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SMALL FACES AND SHADOWS, a Show by City Gallery Founding Member Sheila Kaczmarek

I sit here every day,

Looking at the sky

Ever wondering why

I dream my dreams away

And I'm living for today

In my mind's eye.

These opening lines from a 1966 hit single by UK rock band Small Faces could very well have been written to describe our experience of 2020. Instead, they serve as introduction to Sheila Kaczmarek’s show SMALL FACES AND SHADOWS, on view at City Gallery from Saturday, June 5 until Sunday, June 27. Visitors can meet Kaczmarek, a founding member of City Gallery, on June 5, June 6, and June 27.

SMALL FACES AND SHADOWS comprises six mixed-media collages incorporating silk tissue and inks. In each, Kaczmarek creates the appearance of layers and indistinct shapes and shadows. Some of the clay forms were pit fired to give unexpected results, then incorporated randomly in the body of the work. Two handmade paper paintings began as an experiment for Kaczmarek and lend an element of surprise to the show, as do the (small) faces of five clay heads and masks.

While the show's title may have been inspired by two 1960s rock bands, the work in this exhibit is very much a reflection of our 2020 pandemic experience: indistinct, unexpected, random, experiment, surprise.

As an added bonus for Gallery visitors, founding member Jane Harris will be showing several of her recent sketch books. Harris, a long-time friend and collaborator with Kaczmarek, received a B.A. from Brown University, studied at The Art Students League of New York, apprenticed with designer Lester Beall, and worked on the staff of Apparel Arts (Esquire) and Harper’s Bazaar. She’s been featured in solo and collaborative installations at Silvermine Guild Art Center (New Canaan, CT), New Britain Museum of American Art, and the John Slade Ely House, among others.

Kaczmarek studied art at St. Martin’s School of Art, London; UCLA, California; and the Academie des Beaux Arts, Brussels. She has taught art for over 20 years. She is a founding member of City Gallery, President of the Guilford Art League, and served on the Board of the New Haven Paint and Clay Club. She works with mixed media, including transferred photographic images. Her interest lies in both the process of layering and in stripping away surfaces. She apprenticed in the ceramic studio of the Guilford Art Center for five years. Her work with clay incorporates paint, metal and encaustic wax. Most recently, she has been intrigued by the complexity and unexpected nature of assembling multiple organic forms.

SMALL FACES AND SHADOWS is free and open to the public, and runs June 5 - June 27, 2021. Visitors can Meet the Artist on June 5, 6 and 27, from 2PM - 4PM. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Modified gallery hours are Friday - Sunday, 1pm - 4 pm, or by appointment. The number of visitors is limited to 4 at a time. All visitors are required to wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols. For further information please contact City Gallery, info@city-gallery.org, www.city-gallery.org.

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