May 14, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Gallery 51 is pleased to announce that its next exhibition, “Gerald Sheffield: ‘pride,’” will open on Thursday, May 24. A collection of collages, drawings, and prints inspired by the artist’s service in the United States Army and deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, Sheffield’s work explores, provides commentary on, and questions multiple perspectives on race, power, culture, and human conflict in relationship to war.

The public is invited to attend a free opening reception and artist talk in MCLA Gallery 51 on Thursday, May 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sheffield’s talk will begin at 5 p.m.

According to Sheffield, “The politics of recognition stands at the intersection of race and empire. It requires the subordinate to acknowledge, learn, and demonstrate their assimilation to the standards of the more powerful, in order to gain certain ‘privileges’ and ‘inalienable rights’granted to those in charge. I draw propositional interventions between ancient and contemporary history as a tool to provoke skepticism of the hierarchal forms, shapes, and language embedded in western hegemony.

Sheffield explained that his artworks include official Army documents to represent the institutional language used to move human bodies in support of military operations: the prologue to training for war.

“Other mediums of language take the form of drawing and construction sourced from used and discarded materials in order to occupy visual and physical space to represent tensions between empirical influence and interpretation,” Sheffield added.

“At a time in our history when war images are omnipresent in our culture, many artists are using their work and artistic voice to bring new perspectives and attention to all aspects and issues of war,” said Arthur De Bow, curator of MCLA Gallery 51. “Sheffield’s work not only brings a new strong important voice to the discussion but is captivating, imposing and well crafted at the same time. With a masterful use of imagery and color Gerald leads the viewer through his first hand experiences with war.”

Sheffield’s work is shown courtesy of and in collaboration with Gallery 6/67 Santa Ana, Ca. and Erica Wall, the founder and co-director of Gallery 6/67 and 36 Chase and Barns Artist Residency.

“Gerald Sheffield: ‘pride,’” will be on exhibition in MCLA Gallery 51 through June 22. MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. The gallery is open Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 413-662-5320 or go to

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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