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Chester County Press

Young artists exhibit award-winning works in Oxford

04/22/2019 09:56AM ● By J. Chambless

Tyler Allen, ‘Reunion,’ pastel on paper.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

There are ordinary student art shows, and then there’s the level of excellence seen at the Solanco High School Art Exhibition at the Oxford Arts Alliance. The school has an uncanny collection of artistic talent, judging by the works here, which cover a wide range of mediums.

The exhibit features award-winning works that have been honored in the National Scholastic Art Awards, which features the most outstanding work from the top one percent of students in the nation.

The black-and-white photos by Tyson Grant are elegantly done, getting to the heart of each subject. The young woman in “Acceptance,” with her nose ring and wary expression, says a lot about teen social rules. And Grant’s “Peace” is wonderfully composed.

Tyler Allen’s still life painting with a cardinal, “Out on a Limb,” is exceptional, as are his still life of onions (“Aromatics”) and his dazzling symphony of fruit skin colors and textures in the still life “Reunion,” which adds the complexity of depicting reflections in Christmas tree decorations as a final measure of excellence.

There’s a range of distinctive works by Olivia Stoltzfus, who has an artistic voice that’s fully developed, even though she’s just graduating from Solanco High School. Her nude, “Felix,” is dynamic, but her self-portraits – “Daughter,” “Summer Self Portrait” and “Integrity” – show a high degree of awareness and a Grant Wood style, notably the pastel “Integrity,” which has a splendid texture and color palette. Stoltzfus also depicts her family’s roots in the sweet, nostalgic “Looking Down With Compassion.”

Among the three-dimensional works, Abigail Yoder’s sculpture “Dreaming” captures an introspective, unguarded moment with perfect grace. The pottery vessels – “Celadon Rose” by Chase Charles, and “Lavish Briny Deep” by Marguerite Segich among them – show formidable skill in design and execution. Mackenzie Roth’s “Straightforward Tea Set” is a great piece of design, and the two wire self-portraits sculptures by Hannah Weickel and Paris Tomlinson are lovely 3-D drawings done with wire that capture features and a bit of their personalities as well.

You will walk away from this show dazzled by the technical skill and confidence of these young artists, and looking forward to what they’ll produce in the many years ahead in their art careers.

The Solanco High School Art Exhibition continues at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford) through May 10. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 610-467-0301 or visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email [email protected]