The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
June 1, 2007
Sharon Ventura Featured at Artist Exhibition
By: Barbara Bayer, Staff Writer
Sharon Ventura considers herself zaftig. The artist, who hails from Toronto and now makes her home in Overland
Park, described zaftig as someone who is well endowed, pleasantly plump or luscious, “depending on what the
woman herself projects.”
For the last several years, zaftig women have been the focus of her paintings. A show of her works opens
tomorrow, Saturday, June 2, at the Eclectic Gallery, 1004 Baltimore Ave., Suite 101. It runs through June 29.
An opening reception will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the gallery. Her paintings are also being
shown at the Underground Gallery, downstairs at the Kansas City Artists Coalition space, 201 Wyandotte, now
through June 15.
Ventura said she focuses on zaftig women because, “regardless of what anyone thinks, that's what I am. That's
what I feel, and that's what I paint.” “Zaftig is the opposite of skinny. And that fullness, for me, goes beyond
physicality to fullness of spirit … experience … being,” she said.
As a young girl, Ventura said, she was always drawing and painting on anything she could find, even in her
mother's cookbooks. Today, she often incorporates flowers into her paintings of females because of her early
“Ever since I was little, my mother used to tell me to paint me something with some lovely flowers,” Ventura
In fact, she recently completed what has turned out to be one of her favorite paintings, “Poppies.” She painted it in
vibrant shades of red for her mother's 75th birthday and said it was “a good step out” for her. The painting, as well
as others, can be viewed on Ventura's Web site, www.sharonventura.com.
In addition to the fact that the majority of her paintings are of females, Ventura said, her paintings are all snippets
of the female experience.
“Be it shyness … boldness … warm, compassionate, understanding … first love … Each painting has that element
in it,” she said from her home, where her studio is also located.
Ventura, said her signature style fuses traditional painting with a bold graphic style. She views her works as being
as much an exercise in design, composition and color as they are defining moments in the female experience.
“Using large-scale canvases and acrylics, I paint her symbolically full-figured with lyrical black lines surrounded by
pools of color in a graphic, expressionistic style,” she said. “Visually bold and dramatic, it is my intention that you
feel her presence and reflect on your experiences with her.”
Ventura graduated with honors from the University of Toronto with both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education
degrees. After she got her “safe” degrees, ensuring that she could always earn a living, she decided to do
something for herself and studied fine art at the Ontario College of Art.
She's been a professional artist for more than 30 years. During that time, she has also participated in other
creative ventures, including writing and teaching arts.
“Since 2001, I have been able to work at it 100 percent full-time. I've had no side jobs — just focusing on studio
work and my family,” said Ventura, who moved here two and a half years ago with her husband and two sons
Ventura's paintings are large, oftentimes 36 inches by 48 inches, and she paints in acrylics. Her original works
range in price from $1,500 to $3,000. She also sells giclee prints (individually produced, high-resolution
reproductions), which begin at $75.