Current Gallery Exhibit

"Aesthetic Layers of Meaning"-A Collaboration  by melissa sheffer & ted ramsay

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill is pleased to exhibit works by Melissa Shefffer and Ted Ramsay now through February 26, 2020.

There will be a free reception honoring the artist on February 8, 2020 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

artist statement of Melissa Sheffer

“The sun rises each morning to shed light on the things we may have overlooked the day before.” ― Tyler J. Hebert

 My selection of work is based upon the concept of Illumination.  I want to draw attention to the things I ― like many people ―often overlook or am too hurried to appreciate.  It is an invitation to slow down and look at the world more deeply.  When we truly look at something beyond the basic tendency to label it, we are able to experience it more intimately.  

I want to expose the notion that no matter what the subject, whether it be the human body or a piece of landscape, what you view is multi-faceted and carries layers of meaning. To what degree a viewer comes to an appreciation of the subject is up to the viewer.

I frequently and intentionally use a dramatic color palette in conjunction with extreme contrasts of light and dark values to draw in the viewer. My compositions occasionally use chiaroscuro and commonly depict the evening or the fading light.

 “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”  ― Anne Frank

about Melissa Sheffer

Melissa Sheffer is the Visual Arts Instructor for Washtenaw International Middle Academy with a shared responsibility for teaching the 9th Grade Visual Arts for Washtenaw International High School. She is currently in her fourth year of teaching and feels privileged to be a part of such a dedicated, diverse, and rigorous program.

Melissa received her education from Concordia University in Ann Arbor and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Oil Painting.

Melissa enjoys drawing, painting, and traveling. She lives in Ypsilanti with her husband Jonathan, their daughter Adelaide, two cats, Milo & Pedro, and our a dog, Murphy.


In my figure paintings I strive for an aura of magic and mystery tempered with a subjective, but believable dose of reality.  Painted elements suggest but never tell the complete narration as in realistic painting.  The viewer senses a comprehension of human anatomy, but finds that the aesthetics of paint dominate the visual image.  Paint describes the light reflecting from the surfaces of the subjects and brings meaning to the form.  Pictorial shapes allude to representing natural phenomena but foremost they serve as significant break up of spatial compositional forms.  The placement of animals, human forms, or objects framed by architectural or natural structures function for symbolic and compositional reasons rather than for realism’s sake.  These deliberate incongruities contribute to the unique aesthetic of my work.  Reality and fantasy connect as the viewer’s eye passes over my painted narrative compositions.

Art should communicate on multiple aesthetic layers of meaning.  For me there is the comprehension of subject matter telling a story, balanced by the aesthetic use of medium and the artist’s personal sense of spatial narration where abstract space and forms define their own narrative (visual) content

For me all my work is emotional.  It is about the human condition, the feelings of joy, loss, fear, and loneliness.  A unique figure painting is much more than simply rendering a realistic or photographic likeness of the subject; it is a unique point of view, a strong color sensibility that contributes to mystery and structure, and an unpredictable but utterly believable use of pigment to describe the anatomy of the human or animal form.

ABOUT Ted ramsay

Ted Ramsay is Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design at Ann Arbor.  From 1961 to 1964 he taught at the University of Iowa, where he and his colleague Frank Wachowiak wrote the book Emphasis:  Art.  He received his B.A. in studio art and an M.A. and M.F.A. in painting and art history from the University of Iowa.  Ramsay also holds an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Since coming to Michigan, Ted Ramsay’s work has been exhibited in invitational exhibitions and one person shows at the Element Gallery in New York; Gruen Gallery in Chicago; Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Duren, Germany; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Flint Institute of Art, Flint, Michigan; Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Kidd Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan; Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, California; Davenport Municipal Art Gallery, Davenport, Iowa; Gallery WooDuk, Seoul, Korea; Amsterdamseweg 441, Amstelveen, Netherlands; Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; and the American Cultural Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Light and Art Workshop: Decoupage- Learn the basics of decoupage and how to combine it with special paint effects. By the end of the workshop, you will have a beautiful candle holder to take home!   Workshop will be held held on February 19, 2020 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Save the Date for Next Month’s Exhibition:

"When There Are Nine" featuring work by Sharlene Welton, Sylvia Ford, Patricia Izzo, Rose Lewandowski, Martine MacDonald, Valerie Mann, Charlene Uresey, Alga Washington, Sharlene Welton, and Jeni Wheeler.  February 28, 2020 - March 30, 2020.  On March 8, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.,  the Village Theater will be hosting a Free Reception to honor the artists and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote.

March art workshop :

Flower Wreath Making Workshop- Welcome spring by joining us and creating your own one-of-a-kind flower wreath! During this workshop, we’ll use faux flowers to decorate our wreaths. There will be a variety of flowers to choose from. By the end of the workshop, you will have a beautiful flower wreath to take home! Workshop will be held held on March 18, 2020 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Art Workshops Schedule

Each month a featured Art Workshop will be held that showcases a unique arts medium allowing participants to sharpen skills, get creative, or enjoy light refreshments while learning something new. 


Workshop fees are $20 per person. Registration is required.  For additional workshop information, call 734/394-5300. 

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The Gallery @ VT: Art Exhibition Schedule


  • February: Melissa Sheffer & Ted Ramsay - Paintings 
  • March: “When There Are Nine”  Sharlene Welton, Sylvia Ford, Patricia Izzo, Rose Lewandowski, Martine MacDonald, Valerie Mann, Charlene Uresey, Alga Washington, Sharlene Welton, and Jeni Wheeler
  • April: Arab American Exhibition - Collaborative
  • May: Alga Washington - Paintings
  • June: Tiera Knaff – Paintings & Sculptures
  • July: Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild - Fiber
  • August: Jim Aho - “Simple Gifts – The Book of Cuba", Photography
  • September: Josh Berliner - Paintings
  • October: 28th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition
  • November: Ilham Mahfouz – Abstract Painting
  • December: Janet Kondziela - Paintings

Free and open to the public on most weekdays (except Township holidays) 10 am to 2 pm, during all public performances and by calling 734/394-5308, for an appointment. Schedule subject to change without notice.