SHERRY KARVER: At the Edge of Perception
Photo Images, Oil, Narrative Text, & Resin surface
36 x 36 in
As an only child Sherry Karver found ways to be creative at a very early age, collecting rocks and shells to build little sculptures on the kitchen table. She attended children’s painting classes on Saturdays at the Art Institute of Chicago. Although she always loved art, she didn’t seriously pursue it in college earning her undergrad degree in Sociology from Indiana University. She took one or two art classes each semester and during her senior year, took a class in ceramics and was hooked! Clay spoke to her like nothing else ever did. After graduation she went back to the Art Institute of Chicago and to Loyola University part-time and took more ceramic classes to hone skills. She recalls that she “met the amazing ceramic artist Ruth Duckworth, who really became my main inspiration even though I never had the opportunity to study with her. To this day I love her work.” Karver continued this path in graduate school at the Newcomb School of Art of Tulane University, receiving her MFA in ceramics, and going on to teach ceramics at colleges and universities around the country, including Laney College in Oakland. Although she taught ceramics until just last year, her own work gradually shifted around 1996. Karver’s practice evolved into photography and painting, adding narrative text around 2000. Most recently she has been developing a new photography series that is printed as dye sublimation on metal. Karver’s photo-based work in 31 Women combines photo images, with oil paint, narrative text, and resin surface on wood panel. This series, called Identity and Perception, confronts today’s individual and societal issues so rampant in our impersonal metropolitan areas: alienation, loneliness, loss of identity, time passage, and how others view us. Karver writes fictional bios on some of the figures as a way to personalize them and make them stand out from the crowd since we each have a unique story to tell.