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Chester County Press

National and regional artists shown in Oxford for Juried Exhibition

09/19/2016 10:21AM ● By J. Chambless

'Symphony' by Lele Galer.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The Oxford Arts Alliance's National Juried Exhibition brings nationwide art to Oxford, and that alone deserves congratulations. And it's not all pleasant, match-your-couch art, either, which is even better.

Leading the way is Susan Melrath from Oxford, whose huge mixed-media abstract panel is the sort of statement piece that could define a home. Titled “Super Girl,” it's full of intriguing details, overlapping shapes and textures that don't give away any secrets.

Wisconsin artist Stephanie Holznecht's “Tuscan Sun Shines Through the Night” is a fascinating abstract in which the acrylic paint becomes ribbons of red/orange texture on a black background. It's not clear how she accomplished it, but the swooping, swirling lines are fascinating.

“Niyama II,” by Dover artist Kate Huffman, dominates one wall. Made of intricately cut paper that's roughly stitched together and overlapped, it looks like wallpaper that's transforming as you watch. There's a rich texture and somber mood in Lele Galer's two woodland scenes, “Nightwatch” and the more golden-hued “Symphony.”

Virginia artist Elizabeth Flood has two fine, sunny oils, “Water Street Garage” and “Lambeth Field,” that glow with summertime light. David Katz, a West Chester artist, goes for full drama in “Honey Brook Devil Sky,” an oil of a home under an apocalyptic swirl of nightttime clouds.

Beth Trapper has a striking sepia photo, “The Progress of Woman,” that makes effective use of its antique frame and dried-flower mat, and Heather Davis' brilliant oil of the Kuerner farm, “Warm Fresh Air,” is delightful.

“Pond,” by Arkansas artist Elise Raborg, has a muted palette that perfectly suits its semi-abstract take on tangled trees and undergrowth.

Virginia artist Joseph Bellofatto shows very impressive skill with a pencil in “The Temptation,” as Eve, in an unconventional pose, gets nose-to-nose with the serpent. Don't miss Kristen Pell's charming little oils, “Farmer's Market” and “Hiding,” which are unframed and tucked away on a shelf in the gallery. Nearby, South Carolina artist Lisa Shimko has a lovely fantasy image of a regal-looking mother bear and cub that looks like a page from a richly illustrated children's book.

The award winners were:

1st Prize - Kristen Pell - "Hiding"
2nd Prize - Elizabeth Flood - "Water Street Garage"
3rd Prize - Maggie King - "Playing Ball, Mt. Gretna"
Honorable Mention - Elise Raborg - "Shrine 1"
Honorable Mention - Kyung Ah Kim - "Lobby 2"

The National Juried Exhibition continues through Oct. 14 at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford). 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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