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Meet Sheila Ganch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sheila Ganch.

Sheila, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Sculpture is one of my many passions. As a wife, mother, teacher and inveterate world traveler, I am grateful for how those experiences help shape my work. I love experimenting with different materials – e.g. – my early pieces evolved from bronze into thin lead forms treated with metal dyes and patinas. While I enjoyed working with metal, its lack of malleability was ultimately constricting. I found exactly what I was looking for when I switched to working with clay. Its responsiveness makes anything seem possible and its texture gives me a greater sense of being more directly connected to the Earth.

Although my sculptures spring from a contemporary reality, I’ve tried to create ancient-looking surfaces in an effort to define our timeless human connection to the Earth.

My journey in sculpture began as soon as I could manipulate materials. Most likely, I began with mud and have ended with clay. I have studied with some of the finest sculptors at home and abroad in workshops. Taking bits and pieces from these learning situations, I have developed a unique surface to enhance my sculptural forms. My sculptures are figurative abstractions with an emphasis on form.

I am represented by the following galleries. Renaissance Gallery in Baltimore, Chevy Chase, and Philadelphia. In Atlanta, The Pryor Gallery, Lily Pad Gallery in Rhode Island and Milwaukee, Chicago Art Source Gallery and Rowan and Black Gallery in Saugatuck Michigan.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been struggles on my art journey. As a child in the 50’s and a female, my family did not accept my artistic desires. No support was given to me monetarily nor any encouragement. So, my college days ended with an education degree. I managed to take all my electives in art and was the only non-art student asked to exhibit in a Picasso exhibit.

Another struggle was dealing with rejection. In the 90″s I began submitting my work to juried competitions. It was a real learning experience and a toll on one’s ego. After a few years, I learned not to take rejection personally. I became better at filtering applications and my acceptance rate quickly improved.

Another challenge was the computer. I grew up before computers were a part of learning skills. It was difficult, but I learned the programs I needed-mainly Photoshop. I now have built my own website and enjoy attempting to market my own work.

Finally, getting used to the downtimes was difficult. I tend to go into an artistic slump occasionally. I look at my work much to critically and wonder why I do what I do. Fortunately, these episodes only last a few months and I return to my work stronger possibly with new ideas.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Sculpture for me is an obsession. I have to work with my hands and create or I do not function well. I think the determination that the next piece will be better drives me to never stop. I am still waiting to do my best work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Doug Birkenheuer

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