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Chester County Press

New artists and styles at the Oxford Arts Alliance

10/22/2018 09:56AM ● By J. Chambless

'One Night at My Window' by Lisa Baird.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

There are some new names and a nice variety of styles in the National Juried Exhibition at the Oxford Arts Alliance this month. The annual show brings together artists who are new to the area, and the show is always packed with some nice surprises.

Erick von Hoffman's “Orange With Bottle” is a classic still life that has an elegant treatment of surfaces and reflections. Next to it, Diane Cannon's mixed-media “Discovery” is a flurry of flapping seagull wings, rock and surf that gets maximum energy out of its composition and vibrant colors.

A detailed woodcut by M. Alexander Gray, “Mouth of the Tye River, Nelson County, Va.,” is a wonderful view of fields, river and trees that has all the skill of a Rockwell Kent. It got a third-place ribbon in the show.

Robert Barrie Maguire gets the most out of the rust-orange tones in his oil of gears and rope, “St. Brendan's Cove,” and Eo Omwake will have you pondering what's going on in his monumental cactus painting, titled “Self Portrait of Everybody.”

The first-place winner is the triptych “One Night at My Window,” by Lisa Baird, that pulls together fantastic animals, people, and mysteries across three large panels. It's vivid and a little unsettling and points to any number of dreamlike messages.

On another extreme, Linnie Greenberg's painting, “Ida Mae Quick Town Fair,” is a fun, nostalgic assemblage of iconic fair booths, a passing train, the suggestion of spinning rides, and a fascinating flat style that's quite charming.

“Mother's Basket” is a beautifully painted still life of a basket in half-light by Joseph Krawczk that has a lovely texture in the wooden slats and the cloth draped on the foreground ledge. “Stingray,” a metal sculpture by Charles Wilmont, has a sinuous metal ray that juts out from the burnished metal background, and it seems to be floating in an endless sea. The highlights of the background shift and shimmer in the light as you walk past, enhancing the magical effect.

Susan Melrath's second-place painting, “The Dream,” has a lovely textured surface of blended letters, curves, underlayers and shiny highlights, amounting to a crazy-quilt of shapes. There's a lesson to be learned in Joshua Schaeffer's painting “Synergy” – a fork jabbed into an outlet that suggests an inevitable result.

Among the smaller works, Margarete Noesner's pastel, “Down Under,” is a very nice, shadowy under-the-boardwalk view. Picking up an honorable mention is Stacey Peterson's “Pearl Perfection Box,” a lovely little silver box with latticed sides and a gleaming pearl on the top. There's also a painted, life-size bust by Harold Kalmus, “MCB,” that has a haunting presence in the gallery.

The Fourth Annual National Juried Exhibition continues at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford) through Nov. 8. There will be a closing reception on Nov. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit for more information.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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