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Chester County Press

Oxford Arts Alliance digs into the process of architecture

01/18/2016 12:42PM ● By J. Chambless

'Architectural Sketches: Building an Idea' has floor-to-ceiling panels that show designs in progress.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The gallery at the Oxford Arts Alliance is reconfigured by the latest exhibit, “Architectural Sketches: Building an Idea,” which traces ideas in transition – from initial doodle to completed building.

Architects Todd Tully Danner, Ed Rahme and Wayne Simpson collaborated on the show, which features their designs printed on paper banners that hang, floor to ceiling, in the gallery. The notebooks the panels are taken from are placed on tables, so visitors can leaf through them. The overall effect is walking through imagination in progress.

You'll recognize drawings for the Galer Estate Winery building, for instance, but other projects won't be as familiar. The notebooks and panels convey the jotted ideas and loose concepts that are gradually refined into razor-sharp renderings that put all the ideas in place. There is certainly as much art as science in designing a building, and this exhibit will inspire any aspiring designers or architects in your family. It's a chance to literally stand in the midst of the creative process.

Don't miss the way the wall panels spell out the title of the show, sometimes with angles of buildings and sometimes with actual letters. The gallery display is as artfully laid out as the architectural projects themselves. It's a very different idea for an exhibit, and the Arts Alliance deserves credit for setting up a show that exists purely to spark the imagination, not sell art to shoppers.

“Architectural Sketches: Building an Idea” is on view through Feb. 13. 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. Visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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