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Shiba Ward paints small. His paintings are quiet. They whisper. In each work, the artist opens a window into his world - the world of the contemporary American city: telephone poles, advertisements, distinctive colors, the textures of the everyday world. Ward finds richness there.

Workaday imagery has its roots in the American Scene tradition of the 1930s and 1940s. These paintings celebrated people braving a Depression in the modern world. One American artist, Edward Hopper, conspicuously omitted people in his paintings of the Depression. Hopper’s cities were often empty; suggesting, perhaps, the loneliness of the big city.

Shiba Ward’s scenes are often uninhabited too, but the sense of loneliness is rarely present. Rather, there is a sense of pause within a narrative. Who will meet at Phillipe’s? Where is the train bound? Who lives behind the shadowed door? The artist’s interest in the shapes and textures of his new environment are clearly evident, but there is more. The attention lavished on the details of these places elevates them. In so doing, Ward makes art out of the everyday.

Sullivan Goss first began showing Ward’s work while he was in his last semester at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He debuted in a 2004 Sullivan Goss exhibition entitled, “In Search of America: Art of the American Scene.” New Works is his first solo exhibition.

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