Sondra Sherman

Published: 10.05.2024


4 new pieces have been added to the artist's profile.
Sondra Sherman Sondra Sherman


Sondra Sherman’s work explores the distinctive voice of jewelry and the psycho-social context of the body/wearer. Head of the Jewelry and Metalwork Program at San Diego State University, CA, previous teaching includes, SUNY New Paltz, Savannah College of Art + Design, and Rhode Island School of Design. Sherman received the Diplom degree (MFA) from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich GERMANY, where she resided for 10 years. Awards include Individual Artist Fellowships from: the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship for Study Abroad. Exhibited and published in Europe and the US, her work can be found in significant public and private collections including the The Museum of Art and Design, NY, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.


Statement series: Upside Down in Paradise

‘Upside Down in Paradise’ is a series of jewelry which explores imaging the natural and cultural landscape of Southern California. to express the poetic paradoxes found in the day to day of ‘California Dreamin’ as photographed or recorded from ‘the road’.
While ‘Upside Down in Paradise’ has a particular geographical reference, its subject is inherently universal- in the diversity of ethnicities and social histories which make up the culture of California, but also in the common experiences of (re)locating oneself in an unfamiliar place, or the perceptions developed while traveling through.
I have been collecting visual research for a few years; taking photographs and videos while traveling by car or train within SoCal. The viewpoint provided by traveling in 
climate controlled spaces of cars or trains, on the freeways or tracks, as they transect the natural landscape became a resonant framing device. As a relatively new resident of California coming from Northeastern U.S. urban environments, I can’t help but reflect on the history and socio-cultural conditions evident in the urban roadside scenery, especially in relation to the magnificent natural beauty. As an artist, I tend to see the potential metaphor in everything… 
The vestigial glamour of the California idyll of the 1950’s and 60’s, palpable in the faded commercial signs, and architectural facades which punctuate the roadside with their gemstone-like shapes, and generous proportions, against the expansive blue sky inspire oversize jewelry with 
sun weathered surfaces. The cultural diversity visible in the urban landscape appears in the variety of elements of material, color and composition.
The imagery is distorted and fragmented reflecting the heightened awareness, continuous movement, and endless sky, sea, roadways, and … dreams- encountered when going to California in your mind.
The landscapes show no consistent relationship to the horizon, or gravity amplifying the surreal sense of detachment car culture provides. At times the freeway is a sea of cars; green interstate signs are floating clouds, and the freeway flyover brings the sense of a passing ship. The neckpieces translate those sensations as the passenger becomes the wearer – surrounded by the 
landscape-with a disorienting view.

Statement Artist

I have been involved in fine art since childhood, and was eventually drawn to jewelry by the inherent and socially interconnected meanings of personal adornment. I choose the limitations of jewelry in trade for its distinctive opportunity. Not professional opportunity, but a personal sociopolitical opportunity. Jewelry, even artists jewelry, through its mobility and psychological accessibility/presumed familiarity invites a broad audience to a conversation grounded in empathy.
It is my nature to ponder in making, (or perhaps it is simply my nature).
In various series of work, form language changes with any significant change of subject.
I explore something I am engaged by on multiple levels; personally and socially, emotionally and intellectually, over a series of pieces. Intuition inspires research which folds back into new intuitions taking material form. Perhaps starting as a painter left a mode of adding and subtracting, or maybe because I'm a Libra, or commitment phobic...I can't decide.
I choose the subjects, methods and materials of the jeweler which challenge my commitment and amplify the authentic voice and context of jewelry. I am thus less interested in artworks about jewelry- than in jewelry that does, what jewelry does. I consider ‘wearability’ essential to the expressive power found in its dual nature; perceived privately/personally in relation to an individual - and as an object for public display.
So, does the wearer complete the jewelry or does the jewelry complete the wearer? I suggest it is reciprocal - changed by each other they venture out into the world, to start a conversation.

