By Michelle Gibson, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Short North Alliance
For the month of December, one of the Short North Arts District’s oldest galleries, Sherrie Gallerie, will exhibit its annual small works show, this year focusing on wearable art. Gallerist Sherrie Hawk challenged her artists to think inside the box – the jewelry box, that is, to create small works in the form of wearable art. A dozen of the gallery’s artists, from international jewelers to ceramicists, were up to the task, and will soon be showcasing their minute masterpieces. We chatted with Hawk about the process of curating the show at her gallery.
Michelle: Where did the idea for this small works show come from?
Sherrie: It was partially inspired by my customers; I’ve been noticing more and more inquiries for men’s jewelry and lapel pins, and ways for men to express their creativity. In particular, the gallery will be hosting a special private opening of the show for Loud & Proud, an LGBTQIA+ membership collector group with the Columbus Museum of Art.
Michelle: What was your process for curating this small works show?
Sherrie: It started with the idea, then I tried to think about how to make it different and present it uniquely. I get really excited about new ideas, then all of a sudden I’m immersing myself in them and looking at so much men’s jewelry to see what people want. I asked our artists if they would go beyond their normal scale and comfort zone to make small, wearable works of art.
Michelle: How does your expertise help the artists while they’re creating work for a show like this?
Sherrie: Knowing all the artists, and asking them to be part of this show, is great because they think it’s fun, and I can then help them figure out all the mechanics. They sent me pictures as they were working, and we worked out how to do the pin backings; it’s a dialogue. At his point in my life and career, hopefully the best thing I can do is offer my experience and my eye to the artist and help them go to the next step. You do trust that at this level, they know what they’re going to do, but you can never guess what ideas are born from doing something like this; it can be something that was on their mind that they figure out how to make in small-scale and take them in a cool direction. I think artists are always looking for inspiration and creativity, and ideas they can sink their teeth into.
Michelle: Why is this show an important part of your exhibition schedule?
Sherrie: December is our busiest month of the year; therefore, we want to showcase all our artists in a special exhibition for the holiday season. It is an opportunity for people to purchase work by their favorite artists in a very affordable price range, and what better gift than a unified work of art! I chose a huge variety of styles, from Janis Wunderlich’s ceramic animals, metal brooches by international jewelry artist Biba Schutz, miniature paintings and drawings, and gemstone bracelets. What they are creating is so wonderful, unique and fun. This is a great opportunity to have a work of art by these artists.
Michelle: Which of your artists will have pieces in the show, and what types of art will you feature?
Sherrie: This year, we have asked artists to create wearable brooches for both men and women; little sculptures that can be worn on the lapel, sweater or coat. Additionally, there will be other men’s jewelry including bracelets and pendants. Exhibiting artists for the small works show include Laine Bachman, Bird in the Hand, Maddie Fields, Dana Lynn Harper, Andy Hudson, Yong Joo Kim, Ruth Markus, Sharon Meyer, Richard North, Julie Reeder Biba Schutz and Janis Wunderlich.
Michelle: Why does art make a great holiday gift?
Sherrie: There is not a more special gift than giving a handmade creation to tell the recipient how special and unique they are. I love to give jewelry to make someone feel special and adored. To buy great work in a smaller scale that’s affordable, especially around the holidays, is a pretty special opportunity.
Visit Sherrie Gallerie in the Short North Arts District during the month of December to see the small works show. For more information, visit sherriegallerie.com.