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Materials used in new ways at Arts Alliance exhibition

05/22/2017 10:24AM ● Published by J. Chambless

An Ocean Vessel and 'Chaos' by Jill Beech.

Gallery: Earth's Many Offerings [4 Images] Click any image to expand.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The Oxford Arts Alliance continues to expand the region's arts scene with “Earth's Many Offerings,” an exhibit by Jill Beech and Helen Mason that runs through May 30.

The two artists create strikingly differing works that nevertheless share a thematic link. Mason works with strips of rubber – tires and hoses primarily – and creates things you would never expect. She has a group of statement-piece brooches that combine rubber with gold, stone, gems and other bits and pieces in bold and interesting ways. Her large wall pieces and sculptures on one side of the gallery are dazzlingly creative, making art out of material that would otherwise be clogging landfills.

The curves and textures in “Knotted Orgy Sculpture,” for instance, are endless and intricate. “Wave Lengths Sculpture” is a framed horizontal assemblage that recalls ocean currents. Mason's large “Calligraphic Collaborations” in plexiglass frames use thinner strips of rubber, as well as photos, text clippings and colored paper, with the rubber serving as bold marks in the compositions.

On the other side of the gallery, Beech's light, airy colors and pierced stoneware vessels suggest coral reefs. They are accented with encaustic paintings on wood panels that evoke swirling ocean currents, or the interplay of sunlight and turquoise water.

Beech's “Refugees,” on the other hand, are grim and powerful. They resemble bodies wrapped in shrouds, their identities hidden, but tragically human.

Both artists will discuss their works during a free program on May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery. The exhibition continues through May 30. The Arts Alliance is at 38 S. Third St., Oxford. Hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.oxfordart.org for more information.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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