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Chester County Press

A show about traveling and transitions at the Chadds Ford Gallery

02/07/2017 11:03AM ● By J. Chambless

'Houses on the Hill' by Neal Hughes.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

“Passages,” a theme of transportation and changes, is a good umbrella for the Chadds Ford Gallery's new show, which opens with an artist reception on Feb. 10.

There is some fine work, especially paintings by Neal Hughes, a New Jersey artist whose luminous oils have a vivid light and a maturity that sets them apart. The sunlit Victorian roof lines in “Houses on the Hill” leap out of the frame, leading your eye to the more subtly rendered bushes, flowers and weeds on the foreground hillside. Hughes' “Evening Colors,” a superbly rendered yard stacked with lobster pots and an overturned boat, centers on the sunlight glinting off the water on the other side of the house, seen through the windows.

Karl Kuerner's expanse of wintry hillside, “Four Wheel Drive,” is a wonderful view of wind-whipped snow, tire tracks and ice-topped fence posts, with a tiny fox at the crest of the hill. It's a wide-open composition that succeeds on every level.

Steven White specializes in views of airplanes in rugged settings (“Take Me Up,” “On Step”), but the vivid orange-yellow biplane in “Yellow Peril” steals the spotlight in the front room of the gallery.

Robert Stack's captivating driver's-eye viewpoint in the watercolor “Down the Road of Life We Fly” is splendidly done; and his dazzling depiction of a lighthouse and closely passing sailboat, “Close Hauled at Brown's Head,” is a symphony of lighter-than-air hues.

Jacalyn Beam's “Winter Passage” holds its place admirably with a robust rendering of sun and shadows on snow, and Bill Ewing gets right to the heart of the transportation theme of the show with his oil, “Motor Head.”

Special note goes to Glenn Blue, whose “Heading West” is an immersive watercolor of clouds and mountains seen from a plane's perspective that puts you right in the pilot's seat.

There are several other nice pieces, including Glenn Blue's “Warmth of the Cold,” an image of sunlight slanting through a forest that evokes the essence of wintertime chill.

“Passages” continues through Feb. 26 at the Chadds Ford Gallery (1609 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford). A reception will be held Feb. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. 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].