Seven Sisters hosts pioneering musician’s artwork

HARTLY –– A handful of paintings by music pioneer Genya Ravan are hiding out in an unassuming local spot –– the tiny Seven Sisters gift shop in Hartly.

The seasonal shop typically sells locally made art but through a family friend, owner Jennifer Cravens-Wooleyhand was able to get a hold of 10 original works painted by Ms. Ravan from the late 1990s up to 2015.

Ms. Ravan’s fiancé, John Cooper attended Caesar Rodney High School and Ms. Cravens-Wooleyhand saw an intriguing post of his on Facebook.

“John posted on Facebook that she was going to start selling some of her art that she’s been working on over the years and I let him know I was interested,” she said. “They let me choose nine and I ended up with 10 in the shop.”

The paintings are oil on canvas and range in subject matter from abnormally colored animals to surrealistic women with porcelain skin and rainbow hair to nuns ice skating in the snow –– a painting Ms. Cravens-Wooleyhand described as fitting for a cover of The New Yorker.

The paintings aren’t special only because they were made by a musician, but because they were made by a well-known member of the music industry.

Ms. Ravan is best known for leading the first all-female rock band to be signed to a major label, Goldie and the Gingerbreads. They opened for bands like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds.

“She’s made rock ‘n’ roll history,” Ms. Cravens-Wooleyhand said. “If it hadn’t been for her being so bold, it may have taken 10 or 20 years for a female band to make a breakthrough. She’s made things a lot more attainable for the Madonnas and Lady Gagas of the world.”

Ms. Ravan was portrayed in the 2013 film drama, “CBGB,” about a the famed New York nightclub owned by Hilly Kristal known as “the godfather of punk.”

The club featured acts like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry early in their careers and Ms. Ravan performed alongside them in the 1970s.

“It’s humbling because with her notoriety, she could sell her work anywhere in the world and we’re here in Hartly, Delaware selling these beautiful pieces,” Ms. Cravens-Wooleyhand said.

Ms. Ravan will have a meet-and-greet session Sunday around 2 p.m. at Seven Sisters, 6038 Westville Road in Hartly. The shop will be open from 10 a.m. until the conclusion of Ms. Ravan’s meet-and-greet.

The shop is otherwise open every fall on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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