621 Gallery Presents
Ghost Lines by Alma Elaine Shoaf
an exhibition of mixed media drawings in the 621 Annex
Ghost Lines is, first and foremost, about death. Hard as I try, I can’t find sufficient words on the
subject other than what might be inferred from these thirteen drawings. I can say, however, that I have
found the process of making art about death to be neither private nor public, neither cathartic nor
upsetting. Instead the work simply became, for better or for worse.
It is also about different internal and external mythologies as reflections of social expectations
and archetypes, resulting in the culmination of self-fulfilling prophecies informed by both personal and
public experience. Each piece attempts to deconstruct these mythologies, in a hope to process how my
own history, my family’s history, and the history of broader social, religious, and literary mechanisms
have created a narrative that may seem to write itself, yet is ultimately our responsibility. My wish is to
illustrate how I believe these mythologies of gender, sexuality, race and morality have lead us all, as
both individuals and as a collective society, into these varying states of grief and violence we so often
find ourselves in.
This work involved a very destructive physical process. The method of drawing, covering, erasing
and redrawing using pencil, ink and acrylic is, in itself, telling a story of creation, destruction, and what is
produced by their confluence. Its purpose is to be a reminder that nothing we make is so precious that it
cannot be destroyed, nor so rare to nature that it cannot be remade. This to me describes my
experience with the human condition more than anything else I have found.
And yes, there are ghosts, if only because there are memories.
Alma Elaine Shoaf (Elaine) was born in North-Central Florida, where she currently resides. She attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, graduating in 2009 with a BFA in illustration. She lived and worked in Chicago for three years, where she exhibited in multiple shows and galleries. Over the years she has worked as an illustrator for different publications, musicians, theaters and filmmakers, and has also completed personal commissions for national and international clients. She helped found the Many Fur Puppet Troupe in 2009, constructing and performing puppet shows in Chicago, Minneapolis, and around Florida until 2014. In 2015, she began collaborating on the Ciclista Cycling Project, a coloring book project aimed at heightening visibility of women-identified cyclists. Ghost Lines, her 2017 exhibition at 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, will be her second solo show.