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Secret Cities 

The Sheldon Art Galleries present not one but six new shows to usher in the 2008 season. In the Gallery of Photography, photographer John Gossage continues his study into the overlooked nooks of the urban landscape with his show Secrets of Real Estate: John Gossage. For more than 40 years, Gossage, a Washington D.C area-based photographer who has published fifteen monographs, has spent his career exploring the secret lives of cities. His richly evocative photos examine the relationship between built environments and the people who inhabit them. Though his photographs often do not feature human subjects, the human mark — be it from a graffitoed wall, to a mealtime table hastily abandoned, to a barbed-wire fence — is everywhere. For the current show, Gossage photographed residential and industrial neighborhoods in and around St. Louis. Photographs from the show will later become part of a larger project Gossage is working on to document the state of the country at the dawn of the 21st century. Other standouts at the Sheldon include the "live drawings" of Boots Contemporary Art Space director (and 2008 Great Rivers Biennial winner) Juan William Chávez, as well as an installation of found objects by St. Louis artist Bruce Burton. The opening reception for all six shows takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 15, at the Sheldon (3548 Washington Boulevard; or 314-533-9900). Secrets of Real Estate remains up through Saturday, May 3.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 15. Continues through May 3, 2008

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