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The Phoenixville Northside Neighbor Community Watch and the nonprofit Benevolent Art gallery have collaborated to exhibit these paintings along with the work of several others. Everything is for sale and was created by local artists.

Tilghman, a Lionville artist and 47-year-old married father of two, is the exhibit's featured artist.

"What I love most of all is creating," Tilghman said Tuesday. "I just love the process. Sometimes a painting will go its own direction and you go with the flow."

Tilghman works mostly in acrylic and watercolor and recently started working with canvas and acrylic. He defines his style as "eclectic" and in four disciplines: Realism, Cubism, Impressionism and Tall Tale art.

As part of what Tilghman calls"Tall Tale" art, he elongates, enlarges and distorts parts of his subjects.

When asked about the significance of celebrating the month, Tilghman said, "Black History Month is just another month because I'm black year round."

Tilghman said that as an artist he has low times or times when he is limited.

"Every year you hit a wave and it may last for two or three weeks," said Tilghman. "It's sort of like fasting and cleaning out your head so you can hear more clearly. Hearing from God is now clearer. Everything I've created comes through Him."

Tilghman spoke about his contrasting styles.

"When I'm doing realism and capturing a particular moment it gets the point across the best," said Tilghman. "That's what I'm after. Color might be superior or it might be personality. I'm never disappointed but that doesn't mean I complete everything I start.

"It's all about color, contrast and simplification. Simplification is the most powerful way to express a subject matter."

Although no such works are included as part of the show, much of Tilghman's paintings deal with baseball.

"I like the history most of all," said Tilghman. "My curiosity peaked with finding images in the Negro Leagues."

He enjoys painting the "colorful personalities and the skill that they played the game with."

Tilghman is excited that the gallery's proceeds are contributed toward Holcombe Rehabilitation Centers, the Children's Learning Center and other charitable projects.

"I always support the cause of the disenfranchised," he said. "There were times in my past when I was in great need of support and needed a roof over may head and people took me in."

When asked about his rising star, Tilghman said, "You take it with a grain of salt. As they say, overnight success takes about ten years. I've been in the business 20 years."

Gallery Manager Keli Artison enjoys working at the gallery for several reasons.

"I really have a great deal of respect for the art displayed and I am impressed with the sacrifices that artists make in order to peruse their art," said Artison. "The bottom line is that when something sells I know where the money goes. We generate money for nonprofits."

Several works of local artist Cecelia Bond will also be featured. Bond majored in art through her school years and as part of a three-year scholarship she studied at the Museum of Fine Arts in Massachusetts.

Tilghman has a gallery located at 239 Harmony Street in Coatesville. Hours are by appointment. Call (610) 380-1204 for more information.

Benevolent Art Gallery is open Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Call (610) 415-0602 for more information. The current exhibit runs through February.

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