Marsha Balian at ArtSpace@WHRC


8 September 2014-4 January 2015
Opening reception: Sunday, 14 September, 3-5PM

Marsha Balian: “Fabrications and Other Notions”

For “Fabrications and Other Notions”, mixed media artist Marsha Balian avoids the literal and engages the imagination of the viewer to create delightful, often humorous, narrative works on panel. Making use of embroidered clothing from India, upholstery samples, necktie pieces, remnants of curtains and other scraps, Balian’s figures (girls with bangs and bows) play with scale (giant dogs with little houses) and surroundings (trees growing three-dimensional sewn leaves). Though given a needle and thread at the age of five by her grandparents, both of whom were in garment production, Balian was unwilling to carry on the tradition. “I instantly hated it, and to this day my reaction hasn’t much changed.” Instead, she shows her appreciation by incorporating offcast materials of the industry into her work: fabric scraps, pieces of embroidery, unworn clothes, along with ephemera and found objects she’s amassed in her studio. “No needle or thread passed my hands in the process.”

Admitting great difficulty following instructions, Balian is self-taught, frequently inventing her own techniques. Her artwork has been shown throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and in many parts of the United States. It has also been seen in The Permanente Journal, American Art Collector, Studio Visit, and Gathering Clouds, and she was recently featured in an issue of Scrubs magazine.

(text adapted from materials provided by the gallery)


Women’s Health Resource Center
California Pacific Medical Center
Lobby Level
3698 California Street
San Francisco, California 94118
(415) 600-0500

Monday-Friday, 9:30AM-1PM and 2-4:30PM
Saturday-Sunday, 10AM-2PM


Big Girls in Little Garden
by Marsha Balian
mixed media: acrylic paint, assorted papers including images from antique German paper dolls and Player’s cigarettes, upholstery samples, necktie remnants, pencil, coloured pencil, oil paint and shoe polish on wood panel
Courtesy of the artist