Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present Found Subjects, an exhibition of work by jeweler Sondra Sherman. In this body of work, Sherman creates unique brooches and necklaces prompted by the individual books she has collected over many years. Sherman cuts into the pages of each book, giving them new life as they house the jewelry they inspired.
Intrigued by the poetry of the titles and bindings of vintage books, Sherman built a personal library in her home. Though these texts occupied her shelves, they were never read and, ultimately, she started organizing her collection by color. Sherman writes in her artist statement, “Its ‘Pantone-ian’ organization was a late-night inspiration, as I observed the visual noise of the bookshelves might be quieted down if color order ruled over subject or title.” Sherman delighted in challenging visitors’ initial associations with the book covers through her method of cataloging, noticing that her visitors paid more attention to the titles arranged by color field.
The idea for Found Subjects came to Sherman as she was packing boxes of books for a final cross-country move. Like the organization of her own library, Found Subjects encourages viewers to use their imagination as they reflect on the relationship of the jewelry to the color, images, and title of the open book that frames it. In the exhibition, the books are presented on white-washed, plywood library-style lecterns, tailored to their individual sizes and haphazardly arranged in the space. Surprise narratives reveal themselves as one makes sense of the relationship between text and form. The pages become the viewers’ imagined stories, and the jewelry reflects their voices, giving each book a new life “off the shelf.”
About the Artist
Sondra Sherman is Associate Professor of Art and Head of Jewelry and Metalwork at San Diego State University in California. She received her MFA from the Academy of Fine Art in Munich, Germany, and her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania. She has been the recipient of many awards including the Rhode Island Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Emerging Artists Fellowship, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, the Mid-Atlantic Regional National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship for Study Abroad. Sherman’s artwork is included in the following public collections: the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Racine Art Museum; the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum; and the City Museum of Turnov, Czech Republic.