Members’ Gallery

Sandra Manzi: Layered Realities

November 3 – November 24, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, November 10, 7–10PM

Image Credit:  Sandra Manzi, A Sight to See, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 30x24in. Courtesy of the artist.

Sandra Manzi: Layered Realities

ARTIST Statement

“I make art which originates out of the substance of my experiences, and a desire to explore my surroundings. I find painting a very reflective process and a way to hold on to the images of things I’ve experienced. Sometimes I layer these images within my paintings to suggest how memory fades with time, the blurring of memory as it relates to the blending of fact with fiction, the passage of memory into history, how these memories are manifested in our subconscious, and how our mind works when we try to recollect these experiences. In short, my lived experiences, curiosities, and contemplation about life; are the true subjects of my paintings. Finding the little moments of beauty in everything we do, contemplate, perceive, and experience. I find this inspiration in plants, animals, objects, or people…. looking for beauty in that moment where these things have moved me in some way. Sometimes one triggers another, and they get combined or layered into a painting.

I’m always looking at ways to explore the balance between perception and experience – as we all experience things differently. I might decide to paint a flower that I see on my daily walks. One might only see the perception of the flower, but I would see the full experience of the day that I walked past that flower – the smells associated with it, and the emotions of the experience. Because, although we could all be looking at the same thing, we will have had different life experiences and specific memories associated with that thing. I layer images to try to portray the memory of this experience, but also as a form of play within contemporary image making as it relates to both my memory and imagination.

Lately, I’ve become more and more interested in playing with images from photographs that I’ve taken as it relates to the development of pictorial space. I like connecting the dots sort of speak and looking for visual and metaphorical relationships. The creation of paintings are opportunities to look for and explore things that are missed in daily life. My process involves layering and combining images – this creates unexpected narratives and connections which are meant to simulate the way we store memories. I look for small moments or events that I see, as major reflections and major events.”

– Sandra Manzi


Sandra Manzi is a contemporary realist painter from Toronto, currently residing in Hamilton. She is a graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU) where she received her diploma in Fine Arts/Experimental Arts, and she also received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Guelph. Sandra has exhibited in galleries in and around Toronto and Hamilton. She is a recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, and she is a two-time finalist for the Boynes Emerging Artist Award. Her paintings can be found in private collections throughout Canada, Europe and the United States.

This exhibition is generously supported by