Sullivan Goss
Celebrating 32 Years
of 19th, 20th and 21stCentury American Art
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(b. 1965)

Contemporary Urban Scene Painter

by Jeremy Tessmer

Shiba Ward paints miniature works that command attention. Each painting Ward creates meticulously details the architectural wonders of the urban environment, while often commenting on the loneliness of big city life.

Table Of Contents

I. Biography

Shiba Ward was born in 1965, San Fernando, CA.

He showed an early interest in drawing and visual art at age 5 and continued to pursue and cultivate these interests well into adulthood. Shiba attended California State University Northridge and obtained a BSME (Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering) in 1990, which he applied in the Aerospace industry as a systems engineer, for various companies such as Northrop Grumman, Honeywell International and Boeing.

In 2001, Shiba left the Aerospace industry to pursue a long time interest in academic painting and drawing. He applied to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in the spring of 2001 and graduated with a BFA- Honors in the spring of 2005.

Deliciosos Helados
10.5" x 7.5"
acrylic on panel
Exhibited: Scenes of American Labor, 2005
Private Collection

In this exquisitely painted scene, the loneliness of the urban environment is compressed onto a surface measuring just 10.5 by 7.5 inches. Each edifice is modeled and textured. Even though the figure measures just a few inches tall, the artist models and colos his pants, shirt and fedora.

II. An Analysis of the Artist's Work

Shiba Ward paints miniature scenes which perfectly capture the enormity of the city and man's relationship to his urban surroundings. On one level, the paintings are documentary works about Los Angeles and Pasadena. On another level, the works attempt speak to the loneliness of a big city and man's troubled relationship with the anonymity of urban life.

The texture, the subtlety of color and even background atmospheric effects are all strong qualities of a good Shiba Ward work. The artist often paints with an exceptionally fine brush to capture the tiniest of details that trigger a sense of realism. The intimate scale of his works, too, invite viewers in to scenes which are the antithesis of intimate.

I roam the city, seeking out those moments within the urban landscape that evoke some kind of emotional response. Iím searching for irony, melancholy, contradiction, loneliness and heroism: The elegance and balance of a classical architectural faÁade juxtaposed against the corrugated roofing of a dilapidated warehouse; The hard working American immigrant who labors long hours for little compensation; The timeless laborer who finds solace from the work day in the 20 minute afternoon break.
In painting, I strive to engage the viewer directly and convey the essence of my experience through a sensitive and tactile depiction of the subject matter. The process of planning a painting is as important to me as the act of painting itself. Iím concerned with good drawing, composition, shapes, color harmony, value structure, texture and atmosphere. Iím concerned with all of these things to the extent that they support my initial vision and inspiration for the work. - Shiba Ward

6" x 8"
acrylic on canvas
Exhibited: In Search of America: Art of the American Scene
Private Collection

The beautiful architecture of LA's Union Station is here captured with absolute precision. The quality of light reflecting off of the shiny floor, the decorative motifs in the doors, even the wall paint are carefully recorded.

III. Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2006 "Shiba Ward: New Works" Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Group Exhibitions

  • 2005 "Scenes of American Labor", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2004 "In Search of America: Art of the American Scene", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
  • IV. Education

  • 2005 BFA with Honors, Art Center College of Design
  • 1997 MBA, Pepperdine University
  • 1990 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Cal State Northridge

    6" x 8"
    acrylic on panel
    Exhibited: LA ART SHOW, 2004; In Search of America: Art of the American Scene, 2004
    Private Collection

    For our 2004 exhibit "In Search of America," Shiba Ward delivered two series of paintings which document landmarks of Los Angeles: Union Station and the Farmer's Market at Third and Fairfax. Of particular note in this work is the subtlty of the light shining off the concrete platform and beautiful way in which the artist has treated the LA skyline in the background.

    V. Publications

    1. Society of Illustrators Los Angeles #43, 2005
    2. American Illustration Annual #23, 2004
    3. Art Center College of Design- Catalog, 2004
    4. Applied Arts Illustration Annual #13, 2003