“The Path of the Spirit Beckons”, fiber, featured in Art For Change (May 4 through 25, 2018); Artist: JILL SCHER
What is your personal and artistic background?
I grew up in a family that valued and encouraged art making, music and spending time in nature. These were all values that stayed with me and have informed my choices in life. I have been lucky enough to live in beautiful places from my childhood in the Pacific Northwest, to 20 years in the hills of West Virginia and finally living in the Roaring Fork valley. Being surrounded by beauty is a gift that filters into my artwork. I want my work to be meaningful but I also have a need to add beauty to the world through what I create with my hands. I feel that creating beauty is actually a service to humanity.
What has been a seminal experience for you as an artist?
Well, foremost was the gift of being able to study textiles at RISD. Being surrounded by so many talented people and having the experience of doing nothing but make art in a structured environment for 4 years was a transformative experience. I was also truly fortunate to have a husband who supported me in this effort and was a full-time stay at home Dad to our 4 children allowing me to devote myself to my studies. Doing an artist’s residency with Wilderness Workshop was also a great experience where I was able to spend time making art inspired by nature and not need to consider time or price for what I was making.
Why do you make the art that you make?
Hmm. I was introduced to making things as an 8 year old when a neighbor taught my twin sister and I to knit. So I had that ubiquitous introduction to textile arts through knitting. Knitting was followed by weaving, spinning, natural dyeing and then print making and felting. Fiberarts is tactile and allows me to work pretty directly with color and form. Felting allows me to explore sculptural forms as well, which I find exciting. I am inspired by the natural world as well as architectural forms and geometry. I make both functional pieces, such as wearable accessories and home furnishings, as well as conceptual fine arts pieces. They are each satisfying to do for different reasons.
What are my hopes for the future?
I want to continue to create work I am proud of and expand and grow both technically and artistically. I hope to be able to continue to make art fulltime and have my work adequately support me financially.
Where am I when I am not making art?
I spend some time as a part time staff member at the Snowmass Monastery Retreat Center. I also try to spend time with my husband, kids and grandkids, or taking walks in local spots of beauty and reading.