Schein and Schein hosts Mackowski exhibit

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Jim and Marti Schein emptied their East Spain Street gallery this week, removing antique maps, prints and engravings to make way for an eight-day solo exhibition of art by Ann Mackowski. Her show opens this Saturday, June 14, from noon until 6 p.m. daily, and ends on Saturday, June 21.

Mackowski holds a master’s of fine arts degree from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in England. Born in San Francisco, and raised in the city and Sonoma County, she most recently had a solo show of a large body of her work in London, where she now resides. The Sonoma exhibit will be her first solo showing in the U.S.

“I am a longtime fan of Ann’s and personally own her works,” Schein said. “We have enjoyed great success selling her previous works through our San Francisco gallery.” He and Marti opened their Sonoma store a year ago, but Schein and Schein has operated for a dozen years on Grant Avenue in North Beach, where they live when they are not at their Glen Ellen weekend home.

“I first took notice of Ann’s incredible streetscapes of North Beach and Telegraph Hill,” Schein said. “Now she has taken her talents to London, and her progress and development of character as an artist is so evident. She’s going for a gut response to mythology in a very sophisticated manner. Her works combine beauty with an edgy energy. This is great stuff.”

Schein knows the art world, and once enjoyed “the great privilege of moving Miles Davis’s canvases around.” He pointed out that an antique map store is very appropriate for Mackowski’s work because she interweaves ideas of maps and mapping into her explorations of legends, myths, classical poses and themes, and the architecture of London. “I lived there for three years,” he says, “and her pieces are so London, pure London.”

Asked about themes in her work, Mackowski said, “What maps represent resonates with us so deeply that they form a reality of their own, so we have multiple states of reality for the same place. Myths are the same.

“We are not so different from the ancient Greeks and their beliefs,” she added. “Most of us have never seen an atom, yet we have absolute faith in its existence.”

Mackowski is also known for vivid and unusual color combinations and striking combinations of media, including paint, ink, coffee, gilt and string. Her show will feature 17 works, 16 on paper and one on vellum. Schein and Schein is located at 149 E. Spain St. in Sonoma, a half a block east of the Plaza, next to the Blue Wing Inn. Admission is free.

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