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Chester County Press

Young students get a spotlight at Oxford Arts Alliance

06/08/2015 09:51AM ● By J. Chambless

A cat painting by first-grader Julia Hughes.

By John Chambless

Staff Writer

For young, creative kids, nothing boosts confidence like having their artwork shown in a gallery. The Oxford Arts Alliances obliges every year with a student art show that might just launch the careers of future artists.

The exhibit, divided by school, spans works from kindergarten through 12th grade. Some of the pieces are variations on what must have been art class assignments, but it's interesting to see how children have stamped their own styles on their works. For parents, of course, their child's painting is the best in the show, but speaking as an outside observer, there are serveral pieces that have considerable charm.

Bethany Christian School first-grader Julia Hughes has a completely adorable painting/collage of a contented cat, curled up on an oval rug, that gets everything just right. Ella Cost, a fifth-grader at Bethany Christian School, shows a green cat watercolor that has great character as well.

The cut-paper collages of African families by students from the Nottingham Academy are cleverly done and memorable. Anthony Karpinski, a fourth-grader at Nottingham Academy, gets a nice sense of scale in his outer-space vision of colorful comets and moons.

Oxford Area High School is represented by some very fine watercolor portraits – one of Virginia Woolf by Maddie Sapp, and one of F. Scott Fitzgerald by Grace Miller. Both of them are seniors. But Morgan Curl's portrait of a young woman is exceptionally well done, especially considering that Curl is a 10th grader. She shows extreme promise as a professional artist someday.

Hopewell Elementary sixth-grader Lexi Hollick gets a great alien-looking sky and mysterious mood into her “Ancient Ruins” drawing. And there's a wonderful energy to the Sacred Heart School's three-dimensional interpretations of Van Gogh's “Sunflowers.” There are also several plein air landscapes by young students that show nice use of materials and lovely compositions – particularly the windswept trees in the drawing by fourth-grader Liam Davis.

Jordan Bank Elementary students have some fun variations on Monet's Garden, and some lively “April Showers” paintings as well. Elk Ridge Elementary's two polar bear paintings are great – and their various cityscapes are packed with vibrant colors and details.

Penn's Grove Middle School standouts include Hannah Bartlett's drawing, “Balloon Animal,” and Anna Byerly's somber drawing, “Broken.”

Don't miss the works displayed in the gallery's front window, particularly the black-and-white lion drawing by home-schooled student Jen Roth, who is all of 17 and shows rich promise.

The student art show continues through June 19 at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford). Visit for more informaiton.

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