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Cheryl Tall: “Dramatis Personae”





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Price Range: 
$1000 to
Sunday, 12 March 2023 to Sunday, 30 April 2023
Sunday, 12 March 2023 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm


Continuing on the theme of “Imagination” at Sparks Gallery, Artist Cheryl Tall uses narrative figurative sculpture and paintings to create a whimsical, yet sentimental commentary on the experience of being human in the modern age.

The title of the exhibition, Dramatis Personae, is the Latin term for “cast of characters” in theater, art, and literature.  It refers to the colorful troupe of sculptural characters portrayed in Tall’s art. In the style of “magic realism”, her work uses color and texture to create a surrealistic wonderland that touches on our search for meaning, connection and place. 

Ranging in size from 7 inches to 7 feet, Tall’s works are constructed from a variety of mediums, primarily clay, tile, and paint. By using finger marks in the clay or paint, and layers upon layers of glaze, paint, paper, or found materials, she creates a richly complex surface on the pieces that echo the appearance of primeval artifacts or folk items. 

The artist’s inspiration from both contemporary and ancient art is evident in her works; myths and dream imagery are a recurring theme. Her subject matter often includes architectural and figurative elements. Many of her paintings depict full scenes of activity, with a cast of several characters and multiple interactions happening at once. The way that individuals – neighbors, lovers, extended families, and community members – interrelate with each other is a visual and thematic focus in her works. These crucial social bonds, which drive everyday life, are emphasized and celebrated.


Cheryl Tall studied art at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida where she received her BFA and at the University of Miami, Miami, Florida she received her MFA in 1995. Her present studio in Southern California, where she creates her large-scale sculpture and paintings and teaches art classes. Tall’s primary medium is clay, coil built into large figurative sculptures and wall pieces. She also works with mixed media, oil and acrylic painting, and printmaking.

Tall’s work focuses on the relationships between people and their surroundings, especially their homes or workplaces. Her subject matter often includes architectural and figurative elements. Influences include Surrealism, Expressionism, Pop Art, Lowbrow and Funk Art, Romanesque Medieval art, folk art, mythology and Primitive Art. Influential artists include Robert Arneson, Shepard Farrey, Andy Goldsworthy, Viola Frey, Adrian Arleo, Paul Klee, Giorgio De Chirico, Oskar Kokoschka and Giselbertus.Tall’s works will be on view at Sparks Gallery from March 12 – April 30, 2023  with an opening reception on Sunday, March 12, 2023 from 5-8pm. Use this link to RSVP:

Regular gallery hours M-F 12pm-7pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm

Curator :


619 696-1416
Venue ( Address ): 

530 Sixth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101

Sparks Gallery , San Diego

Other events from Sparks Gallery

Cheryl Tall: “Dramatis Personae”
03/12/2023 to 04/30/2023
Paisanos México
01/27/2023 to 02/19/2023
Daniel Ketelhut: “Figmented Reality”
01/08/2023 to 03/05/2023
Gold Leaf Workshop with Duke Windsor



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