Exploring the human face through paintings and drawings by Lisa L. Sears

ABOUT FACE: An Exhibition by Lisa L. Sears

ON VIEW: March 14, 2023 – August, 2023
ARTIST SALON: July 20, 6 to 7:30 PM

About the Exhibition

The human face is explored through paintings and drawings by Lisa L. Sears in the exhibition “About Face” at Gallery UMA through July, 2023.

As the world emerges from the Covid pandemic and many of us dispense with the material masks we wore in public, Sears explores the human face and its ability to mask or reveal emotions on the surface.

Sears earned her BFA in studio art at the University of North Texas (UT), with additional painting and photography study at UT and mixed media study at MassArt. Dedicated to making art available to the community, Sears has been involved in Malden public arts projects including Windows Art Malden, the Switchbox Project, and Pictures at an Exhibition Reframed. She has been a two-time recipient of Malden Cultural Council grants for both editions of Lines Connecting Lines— a collaboration between area poets and artists—which she created and curated. She has exhibited her work at the Malden Public Library, the MATV Gallery (now Gallery UMA) and is a contributing artist at the Gallery@57 cooperative.

Sears’ work has been described as symbolic, mythic, emotional, colorful, dream-like and nightmarish, always inviting the viewer to imagine beyond the surface.

Join us for a special reception that will invite both playful and deeper interaction with the artwork. Details forthcoming.

Gallery UMA hours: Mondays-Thursdays, 12 to 7pm or by appointment

Artist Statement

What we reveal or conceal is shown in body language—through our hands, gestures and posture. But much more can be learned by observing a face—even one partially covered by a mask. We can guess if eyes are smiling, tired or bored. During the height of the pandemic, when half of our faces were obscured, I wondered a good deal about my own and others’ appearance. I worked to communicate with a new barrier.

Usually, we think of a mask as a material item, but it can also be a face set in a particular attitude. This exhibit is obviously focused on the human face, but I wanted to take it beyond mere surface. About face also refers to a change of course, direction or opinion. In the past few years some have felt a reversal or change in everyday assumptions or even long-held attitudes. Has the face you show to others evolved? Do you prefer to keep your expression guarded? Do you wear a covering for modesty or out of respect to a religion? Do you tend to smile?

We can choose, to a large degree, what we wish to share with others as we make our way through the world. We can keep things on the surface or decide to open ourselves up more to people and different ways of perceiving.

For this exhibit of original paintings and drawings on canvas and paper I concentrated on the subjects’ resting or relaxed face—the appearance one might have while day-dreaming or in deep thought. I invite you to linger over these faces.

—Lisa L. Sears