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Chester County Press

Fine art for giving, or for yourself

11/29/2016 09:11AM ● By J. Chambless

The Chadds Ford Gallery welcomes browsers to its 35th annual 'Christmas in Miniature' show.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The annual "Christmas in Miniature" show at the Chadds Ford Gallery is destination number one for art collectors, and a heck of a lot of fun for browsers as well. But be warned -- you will find something you love at this show, which packs art onto every square inch of wall space.
This year's show, the 35th annual event, has some starring works (which may or may not still be available when you read this). There are a couple of showpieces by Peter Sculthorpe -- "Winter Stalls" and "Winter Gales" -- that are little jewels, in a size not usually seen from the renowned artist. And there are several masterful small oils by Bill Ewing, including portraits of Gen. Lee, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, as well as his usual elegant still lifes. So yes, there are opportunities here to add a cornerstone piece to your art collection, but they are not cheap.
You will find plenty of other affordable gems, of course, including very skillfully done watercolors by Ray Hendershot and Carolyn Anderson, and plenty of wonderfully contemplative interior scenes by J.M. Standish.
There are nearly photo-realist views of woodlands by Lou Messa, lovely original watercolors by Robert Stack, and luminous oils of local scenes by Jacalyn Beam, along with lovely landscapes by Frank De Pietro.
And there are always some surprises at this show by artists you might now know. You will love the warm, slanting sunlight in "Autumn Shadows" by Heather Peacock, the glowing fall view "Hickory" by Diane Blanche Stirrat, the hauntingly stark oils by Tom Acosta that recall the work of Grant Wood, and the wonderful evocation of snowy chill in "Winter Canal" by Neal Hughes.
You will need an hour to give each painting even a preliminary glance, and then some more time to decide which ones will have to come home with you. If you have art lovers on your gift list -- or if you want to splurge on yourself this year -- see the show early (it opens on Nov. 30) and return often, because works are restocked when something sells. That perfect painting might just arrive after opening day.
On your mark, get set, shop!

The 35th annual "Christmas in Miniature" show continues at the Chadds Ford Gallery (Route 1, Chadds Ford) through Dec. 31. On Nov. 30, the gallery will be open until 8 p.m. Regular hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 1-877-993-8425 or visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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