Sheila Ghidini-Visual Artist

Displaced Space 2022

reconfigured found chair, paint, graphite wall drawing, light and shadow, thread and map pins.

Sheila Ghidini's work encompasses drawing, sculpture, installation and site-specific public art. Her work has been shown and collected in private and public collections including The Achenbach Collection of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Runneymede Farm Sculpture Park in Woodside, CA, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She attended Hartford Art School, University of Hartford and did graduate work at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She completed an M.F.A. in sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving the Sylvan and Pam Coleman Memorial Fellowship. She was an artist-in residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts and The American Academy in Rome summer program. She has received grants from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, the Krasner-Pollack Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Marcelle Labaudt Memorial Fund, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Her public projects engage communities, architecture and the landscape. She has created public gathering spaces in San Jose, Campbell and Emeryville, CA. Sheila collaboratively designed two MUNI Transit shelter on 19th Ave., in San Francisco and one shelter in Lodi, CA. Sheila has taught art in schools throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco State University, University of California Berkeley, San Francisco Art Institute, and California College of the Arts.

For me, art is a way to filter the world; to make sense of things; to create a container for the contradictions and ambiguities of being alive. The chair form serves as a leitmotif in my sculptures and drawings. I find the chair form compelling, as a marker in space, as a symbol of both presence and absence, and as a fundamental architectural form that also has the potential to hold memory. I’m interested in calling attention to the ubiquitous, but often overlooked spaces between things as well as the shadows cast by them. This interest developed from years of observational drawing, both that of my own and of the students that I teach. Rendering is a skill which requires close examination of the relationships between objects and space. Negative spaces and cast shadows might be considered to be empty or as an absence, but I perceive them as full and rich with nuance. Coupled with my drawing interest, I’m compelled to make objects. The quotidian forms of chairs and domestic furniture serve as my material. They are sourced from the street and the consumer waste stream, and along with my own inventions, reveal themselves to be both vulnerable and structural. Illusionary shadows made of graphite and chalk play against those that are real. What’s lost, missing, or obscured is as critical to the work, if not more so, than that which is tangibly present.