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Chester County Press

Small art and a big selection at Chadds Ford Gallery

12/12/2014 09:34AM ● By J. Chambless

'Christmas in Miniature' at the Chadds Ford Gallery.

Art buyers know what to expect at the "Christmas in Miniature" show at the Chadds Ford Gallery. The show marks the gallery's 31st anniversary, after all, so it's best to arrive with some time to spend surveying two rooms hung floor to ceiling with original paintings.

They range from the extremely tiny – an inch or two wide – to the not-really-miniature, but the great thing about the every-square-inch approach is how many different artists are represented.

The works are sold off the walls and replaced, so the selection will be different each time you visit. But some standouts on a visit recently included Cheryl Decker-Sauder's very tiny watercolors of barns and local scenes, painted with amazing detail. On the other end of the scale, there are atmospheric winter landscapes by Mark Dance that are smudgy layers of paint that suggest acres of space but don't delineate anything in detail.

There are several lovely watercolors by the late artist Paul Scarborough that his many longtime collectors will enjoy. You'll also find illustrations of cat pirates by Karl J. Kuerner, and a resonant still life by Anna B. McCoy, which tie into the gallery's strong connection to the Wyeth family of artists.

There's a very skillful oil, "The Old Customs House," by Robert Bohne that has a wonderfully warm afternoon light, and an autumn landscape by Nancy Cunningham that captures every leaf and branch with splendid clarity.

Susan Myers has a pastel, "Tree Farm," with a perfectly rendered winter sunset sky, and Jacalyn Beam's "Pocopson Blue" captures a vivid blue caboose on a railroad siding.

You'll appreciate the summer light in Michael Tomasso's pastel, "In the Meadow – Longwood," and Mark Dance's watercolor "Fall Leaves" is a contrast to his oil semi-abstracts, but just as well done.

In keeping with the prevailing attitude that smaller works command a smaller price – one of the oddities of the art world – the works are priced at the lower end for gift giving. Or maybe you'll want to take one of these little gems home and add it to your own collection.

"Christmas in Miniature" continues at the Chadds Ford Gallery (1609 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford) through Dec. 31. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 610-388-2412 or visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail [email protected].