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Student artists and Reenie Chase spotlighted in two Oxford shows

06/05/2017 09:25AM ● Published by J. Chambless

A nighttime view of pumpkins by Liam Montgomery of Nottingham Elementary School.

Gallery: Oxford Arts Alliance [9 Images] Click any image to expand.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The creative spirit is bursting out all over in the Oxford Arts Alliance's annual Student Art Show, which spotlights the often refreshingly original work of the area's young people.

Some schools submit examples of art class assignments that turned out well, but it's the independent voices that stand out. Jordan Bank Elementary School kindergartners Brady Watson, Emily Weaver and Blake Ganow really reach out with their Picasso-esque portraits. Nottingham Elementary third-grader Liam Montgomery's painting of two pumpkins in the moonlight has a wonderful, close-cropped composition in which the shapes of the pumpkins are echoed in the moon in the upper left corner. The lighting and texture are just right.

Works from Bethany Christian Elementary School students are highlighted by the arrestingly intense gaze in the cat portrait by Emily Rodriguez, a first-grader. Elk Ridge Elementary's highlights may be the delicate compositions of spindly flowers by Kaylee Quinlan and Keidi Zurita, which have a tranquil air about them.

The Oxford Arts Alliance's Art Academy is represented as well. Emma Blomiley, a seventh-grader, shows a portrait that's splashed with exuberant flecks of orange, yellow and blue paint. The face is extremely well done, and the work dazzles with its riveting gaze. Intentional or not, the piece echoes the work of renowned artist Brett Walker, and Blomiley displays an artistic poise well beyond her years.

As in years past, the pencil portraits by Oxford Area High School students are again the highlights of the show. There's an exceptional portrait of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia done by Hannah Bartlett, and a similarly wonderful pencil portrait by Mya Saltysiak. Special note goes to Diana Zavala's “Tupac” portrait as well.

Across the street, in the Arts Alliance's Art Annex, there's a large solo show by painter Reenie Chase that continues through June 30. “Amish Rafting” is a charming scene of young people playing in a stream. The work is nicely composed and suggests the warmth of a summer meadow.

“Technology Family Night” is a wry commentary on disconnection via smartphone, and “Shadows” is a seemingly insignificant moment of people walking in a train station that has a real punch.

Among Chase's animal portraits, the personality-filled porcine portrait, “Miss Piggy,” is notable, and “Point to Point” expresses the energy and rush of competition with blurred paint. “Majestic Splendor” captures something of the muscular beauty of two white horses in mid-step.

The Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford) hosts the Ninth Annual Student Art Show through June 16. Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The solo exhibit by Reenie Chase continues through June 30 at the Oxford Arts Alliance Art Annex (19 S. Third St., Oxford). Visit www.oxfordart.org.

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

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