San Francisco painter and sculptor Keef Ward comes to Laguna Beach’s Endangered Planet Gallery on May 3 with a new show entitled “Re: Cycle,” an exploration in art creation using recycled canvases and new sculptures crafted from recycled materials.
Ward has exhibited widely in the San Francisco area over the past decade. His new Laguna Beach show features more than a dozen new acrylic and collage works on recycled canvases, with a wide range of subjects and effects. One dramatic new work — “Lovely Weather” — is four-feet by ten-feet in size and offers a world of subtle chaos, lightened by the presence of a few ducks. Other paintings and sculptures throughout the show demonstrate Ward’s engaging ability to merge serious social issues and questions in contexts of visual play, and visual and verbal humor.
Born is Los Angeles in 1970, Ward lived his early years in Japan, where his parents were university teachers. He grew up in Orange County, then graduated in art from California State University at Chico in 1993. Since graduation he has worked as an artist in San Francisco, during which time he taught art programs with San Francisco’s juvenile authority and also served with ArtBus, the San Francisco-cooperative that brings art training to children in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
"I make art to defend myself. The constant barrage of messages and images force-fed to us by this modern world can make us forget who we are and if we’re not careful, self-definitions can become blurred. Making my own messages and images is my way of taking some of that power back. My hope is that my work can be a visual oasis from the world’s onslaught, a place where truth, play, humor and beauty are king.
"I work on multiple pieces, in different styles, simultaneously so that I can nurture a full-spectrum development of my art making skills. Not being locked-in to any particular style opens me up to using the entire gamut of my experiences, from a magical childhood spent in the early 1970’s in Hokkaido, Japan, to developing and running the Art Program here at San Francisco’s Juvenile Hall with members of The Imagine Bus Project. The quickly evolving and flexible nature of my work allows me to use it all." - Keef Ward