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Ed and Mitzi Exhibit and Silent Auction

In Honor of Ed and Mitzi Shewmake, Longtime Educators and Artists of Winston-Salem
Exhibition dates: January 8 – February 1, 2020
Closing Reception and Final Bidding/Auction: 
Saturday, February 1, 1:30 – 4:00 pm.
Bidding ending at 3:00 pm

Artworks Gallery is proud to present a retrospective exhibition of two of its founding members, Mitzi and Ed Shewmake.  Sculpture, printmaking and paintings will be on exhibit through the month of January with works offered through silent auction culminating in a final bidding and closing on Saturday, February 1, from 1:30 – 4 pm.

More than 35 years ago, a group of like-minded artists joined together to form the longest artist-run cooperative gallery in Winston-Salem. Mitzi and Ed Shewmake were instrumental in founding Artworks Gallery, which is located in Winston-Salem's downtown art district since 1984. The Gallery is committed to offering local artists of all media a creative and responsive environment in which to exhibit and sell their work. An article in the Winston-Salem Journal on the occasion of the Gallery's fifteenth anniversary exhibition in 1999 explained that: "Since Artworks Gallery opened its doors, it has been a constant presence in the art-based commercial district that has grown up around Sixth and Trade Streets." This statement continues to be true today.

During their artistic career both Shewmakes served as valued professors at Winston-Salem State University and Salem College respectively. They also taught classes at the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts. In 2001, Ed and Mitzi were jointly awarded the Sawtooth's "Artist of the Year" in honor of their contributions to the school and to the Winston-Salem art community.

Mitzi Shewmake was born in New York City and grew up in Woodstock, New York, and Tucson, Arizona. She received her B.A. at George Washington University in DC, and her M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She studied at the Corcoran School of Art in DC, the Cleveland Art Institute in Ohio, the Art Students League of New York Summer School at Woodstock, NY, and at Arrowmont School of Crafts and Penland School of Crafts. 

Mitzi is Emerita Professor of Art at Winston-Salem State University. She was the Co-founder and first director of Diggs Gallery at WSSU. Exhibitions include work at SECCA, George Mason University, American Center for Physics in Maryland, Salem College, NC Museum of Art, Fayetteville Museum of Art, Greenhill Center for NC Art, etc. Commissions include sculpture at Wake Forest University and The North Carolina School of the Arts.

In her sculpture Mitzi Shewmake has drawn images from mythology and the landscapes of Arizona desert, the woods of New England, and wild life that she finds very beautiful. She uses clay and cement in making sculpture. In the terra cotta works clay forms flow into each other. In the cement sculpture the forms are related through boundaries and divisions, which provide room for the addition of extraneous materials. She states of her work: "I think probably that living in Arizona, in that desert country, has more to do with my sculpture than any other influence. To a great extent I think that my sculpture is all about forms and spaces as is the desert landscape." 

Ed Shewmake received a B.S. from Davidson College in l941, and a M.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in l950. He received professional training from the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, and from George Washington University. He attended the Art Students League of New York Summer School at Woodstock, NY, the Cleveland Art Institute, and the Carnegie Institute of Technology Summer School.

Ed Shewmake was Professor of Art at Salem College from 1953 to 1985. He was head of the Art Department at Salem College, teaching painting, printmaking, art history, and design. He was the first president of Associated Artists of Winston-Salem, a founding member of Artworks Gallery, and a member of the Tri- State Sculptors Association. He exhibited in numerous regional shows and is in many private collections. 

Most of Ed’s art was concerned with the human figure from abstract studies of form to figures in action. Some works are sophisticated and full of irony, others simply portray the silliness and humor in life situations. He did not follow trends in art but rather developed his own special style. Ed showed an excellent understanding of printmaking techniques, which he used to perfection. He was once quoted as saying, “Basically I guess you can say I paint emotions and feeling more than I do merely visual scenes … irony? I suppose so, though I’ve tried shaking it from time to time.” Although Ed’s style and techniques changed he continued to paint emotions and feeling during his working life.

Ed Shewmake died in 2008 at the age of 87 and Mitzi Shewmake currently resides near her daughters in Washington DC.

attached images:
Wounded Cheerleader, Ed Shewmake, Oil painting
Ladies and a Gentleman, Ed Shewmake, Oil
Snake Alive, Mitzi Shewmake, Graphite
Color Study, Mitzi ShewmakeWoodcut
Boar, Mitzi Shewmake, Cement sculpture
Anubis, Mitzi Shewmake, Terra cotta sculpture by Mitzi
Egyptian figure, Mitzi Shewmake, Terra cotta sculpture by Mitzi

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