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September 24, 2010

 

Sheridan joins Rock Garden artists

Art show features 5 Homer residents

ArtistsJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cheri Sheridan views her work, “I Came to Dance,” a soft sculpture with beads, currently on display at the Center for the Arts of Homer.

By KATIE HALL
Living and Leisure Editor

Cheri Sheridan said she knows what her artwork is about, but can the viewer pick up what she was feeling?
“What do they see in it, that’s what’s important to me. I know where it came from, but what do they see? Do they connect to it? Do they get some of the feelings that I am trying to incorporate?” said the Homer woman, a retired junior high art teacher for the Homer School District.
Sheridan, a fabric artist, is showing 11 works in the 8th Annual Rock Garden Art Group Exhibit, now on display at the Center for the Arts of Homer, 72 S. Main St., Homer. Also featured will be paintings by George Dugan and Ed Levine, ceramics and sculpture by JaeHyang Oh, and nature inspired installations by Liz Sharp. All the artists live in Homer.
People can see the work 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays or by appointment at 607-749-4900.
An artists’ reception will take place 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 1 at the center. All are welcome. The show is on display through Oct. 25.
Sheridan is loving retirement. “It was an easy transition. I just didn’t have time to do my  work. It would take me four-five years to finish something,”she said.
Still, she is teaching art classes at the YWCA to little kids and is planning an adult class in November, focusing on quilting and fabric design.
At the center she is showing fabric art and soft sculpture dolls, many with fabric she dyed herself. A gorgeous, intricate quilt, “Spirit of the Rain Forest,” was inspired by a visit to a rainforest she took with her husband and daughter in Costa Rica. Spirit heads and animals stare at the viewer from a kaleidoscope of jungle and color. “That’s like the spirits of the rainforest see you, before you see them,” she said. “That started as batik fabric,” she said. She used wax and dye to manipulate the colors and design. She added buttons, yarn and beads to give it texture. “The thing that’s neat about it is that kids touch it and I love that,” she said.
Sheridan is moving toward creating more abstract work, rather then the immediately recognizable. She pointed to three abstract quilt pieces hanging on the wall. “That’s the first three days of my mother-in-law’s stroke,” she said.
She had been at a Quilting by the Lake workshop in Morrisville, learning to make a jacket when she got the news of her loved one’s illness. She used the project to work through the experience. “There’s no way I could wear this,” she said of the jacket. She made it into a three piece wall quilt. It used to be the back of the jacket, a sleeve, and a front piece.
“Nobody looking at that would know that. They would have no idea of that,” she said.
So she’s curious what the viewer sees in the piece.
Liz Sharp has a dramatic color installation that greets people when they come into the gallery. She also created three porcelain installations that are smaller in scale. All are about the double helix.
“As a society we are really excited about the information that we are learning about the double helix, about evolution, about how things are put together, why are they different, why similar? These are details from the double helix,” she said of the hanging structures.
“I try to make new things,” said JaeHyang Oh, a ceramist and sculptor. “This year, I bring nature into my (work),” she said.
On a table, plates fired in earthy tones were set with red and white beans flowing around the plates. Rice grains were in swirls on the plates and floating lights sat in water in a large vessel.
“These are three grains very important to my diet,” she said.
Rice is a regular staple, soybeans are a source of protein and the red bean adds a sweet element to her food.
“Nature and human beings are the same creation. We have to coexist in this world. ...That’s what I’m thinking about when I work,” she said.

 

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