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Ian de Beer, Craig Sheperd show new work in Big Orbit

Artists who trained the academic tradition and the American gallery system almost always struggle to connect their work to the broader culture. At the same time, artists who wouldn't be caught dead within 100 feet of an MFA program sometimes aspire to the rarefied environs -- and especially the price points -- a traditional gallery can provide.

This paradoxical push and pull is at play in the exhibition "In a Better Place," which features the work of Ian de Beer and Craig Sheperd, two artists making increasingly bold attempts to insert their streetwise sensibilities into the more bookish contemporary art world. The show is organized by the art marketing startup Resource:Art.

De Beer, an accomplished graffiti artist who has served time in prison because of his chosen form of expression, will present a series of abstract paintings based on a prison bunk bed and the act of priming a can of spray paint. Sheperd's enamel-on-metal paintings, which have hung in raw urban spaces collecting dust grime and sometimes graffiti, are paired with photographs of the places where they were originally exhibited.

"In a Better Place: Ian de Beer and Craig Sheperd": Opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Nov. 25 and runs through Jan. 6, 2018 in Big Orbit Gallery, 30D Essex St. Call 249-1320 or visit

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