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Chester County Press

A wide-ranging show by members at the Oxford Arts Alliance

08/20/2018 11:32AM ● By J. Chambless

'The Sea,' a painting on a headboard by Nancy Swope.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The 10th Annual Members Show at the Oxford Arts Alliance has a rich range of mediums and styles, giving everyone – from amateur to polished professional – a chance to exhibit together.

In the center of the gallery are two dynamic metal sculptures by Tiho Evev – the amorphous “The Shadow of a Dream” and the powerful “Meteor,” which captures an impact with a forceful arc of fiery tail, rendered in steel.

Taking a stand for painting on unusual surfaces is Nancy Swope's “The Sea,” done on a headboard with curving edges that mimic the shape of waves. Kennett Square photographer Rusty Nelson shines with two strong images. In “The Caddy,” a vintage trailer sits under a canopy of stars, magically blending photography, the textures of a painting and a glistening surface to become something hyper-real. Nelson's “Stand Alone,” a solitary tree menaced by an apocalyptic cloud bank, is dramatic in a whole different way.

Ed Rahme's “Giordano Bruno” is an unforgettable portrait on a burned-wood panel. In the text written on the panel, Rahme explains that Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for suggesting the possibility of life on other worlds. Rahme drew the portrait in pencil, painted the lines with gasoline and then set fire to the piece. “When the fire went out … Giordano was alive again,” Rahme writes. It's an arresting image.

And speaking of powerful, Vitaly Semenchenko has two showpieces -- “Visiting Olson,” an oil of a young woman at the Olson house in Maine; and a masterful nude, “Model Back Side,” that, the artist notes above his signature, took “20 min.” Both of them are wonderful.

Maggie Creshkoff earns acclaim for her two witty wood assemblages made of cast-off pieces arranged as only she can, into “Bird” and “Pig,” and they are utterly charming.

Mary Johnson's inkjet print, “Unexpected” – a woman and her dog in a shower of packages – is indeed unexpected, and very nicely done. Jay Eaton goes all Salvador Dali with a working ceramic clock that's draped over a wood block in “Homage.” Lee Archer has two supremely skillful pencil drawings, “Pug” and the portrait “Juliana.” Ken Schwartzman has a fine black-and-white photo, “Dance in Soho,” that is a symphony of sun, shadow and graceful movement.

Reenie Chase has three nice little acrylic paintings of crows, and two artists work in painting on silk – Dixie O'Connor (“Canyon Moon”) and Alina Grozav (“The Owl With a Free Soul” and “The Silence of Nature”).

For sheer range of styles, though, it's hard to beat this exhibition, which packs some very fine work into the gallery space.

The Members Show continues through Sept. 14 at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford). There will be a closing reception with the artists on Sept. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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