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M Sanzi Kermes

My ancestral roots stem from Bohemia and Italy. Both my paternal and maternal grandparents came to the United States to find and to live the American dream. There was a lot of unrest in those familial roots: impoverishment, drunken brawls, tough times, premature deaths, many children to support and raise (13 on the paternal side, 11 on the maternal); while above it all, persistence ~ persistence in the belief of the American dream. I am their progeny.

Because of their courage in the face of adversity, I have a better life than did they. Because of their courage, I am living the American dream. This legacy affords me the freedom to contemplate ideas. I contemplate ideas of language, of identity and place, and of the processes involved in art making. I contemplate words and the effect of a word on one's visual memory. I have been a professional working artist for decades now. Primarily self-taught before receiving my masters in 2008, I continue to foster and develop series of works based on the concepts of language and identity and visual memory.

Artist Statement

A multidisciplinary artist, I work in various media concurrently and/or after a decade of neglect while pursuing a new area. I am adept at watercolor, acrylic, and collage, and more recently have been doing screen printing, bookmaking, and letterpress printing.

My interests, while seemingly disparate, each hold a thread of commonality ~ that of asking a question and seeking a visual answer. Every series of work that I pursue begins with a set of questions and parameters, giving me a structure by which to focus on the work. The best examples of this are my work to reinterpret Scrabble games that I have played and to visually mark my memory of landscapes that I have taken mental notes on. With respect to each of these, I developed a set of criteria by which to build the body of work. Paintings are generally square in format ~ a challenge to engage the viewer to see their world in a new format of sorts, both literally and figuratively. The Scrabble game interpretations are something meant for longer consideration and viewing and are therefore presented in book format.


  • Gallery of Hope
    Ten canvas paintings on view at Franklin Square Cancer Center. Gallery of Hope is an organization that links regional artists with area hospitals for exhibition and sales events.


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M Sanzi Kermes Galleries

Scrabble Artist Books

COD? DCO? OCD? An avid Scrabble player, I document each game I play. This began after a conversation with Brice Marden in January of 2000. Brice said he has a fixed set of parameters to guide his art practice - and that he subsequently has freedom to break those parameters. I began to think about that when I played Scrabble: a game with a fixed set of parameters, 100 tiles; 225 squares. How many variations from that beginning might occur? I explore this question both visually and linguistically.

Visually, I create multilayer screen prints, evoking a sense of the change of the game board as game progresses. Linguistically, I use haiku (technically, senryu) as my narrative form when compiling, exploring, and mining the permutations of the language used during that specific game.

Each Scrabble book's title is based on the unplayed letters left at the end of the game. The subtitle is the score of the game. The book's opening, or title page, is a haiku based on the title of the book. Subsequent text/narrative is derived in two ways. Firstly, using the words that were actually played, and secondly, by reconfiguring and "playing" the game within the context of the letters randomly placed on the screen print via wood block type.

GTthe thin fuzzy red line below bluethe thin fuzzy red line below bluethe thin fuzzy red line below bluethe thin fuzzy red line below bluethe thin fuzzy red line below blue

UI Box OpenUI Binding DetailUI Box Open DetailUI Box Open Page 17 EmbossUI Page 1Ui Page 12UI Page 21UI 1UI 2UI 3UI 4UI 5


UNLOOPE and a Blank

LU 2LU 8LU 9LU 11LU 15LU 32


NAN1NAN4NAN5NAN9NAN 12NAN 17NAN 29NAN 32NAN 53NAN 62NAN 64NAN 69NAN 74NAN 87NAN 89NAN 101nan 102nan 108

Mixed Media

This series of work began almost by accident. First and foremost a painter, I was unable to paint for a period of about 18 months. I looked for a more immediate way to produce an image, and remembered I had something in the studio that I'd purchased several years prior ~ called "pastel cloth". I pulled out what I had and began to draw (see the images toward the end of this gallery). I was very prolific! And I needed more cloth.

And thus it began ~ the quest. The supplier I had used no longer carried the cloth. I went to hardware stores, fabric stores, art stores, and upholstery shops ~ no one knew how to get the material. I had to solve my dilemma and therefore began to use paint, other fabrics, and collage materials to bring more texture and depth to the work.

moorsFireburstIlkleyMoonsetSunburstCrosby BeachFuzzy Green Linegreen lineCloudburstCloudburst BSwampMesaCrosby Beach version 2Skystorm 1 Skystorm 2 VolcanoSkyscapeBroken Violet LineViolet LineSky Study a Sky Study d Sky Study b Sky Study Two Broken Red Lines thin red line over broken yellowbold red line over fuzzy yellowblue line over ochre 2Bbold red line 1broken blue and purple linesbroken ochre linebroken red linepink line over red two fuzzy yellow linesStudio23

Paintings on Wood & Canvas

These paintings began with a set of finite restrictions that I gave myself. I wanted to work in a square format (a way to subvert one's usual expectation of the landscape genre), and confined myself initially to using primary colors. Now, when I say primary, I don't mean that I restricted myself to those three specific colors, but that I wanted to build the colors slowly by using translucent layers of paint.

Most of this work was done while living in the north of England known affectionately as The Dales. The sky was ever-changing and offered a perfect model for my work.

