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Ferrin Gallery, 9.20.2011

by on September 27, 2011

Last week we took our first trip of the year to Ferrin Gallery, in Pittsfield Massachusetts. We heard Leslie Ferrin, the gallery’s owner and one of our teachers, talk about the art at the gallery, and we also listened to a South African artist named Dolla Sapeta talk about his life and his art. Currently, he is living here in western mass at an artist’s residency.

Dolla Sapeta talking about his work

He grew up in apartheid South Africa in the townships near Port Elizabeth. Much of his art is influenced by his childhood there, and by the social and political issues of the day. There was one piece of art work that he showed us which was the image of a pregnant mother and a shadow (similar to the shadows in the piece below) of a young child holding a machine gun set to an orange background. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, but I thought it was a very moving piece. He said the purpose of the painting was to examine the role of child soldiers in Liberia and other African nations.

"20 Turn Red Hot Sale" by Dolla Sapeta

Overall, I really liked listening to Dolla talk; when I asked him if he had made any work about American social and political issues he said that many of the issues he paints about ring true in the United States as well as Africa. We perceive many of our problems to be only ours, but really they are matters the whole word must contend with.


Ferrin Gallery

437 North Street

Pittsfield MA, 01201




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One Comment
  1. Dolla was a resident artist in our country from late June at Art Omi and then afterwards in Pittsfield through the first week in October. He touched so many lives and I’m sure, the reverse was true for him. It will be interesting to see if he returns next summer as planned and if so, what the impact of the summer in the US had on his work and life in South Africa.

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