Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, through November 1
This story was featured in the August 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
For artist Cathy Sheeter, depicting animals often requires capturing the eyes. From delicate birds to mammoth bison, Sheeter’s creatures possess haunting, lifelike eyes that gaze out at the viewer. “Because I do so many tight crops, I feel that the eyes are crucial for drawing viewers into the image and setting my work apart,” she says. “Many people comment that my animals have soul and personality, and I believe this is because I pay attention to the eyes.”
This month the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum presents about 10 new works by Sheeter in a show, titled Mastery and Emergence, which also features paintings by Guy Coheleach. The show’s title refers to Coheleach’s status as an established wildlife artist and Sheeter’s position as a young, rising star in the world of animal art. In April, the museum named Sheeter as a Marijane Singer Artist-in-Residence. (Singer was once museum director and was associated with the wildlife museum for 25 years.) According to Deborah Hurley, the museum’s public relations consultant, Sheeter is the first woman to be chosen for the residency, which offers an artist the opportunity to explore a variety of media as well as the time necessary to create new works.
Sheeter’s primary medium is scratchboard, which is a form of direct engraving on a Masonite panel. Scratchboard is an unforgiving, difficult medium because it demands excellent drawing skills and painstaking attention to fine details. A scratchboard artist has to convey numerous textures using just lines and dots. Complex pieces can take hundreds of hours to complete.
The Colorado-based Sheeter says she plans to explore painting and sculpting as well during her yearlong tenure at the New Jersey museum. “It’s a dream come true—to be able to study works by some true wildlife masters such as Robert Bateman, Guy Coheleach, John Banovich, and Daniel Smith and to be able to explore the museum’s expansive taxidermy collection up close,” Sheeter says. “The incredible support of the Blauvelt Foundation and the museum staff makes this truly a storybook residency.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the August 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
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