Yellow MoonWhite MoonRed PlanetRed MoonBadlandsSaturnLuluNightKitesHaworthHazy Red LineFuzzy Blue LineCrescent Moonred planetJuggernautChanging Lanes Adobe Sunset Three Yellow Lines


In 2003, I had the occasion to travel to Paris with another painter. I documented my journey by painting postcards of what I saw, writing a memory on the back, and sending it to myself. Circumstances in my life changed quite unexpectedly, and I decided to do more traveling throughout that year (into 2004). Each trip, I sent myself a memory. I have since asked the art viewing public to participate with me and to send me a message.

The resulting, and ongoing, work is titled "PostCards Home". The cards are then scanned, collated into a grid (much like a Scrabble board arrangement), and digitally printed in unlimited editions.
Other installations have included a series based on shoes collected from the side of the highway. A casual conversation began with the question, "You know those shoes you see on the side of the highway? Why is there only ever one? Where is the other shoe?" I decided to begin collecting them. I have developed some of my own theories about shoes. I now have more than 100 shoes ~ some are pairs!
Lastly, I have owned an art car and hope to create a new one in the coming year. Stay tuned.

PostCards Home
Black Beach Hana Deer Gallows Crag GrassingtonIrelandWest Maui Dunedin Florida Kirkham Priory Lake WindermereMont St Michel Seven Sisters Bathroom Door Caitlin Giles CliveCore Rock Sample Don't Tell Me! HorsforthMindySaltaire Peace RallySalvadorStick FamilyToy Soldierpostcard 1postcard 2Mail dropMail drop

63 vs 1 I Walked Little Man Ma Said

M Sanzi Kermes

M Sanzi Kermes
Photo by Jessica Cunningham


2008, M.A. Masters of Contemporary Fine Art Practice.
Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, United Kingdom.
1989/1990 Publications Design - Masters program. University of Baltimore.
1982, A.B.  Advertising, Emphasis on Graphic Design and Marketing.
S.I. Newhouse School, Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY
Geography, Emphasis on Cartography and Soviet Studies
College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY

Selected Solo and Two Personal Exhibitons:

2013 Landscapes of Memory, The Waldorf School of Baltimore, Baltimore, Md
2008 "Selected Works", Wakefield Gallery. Wakefield, England.
2004 "England Skies: Renaissance of Spirit", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md
2003 "For the Love of Wiley", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md.
"Back to Basics", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md
2001 "Dojahng", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md
2000 "What I Did During My Winter Vacation", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md
1999 "Meditative Moments", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md.
1998 "Balance", Resurgam Gallery. Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md.

Selected group exhibitions:

2012 Exhibitor Artist, Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair, Silver Spring, Md
Guest Artist, The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, Baltimore, Md
2010 Serene or Surreal Landscapes, Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, Md.
Guest Artist, The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, Baltimore, Md.
Group Exhibition, Diddywopps & Keefers, Monkton, Md.
2008 Leeds Art Fair, curated by Doug Sandle. The Light Building, Leeds, UK
2007 Leeds Light Night, Bondage, The Old Post Office Square, Leeds, UK
Saltaire Arts Trail, Saltaire, Bradford, UK
Imprint Leeds, The Light, Leeds, UK
Interim, Institute for Enterprise Old Broadcasting House, Leeds, UK
Piecework, a collaborative exhibition with 7 artists (a collective named PieceWork)
Minas Gallery, Baltimore, Md.
2006 Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md.
SoWeBo Poster Auction (
2005 OUT OF ORDER Benefit Exhibition, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md.
SoWeBo Poster Auction (
2004 Surplus, ArtScape Area 405, Baltimore, Md. Installation work, drawing on vinyl
Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md.
SoWeBo Poster Auction (
2003 Conversation, an invitational project, Howard County Center for the Arts, Ellicott City, Md
A response to text chosen by the participating artist. Curated byJanet Maher
OUT OF ORDER Benefit Exhibition, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md .
SoWeBo Poster Auction (
2002 Group Exhibition, Westnorth Studio, Baltimore, MD
CAmm's Ides Of March Animation Invitational, Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD,
"Watercolor Invitational: Artist Pushing Technique", Prince George's Community College, Largo, Md.
Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md.
SoWeBoposter Auction(
2001 "FLOOR" ArtScape, Decker Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Md.
Installation work, mixed media: shoes, wood, spray paint, polyurethane, screws.
Snapshot, The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Md.
A contemporary examination of the snapshot, 1400 snapshots from artists worldwide.
Conversation, an invitational project University of New Mexico Gallery, Gallup, NM
A response to text chosen by the participating artist. Curated byJanet Maher
Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md .
2000 Maryland Regional Art Exhibits, Government House in Annapolis, Md
Annual Creative Alliance Members Show, The Patterson, Baltimore, Md.


March 4 - 24, 2001

Associate Artist - Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Master Artist Louisa Chase. Collaboration between the other disciplines present: composer Wadada Leo Smith and choreographer Jawole Zollar.

January 11 - 29, 2000
Associate Artist - Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna

Master Artist Brice Marden. Each associate worked on their own body of work while Brice provided critique and commentary.


Authored Articles:
2002Contributing writer for Radar Review, Baltimore Arts and Culture.
 Pulbished by Radar Review in partnership with The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
 Issue 2
 Issue 3 pg 25 Review of "Taking Sides" by Ronald Harwood at Everyman Theatre
 2003 Issue 5 pg 21 Review of roycrosse and WestNorth Studio, 2003.

 reviewed by Michael Salcman
"From Mapmaker to Picturemaker" The Baltimore Sun Thursday:LIVE! January 2, 2003 center spread,
 pgs 14T & 15T.

M Sanzi Kermes

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Baltimore • MD • 21211
410-243-0588 /

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