thrash’s printmaking explored the rich expressive potential found in the ordinary rhythms of the social life around him. He created images of everyday life in Black America—from scenes of his Georgia hometown to stirring portraits of his neighbors in Philadelphia. Thrash helped to pioneer a new type of printmaking technique known as carborundum mezzotint that could produce a large swath of tones from pale gray to deep place. This printmaking technique was Thrash’s primary medium during his career and lends a uniquely expressive quality to his work.

Jessica E. Barber is a Philadelphia-based mixed media artist and printmaker originally from South Central Pennsylvania. Her intuitive approach to the creative process includes the use of monotype and lithograph printmaking, pastels, and mixed media painting. Most recently, she has expanded her studio practice to include cyanotype photography.

For the last four years, Barber has had a heightened interest in the natural world, fueled by hiking throughout the Mid-Atlantic, South Florida, and American West. This interest was further enhanced through volunteering and work-related activities spent at local preserves, presenting her with more opportunities to gain awareness of the natural history and preservation of these diversified ecosystems. The exposure to and enjoyment of the pristine beauty of open space and its inherent contrast to gritty, ephemerally abandoned areas being reclaimed by the elements has fueled her “natural selection” of works.

A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she is currently a resident of Marcus Hook, PA. She is a co-founder of Art on Avenue of the States Gallery in Chester, PA and is also represented by Twenty-Two Gallery in Philadelphia. In addition to solo and group exhibitions in Greater Philadelphia, her work has been shown in New York, NY, and Miami, FL.


Our friends from George Nakashima Woodworkers will join us with handmade goods and stories from their site.

In 1945, George Nakashima opened his woodworking business simply to earn a living using the skills he had learned as an Eagle Scout in the Pacific Northwest, as an architect in the Far East, and as a woodworker in the Idaho desert. George Nakashima Woodworkers continue to custom-mill sustainably harvested hardwoods—maximizing both yield and their innate beauty—and to select the resulting planks individually for each project. They strive to create the “antiques of the future” as a collaborative, integrated process throughout which designer and maker work hand-in-hand, now guided by Mira Nakashima’s keen sensibility.


Barnstone Art for Kids will join us with a hands-on art-making activity and to share more on how they use art-making as therapy for children facing adversity.

Barnstone Art for Kids  is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Phoenixville, PA that uses the power of art and community connection to foster resiliency in children facing adversity. Children benefit from sustained one-to-one interactions with a motivated, volunteer mentor, and our mentors are rewarded with a sense of fulfillment and a chance to make a difference. Barnstone Art for Kids addresses Adverse Childhood Experiences as a public health concern and developed our art programs to reduce the risk of poor outcomes for children suffering adversity. The Power of Art and Emerging Voices (for teens) includes a creative full-year curriculum that encourages the development of healthy life skills by pairing a child with a compassionate one-to-one mentor to explore art in a safe, positive environment. The programs support the development of communication and social skills, adaptive problem solving, self-awareness and confidence. These programs, along with our community based “On the Go” and “Awareness Program”, seek to fill the gap faced by local children between school and home supports. Delivery of high quality, small group programs at Barnstone Art For Kids feature one-to-one relationships, intensive mentor screening and trauma awareness training, and promote community and family awareness of ACE, trauma and resilience. Programming is offered at no cost to child or family and is designed to help our children Heal, Cope, and Grow!


Live Music by Mike and Dave Biddison of the Llama Dalis!

Brothers Mike and Dave Biddison have been writing and playing music together for nearly fifty years. Locals may be familiar with their band the Llama Dalis who have been playing since 1999 mostly locally. Old timers may even remember them from the 1990s in their days in the band Neo Pseudo, playing such iconic venues as the Cabarets, North Star Bar, Alibis, The Grape Street Pub, tithe Chameleon. and the Tin Angel. This configuration ,with just the two brothers in a stripped down acoustic format, still maintains an infectious energy. Their music is heartful, sometimes quirky, and always personal, supported by tasty percussion acoustic guitar and good old brother harmonies.


Ticket Details:

$60 Adult

$50 for Members – Join or renew today to purchase your ticket at this special price!

$30 Child (ages 5-12)


Tickets are non-refundable. The event will be held rain or shine.


Can’t make the party? Consider a gift of support to celebrate Esherick’s birthday!

WEM represents Esherick’s artistic home, a home to his truest expression of self and his boundless creativity. Your support ensures the preservation and celebration of this special place for generations to come! Thank you!

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