Sherri Silverman's Santa Fe studio, 2014.

Sherri Silverman's Santa Fe studio, 2014.

 

Artist Sherri Silverman's first memory is of insisting when she was four years old that prospective buyers of her family's Atlanta house see the paintings she had done in her bedroom closet. Years later, a classmate reminisced about how impressed she was with how Sherri bore down hard with her red crayon when she was five. 

Sherri's interest in creating art revived when she took a couple of studio art courses at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and Huron Project in Cambridge, MA in the 1970s, leading to her first gallery representation in Harvard Square at Botolph Gallery.

In 1985 while living in Santa Barbara, she pulled out her pastels set. Two pastel paintings emerged that an artist friend saw and responded to by saying, "Sherri, if you really wanted to, you could be an artist." That made Sherri light up and was a major turning point in her life. 

After moving to Santa Fe in 1986, a Boston art consultant asked Sherri to send slides, which resulted in interest from Fidelity Investment's corporate curator. The art consultant called Sherri shortly after her pastel paintings arrived and said, "I have to tell you what happened. Your crate arrived Friday afternoon. We opened it Saturday morning with a houseguest who got tears in her eyes and said, 'I have to have these!' The houseguest bought two, my husband and I grabbed the third one, and there was nothing left for Fidelity. The Fidelity curator was not angry but was really upset, so send more work!"  Fidelity's curator chose a piece for her own office.

In 1998 Sherri's work was presented to the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection board by a board member and the curator. Out of thirteen potential artists, one other squeaked in and Sherri's work was accepted by a unanimous vote of the board. All the hands went up when asked if her work should be in the collection. The curator then pointed to the first of five pieces she had selected for possible inclusion, and again all the hands went up. Matthew #15 was installed in a silverleaf frame with a silk mat and placed on permanent display outside the Senate chambers, where it is hopefully enlightening New Mexico legislators.

Her artwork is in the book 100 Artists of the Southwest; in private, public, and corporate collections; and has been in three museum group shows. In 2001 she was Artist in Residence at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

Beyond the two brief courses in the 1970s, Sherri has a doctorate in art history. She was self-taught as a studio artist until 2015, when she was awarded the Tip Coleman Scholarship for four days of study at Judith Kruger's Nihonga & Beyond Workshop.