Wardell McNeal Creates “A Little Room To Bloom” @ Public Land, Sacramento

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Public Land, Sacramento // September 30, 2023 – November 14, 2023

Public Land Gallery is excited to announce the upcoming exhibition A Little Room To Bloom, featuring the works of Oakland-based artist Wardell McNeal. Recognized for his vibrant figurative depictions set to an array of abstract landscapes, McNeal’s newest body of work deviates direction to explore various botanical forms and ideas.

When painting flora, the artist draws from memory and occasionally jots down words to inspire these botanical renderings rather than referencing existing imagery. It may have been something he had noticed walking down the street or while on a hike. This approach allows for him to insert plant-life into his paintings that are unique in creation and that do not replicate existing flora found in the natural world. While figurative elements still emerge in many of his new paintings, there is an obvious contrast in mood and emotion in these newer pieces. Regarding his latest paintings he says, “Similar to my last show, there will be a mixture of representational and experimental painting styles. It is alot of fun to explore techniques and push my own limitations/boundaries, and I hope that comes through in this new body of work.”

Raised in San Diego, McNeal has made Oakland his home for the last 15 years and is motivated by the authenticity of the creative mindset in the community there. He draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, but continually references music as a driving force. McNeal thinks back to a previous time when his work was mostly situated in corporate design, and the rigidity of this environment spurred his longing for a more meaningful creative expression. He mentions that “The human side of it all, the idiosyncrasies of the figure and the emotion, was not part of that world and I wanted that more, so I started to capture that and bring emotion back into the creative process for myself.” We are happy that he did.

This will be Wardell McNeal’s first solo exhibition at Public Land Gallery. A Little Room To Bloom will be on view through November 14th, 2023.

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