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Chester County Press

Images of autumn and places you'll recognize

11/01/2016 08:59AM ● By J. Chambless

'Adjusting the Lights' by Jacalyn Beam.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

There's a fine autumnal air to Jacalyn Beam's show at the Chadds Ford Gallery, titled “Treats and Tricks,” but the subject matter spans more than pumpkins and fall scenes.

The generous cross-section of 54 paintings does have scenes from the Chadds Ford Pumpkin Carve (“Adjusting the Lights” and “Pumpkin Tea,” for instance), but the show is nicely weighted toward Beam's depictions of Chester County farms and distinctive homes that will have you playing guess-the-location.

Among the nicer moments are “A Locust Grove Day,” with its strong depiction of a brilliant blue sky over a massive barn; and the lovely light and reflecting farm pond in “Indian Hannah Morning.”

There's a nice icy darkness in “Winter Camp,” with its dots of starlight and tiny hints of warmth in the gloom; and there's a wonderful sense of light and space in the ocean vista “Coming In,” with its soaring sky and endless horizon.

In contrast, there's a warm summer light in “Grazing,” with the grazing cows depicted with the most sparing use of paint. “Coastline” is a fine shore view that makes the most of its small size. And the small vertical view of an open barn door, titled “Enter,” spotlights the ruddy glow of the pumpkins inside very effectively.

Overall, there's a strong sense of Chester County in the show – both in the subject matter and in the way Beam captures the rambling buildings and distinctive scenery of the region. There are moments that pop with distinctive light and warmth, making this show well worth a visit.

“Treats and Tricks” continues through Nov. 13 at the Chadds Ford Gallery (1609 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford). Gallery hours are Tuesday through 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, email [email protected].