Shara Mays makes paintings that are big, bold, expressive, and not at all like what many think of when they think of landscape paintings. Mays doesn’t generally paint specific locations; instead, with her “internal landscapes” she gives people a window into how she thinks – starting with her own memories of hikes, people, or experiences rather than specific geographic features or flora.
With the use of very bold and bright colors, Mays is able to reflect her African American identity. Many of her works are named for family members. These titles connect her artwork and her relationship with land to her own identity and history:
“By painting landscapes, I was paying homage to the people in my life who deserve transcendence beyond the limitations of racism that they faced when they were alive.” Mays describes the power of landscape painting for an African American contemporary painter as distinct from the colonial power characteristic of the genre. It’s a way “of chasing freedom,” she says.
Chandran Gallery was established in 2013 and presents a contemporary program, exhibiting established, mid-career and emerging artists to a worldwide audience. The gallery supports artists in transcending boundaries of discipline and presentation. In September 2015, Chandran Gallery opened its doors at its permanent location in Union Square, featuring a newly built 4,500 square foot, 2-level exhibition space.
The exhibit runs Tuesday through Saturday, August 6 – September 1.
The open hours are from 12 to 6 p.m.