Press Release


Celebrating 30 Years in the Nation’s Capital

to present


Friday May 2 – Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shelley Laffal     Chris Malone

Meet the Artists  

Friday May 2, 6-9pm & Saturday, May 3, 3-6pm  

Branches without Roots”                                                                        “Teddy Bears Picnic”   

                                                                                  Chris Malone    mixed media                                                             Shelley Laffal    oil on canvas

Washington, DC – Fantasy and phantasmagoric run through this exhibition featuring the dramatic work of two unique artists, exploring and expressing their mystical selves.   Shelley Laffal and Chris Malone, the former a long-time Zenith artist and the other, new to the gallery, make a fine pairing in this imaginative show that will grab your attention when you walk through the door. 

A Washington native, Shelley Laffal has been featured in 13 solo and group shows at Zenith since 1988, exhibiting her paintings in themed food shows, Humor shows, Anniversary shows, Gallery Artists shows and other exhibitions.   An artist of intensity, she has shown her paintings in galleries in the Mid-Atlantic region, Florida, Illinois and New Mexico, and placed them in private collections in the Washington metropolitan area and beyond.

Laffal began her training at the Maryland Art Institute and studied at the California Institute of the Arts, and with Canadian painter Ernest Lindner and abstract artist Paul Brach, the husband of Miriam Shapiro.  Laffal also spent a decade exploring sculpture as a way of extending her visual vocabulary.  In her new work, she departs from depicting fictionalized characters and paints mischievous portraits, merging contemporary human experience with the primitive, hidden part of us that seems headed for extinction. 

For lack of words, some might call them big dolls, but that’s not what you’ll see in Chris Malone’s endearing, animated large-scale African and New Guinean soft sculptures whose eyes twinkle and bodies dazzle, decorated with beads and exotic material.   This will be Malone’s first showcase at Zenith Gallery, after taking center stage at the “Black Matter” show at 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, curated by Zenith.

 Raised in Springfield, Ohio, Malone moved from Boston to Washington in 1992 to work at the National Zoo where he cared for the giant pandas Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling, arguably the Zoo’s most popular residents.   Serendipity, talent and a life-long fascination that started with doll-making soon led this self-taught artist into the art world and since then he has focused on his soft-sculptured creatures, which are in private collections and have been featured in galleries in New York, New Orleans, Baltimore and our area.

Address:             Zenith Gallery, 413 Seventh Street NW, Washington DC 20004

    Metro: Red/Yellow/Green to Verizon Center or Yellow/Blue to Navy Memorial

Gallery  Hours:   Tuesday-Friday: 11am-6pm, Saturday: 11am-7pm, Sunday: noon-5pm


Information:  Text Box:  

Press Contact:  For more information and high-quality images, contact Judith Keyserling at 202-726-1627


Now in our 30th anniversary year, Zenith is recognized for breaking new ground with a dynamic mix of dynamic contemporary artworks that stimulate, engage and amaze.   A member of the Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington, Zenith places art by established and emerging talent in public, residential and corporate collections.