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Event Dates

Friday, April 28, 2023 10am to 4pm

224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134

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Exhibition Dates: March 9 - April 28, 2023
Reception: Saturday, March 11, 5-7pm

Gallery 224 is open to visitors Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm each day.

Shawn Panepinto is a Boston area artist who recently retired as Director of Operations for The Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard University. She graduated from Ridgewood College of Art in 1972, and graduated from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1978. She has taught at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts Prison Art Program, The Radcliffe Pottery Studio, and was an instructor at the Ceramics Program Office for the Arts at Harvard for nearly 40 years. She was Director of Operations, Acting Director, and Program Coordinator for The Ceramics Program, and Assistant to the Director at The Radcliffe Pottery Studio. She was the recipient of a Radcliffe Exemplary Service Award, and a recipient of the Harvard Deans Distinction Award. Perhaps her most significant achievement was overseeing the Ceramics Program studio’s move from its basement location, and the new construction of its current location at 224 Western Ave in Allston, MA.

Shows and exhibitions include "Five on Fire” at the Art Complex Museum, “A Class Act” at The Fuller Craft Museum, group show at Buckingham, Brown, and Nichols, co-curation of “The Art of Reuse, Renew, Recycle” at the Cabot Science Library at Harvard, ”Art Encounters Preservation” at Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth, NH, “Home Team” at Gallery 224, “Selected Works” at Gallery 224, and “The State of Clay: Pushing Boundaries” at The Fuller Craft Museum.

Shawn’s new work in painting, collage and decollage is the evolution of her work in clay, and maintains her playfulness and sensitivity to color, form and rhythm.

Artist Statement

Old Dog. New Tricks.

After working for 40 years at the Harvard Ceramics Program, I wanted to experience the freedom of my newly acquired time in retirement within the smaller space of a home studio. The opportunity to create work for this show provided me with the inspiration to search for and explore new media and new techniques.

Abstraction, color, humor, and texture have always been important in my art. By replacing brushes with my ceramic tools, using a cold wax medium with newly discovered water- soluble oil paints, string, sculpting plaster, thick gesso, wax paper, tissue paper, watercolor and collage paper (printed and hand-painted), it was possible to bring a tactile dimension to my 2-D work. By layering the paint, sanding, scratching, and mark making, I was able to build depth. The result is a visible history of the layers below the surface.

When the pandemic hit, the dates for the show were put on hold. Like so many others during this time, I lost the incentive to work. So when I got a call to discuss possible dates for the show, I was re-energized by the feeling that the show was becoming a reality. My use of collage as an element led me to explore decollage, which involves the tearing away and restructuring of paper elements from collage. Now I could stretch out my ideas even farther. Some of the decollage pieces in this show feature my own ceramic work (some of which is also on display) as well as some items that are personal and some that are universal.

During the process of preparing for this exhibition, I learned to fly blind and trust my intuition and experience. I learned to accept my physical limitations and that any mistake can be turned into a new direction. I became fearless and, most importantly, stopped worrying that a piece had to be perfect.

I hope you enjoy some of these “new tricks” from an “old dog”.


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