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SHERRI BELASSEN uses shapes and colors in a contemporary manner to create her unique artwork. Her work often portrays animals and figures in earth tones resonant with her Arizona home. She was born and raised in Indianapolis and attended the University of Missouri on a full track and field scholarship while majoring in fine arts. Her dreams of making the Olympics were derailed by a sports injury. She then channeled her energies fully into art, graduating form Indiana University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She credits her inspiration in design and composition to trips she took as a child with her father in his two-seater airplane. The patterns and colors of the landscape informed her later aesthetic, which is built around defined blocks of color. “In life and art, I try to stay true to myself and listen to my own voice.”
My paintings are meditative studies done with rich color and bold graphic compositions-I often incorporate circles, grids, and stripes. The universality and appeal of this symbology pulls the viewer in and holds them there to explore the subtle details. I try to create work that both captivates and calms. I work with abstractions because I want to put forth something universal that can be open to interpretations that are unique to each individual and can continue to evolve over time.
Time, nature, and the obsessive need to leave my mark... elements and energy flows... my work is a reflection on life processes and ecological cycles and the interdependence of things. I am particularly interested in the intersection of the natural world with the man-made environment and in recent years I have observed the many changes that man has brought to the natural terrain. I find myself rushing to record the moments preceding the changes, the moments just before the balance of life is altered irrevocably. The paintings become visual diaries, internal maps of vanishing landscapes and vanishing cultures. A painting evolves slowly, through layers of gesso, paint, charcoal and glazes. I often work on the floor, circling around, building up, scraping away, centering, focusing, performing the ritual gestures that are part of the process. It's an organic process, through which I become in touch with who I am and how the world is.
Wunderly grew up in Switzerland on the shore of Lake Zürich. Her interest in art drew her to New York City at age 20, when she decided to move to the United States. After completing a degree in graphic design at California College of Arts, Wunderly worked as a graphic designer at Primo Angeli Inc in San Francisco for four years, and began painting full time in 1994. She works with Acrylic paints, oil pastels, plaster and collage. Since 2003 Wunderly has lived with her husband and two sons in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California.