Born in 1934, Mary Spain was raised in North Carolina and lived for a period in Upstate New York prior to moving to Cleveland in the 1970s. She taught art at Chagrin Falls High School, inspiring the young minds she came in contact with. Details about her life are few, her admirers getting to know her best through her work. Though her output was limited, she exhibited regularly in Cleveland, New York, and Florida.
Set in a realm of fantasy, Mary Spain’s work exhibits oddly distorted figures in a child-like manner with an underlying sense of absurdity. Through her toy-like and primitive style, Spain created surrealistic dramas that puzzle and entrance the viewer. Spain used these figures to express her often changing emotions. Masks and hats serve dual roles in obscuring and defining her characters’ identities as they look on with a mischievous eye. While her deeply personal vocabulary and symbolism might be lost to the casual viewer, the narratives and embedded emotional substance remain.
Join us as we celebrate this exhibition and one year in our new digs. With 10,000 feet of beautiful gallery space, a dramatically improved WOLFS offers designers and collectors a fine arts marketplace unlike anything in this part of the country.
Combining numerous artists’ estates and collections with WOLFS ever-changing inventory allows one to wander privately from gallery to gallery. The twists and turns of this interesting space create a maze of paintings and sculpture -- a perfect labyrinth for Mary Spain’s whimsical artwork.
Open House Friday May 14th, 4-8pm & Saturday May 15th, 11-6pm (on view through June 26th)