With new gallery, ’Header hopes to ‘spark creativity’

Artist Ian Sherwin, who grew up in Marblehead, is coming home and opening a new gallery on State Street next month. The space will showcase artists from around the country and offer a variety of programs and classes.

“I’m here to inspire, teach and lead,” Sherwin said, speaking while renovating his one-room gallery at 1 State St. “My mission is to spark creativity.”

Sherwin, who graduated from Marblehead High in 1995, fell in love with art as a kid. 

Ian Shewrin, who is opening a new gallery on State Street, unboxes works by artist Jennifer Lashbrook. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER

“It was my escape, my salvation,” he said.

At Marblehead High, school nurse Lynne Breed noticed his talent and encouraged him. The two are still friends.

 Artist Ian Sherwin created this piece consisting of 340 little squares, each one hand-painted separately. COURTESY PHOTO

“She would fill me with such confidence,” he said. “I don’t know if I would be an artist today without her.” 

Sherwin calls himself an abstract painter who works in impressionism. He also creates what he calls “scribbles” — pen drawings with small, almost hidden written messages, including “love more.”

“I like to do weird things,” he said with a smile. “I like there to be a ‘wow’ factor.”

Sherwin moved back to Marblehead last summer after working in Minneapolis as an art facilitator for people with special needs. He invented assistive technology for a young man with cerebral palsy that helped him paint using a headpiece. The artist and Sherwin were featured on Minneapolis TV. 

 Ian Sherwin’s signature art style is what he calls ‘scribbles,’ drawings that contain written messages. COURTESY PHOTO

Earlier, Sherwin lived in Chicago, where he had his own gallery and taught classes. One of the most popular was a paint-your-pet portrait class where people would bring their dogs and cats in for an evening of painting.

Sherwin, who also takes art commissions, said work in his gallery will range in price from $300 (for one of his scribbles) to $5,000.

One of the artists that Sherwin will carry is Jennifer Lashbrook, who works in individually cut paper paint swatches, creating collages of pixelated images of landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and famous works of art. From a distance (or viewed through a cell phone), the colors blend to create a photo-realistic quality.

Classes and more

 At his new gallery on State Street, artist Ian Sherwin plans to hold art classes like this one in Chicago where people learned how to paint portraits of their pets. COURTESY PHOTO

Sherwin is looking forward to offering a variety of classes, including body casting, origami, drawing, abstract painting, portraiture, pottery, children’s programs, private lessons and wood working.

His painting classes will start at $50.

“I’ll have a pay-it-forward feature on my website where people can donate painting classes to others,” he added.

Sherwin plans a grand opening on Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m., which will feature six artists, including himself. Learn more at iansherwingallery.com/.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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