By John Chambless
The Juried Artist Connection Exhibit at the Oxford Arts Alliance has a satisfying range of works
on view, including the attention-grabbing wood construction "Taxi Romance No. 2" by Bill Shimek, and the dramatic "Rusty Angel" by Maggie Creshkoff, which makes expressive use of a rusted ceiling tin and bent metal, creating a vivid portrait.
Front and center in the gallery is "Remembering Richard," a painted portrait by Reenie Chase that shows the late Richard Beards reading in his favorite chair at Bookplace in Oxford. It won first place in the show.
Paula Graham's acrylic "Urban Vibes" has a nice energy, and there's an appealing dreamlike quality to the stark trees and lone black dog in "Coming Home" by Sally Wilson.
"Coral," by Ki Crittenden, is a fascinating little porcelain wall sculpture that's lit from within, revealing little nooks and shadows. On the other hand, Stewart Whisenant goes big with his glossy acrylic paintings "Neoliberal bull" and "Obie's Stallion."
Dean Wood Sappia's huge sculpture "Alien Inception" is in a class by itself -- a wonderful balance of steel curve, burnished wood stone that looks like a totem from some alien world. It got a second-place ribbon.
Shelley Thorstensen's "On Any Given Day" is a masterfully made etching/engraving/mezzotint with layers of intricate lines and patterns.
The wood and cork models of homes by Ed Rahme are amazingly detailed, and reflect homes
he's designed for clients that maximize their natural surroundings. Take time to appreciate the very cool "Treehouse Campground Model." I don't know if these places actually exist, but it sure would be fun to hang out in the four-story woodland perch.
The Juried Artist Connection Exhibit continues at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford) through Feb. 28. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.oxfordart.org.