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Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  17 May 2024 - 05 Jul 2024  The Gemstone Apothecary by Sondra Sherman.
Exhibition  06 Jul 2022 - 10 Jul 2022  Galerie Marzee at Frame 2022.
Exhibition  05 Mar 2022 - 26 Mar 2022  Declaration of Sentiments in Stockholm.
Exhibition  22 Jan 2022 - 12 Mar 2022  Rings ! at Houston.
Exhibition  05 Jun 2021 - 17 Jul 2021  Rings !.
Exhibition  04 Dec 2020 - 23 Dec 2020  Zoom Jewellery Exhibition.
Exhibition  06 Sep 2020 - 03 Oct 2020  Declaration of Sentiments.
Exhibition  05 Jun 2020 - 10 Jul 2020  Site Effects: Jewelry on both sides of the Atlantic in Baltimore.
Exhibition  17 Jan 2020 - 29 Feb 2020  Site Effects: Jewelry on both sides of the Atlantic.
Exhibition  01 Dec 2019 - 31 Dec 2019  Christmas Exhibition 2019.
Exhibition  13 Oct 2019 - 12 Jan 2020  21 Grams in Apeldoorn.
Exhibition  22 Jun 2019 - 08 Sep 2019  21 Grams in Mons.
Exhibition  14 Mar 2019 - 13 Apr 2019  21 Grams in Munich.
Exhibition  01 Mar 2018 - 31 Mar 2018  Upside Down in Paradise by Sondra Sherman.
Exhibition  05 May 2017 - 27 May 2017  Biba Schutz, Maria Phillips, Sondra Sherman.
Fair  12 Jan 2017 - 17 Jan 2017  Upside Down in Paradise.
FOG Art Fair, presented by Sienna Gallery, San Francisco, California
Exhibition  09 Sep 2016 - 22 Jan 2016  Off the Page.
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, Arizona
Exhibition  08 Sep 2016 - 16 Oct 2016  Shadow Themes: Finding the Present in the Past.
Exhibition  08 Sep 2016 - 16 Oct 2016  Shadow Themes.
RR Gallery, New York, NY
Exhibition  29 Jan 2016 - 25 Feb 2016  Parallels by Sondra Sherman and Jonathan Wahl.
Exhibition  01 Dec 2009 - 31 Dec 2009  Sondra Sherman: FTDs.

Publications      View / hide publications

Book:  New Brooches: 400+ Contemporary Jewellery Designs. Estrada, NicolasPromopress:  Barcelona,  2018
Book:  From here and there. Jewellery Class University of Art and Design HalleJewellery Class University of Art and Design Halle:  Halle,  2015
Book:  Unique by Design: Contemporary Jewelry in the Donna Schneier Collection. Suzanne RamljakMetropolitan Museum of Art:  2014
Interview online publication:  Judging a Book By Its Cover. Celine BrowningArt Jewelry Forum:  2014
Review:  Found Subjects. Marjorie Simon.  2014
Metalsmith, Society of North American Goldsmiths, vol.34, #5 
Book:  Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective. Lark Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, Inc.:  New York,  2013
Article:  Look. Biba Schutz.  2012
Metalsmith, Society of North American Goldsmiths, vol.32, #1
Exhibition in Print:  Fresh. 2011
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths, vol.31, #4  
Book:  Jewelry by Artists: 1940 - 2000. 2010
Boston MFA publications
Book:  The Compendium Finale of Contemporary Jewellery Makers. Darling Publications:  Cologne,  2009
Book:  500 Pendants. Elizabeth ShypertLark Books:  2008
Book:  Glasswear. Glass in Contemporary Jewelry. Ilse-Neuman, Ursula; Holzach, Cornelie; Page, Jutta-AnnetteArnoldsche:  Stuttgart,  2007
Book:  500 Earrings. Alan RevereLark Books:  2007
Book:  Challenging the Chatelaine. Drutt English:  2006
Helen and Aav, Marianne, Designmuseo, Helsinki
Magazine:  Forum: Jewelers on Jewelry. 2006
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths, vol.26, #5  
Exhibition in Print:  Re-framing Jewelry. Ellen Lupton.  2006
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths,vol.26, #4
Review:  Seven Types of Ambiguity. Andrea DiNoto.  2006
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths, Fall
Book:  500 Brooches. Marjorie SimonLark Books:  2005
Book:  1000 Rings. Robert EbendorfLark Books:  2004
Author-Curator’s Intro:  Evocative Objects: Studio Metalsmithing and Jewelry. 2003
Review:  Five Women in Craft. 2000
American Craft Magazine, winter
Magazine:  Exhibition in Print. 2000
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths, Fall
Review:  Cascades. 1998
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths Summer
Magazine:  Keeping Vigil: Jewelry, Touch, and Physical Engagement. 1997
American Craft Magazine, Ramljak, Suzanne
Review:  Transfigurations. 1997
The Beacon Journal
Magazine:  Both/And: The Work of Sondra Sherman. Bruce Metcalf.  1997
Metalsmith: Society of North American Goldsmiths, winter
Review:  Schmuck-Kunst im Schloss. 1997
Rare, Salzburger Nachtrichten, 1996
Book:  Jewelry in Europe and America. RalphTurnerThames and Hudson:  1996
Book:  One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today. Susan GrantAbrams:  1994
Risk and Reverence:  Risk and Reverence. Daniel Jocz.  1994
Society of North American Goldsmiths
Review:  Jugend Gestaltet. 1994
K.G, Kunst+Handwerk, Dusseldorf
Book:  Munich Goldsmiths 93. Helmut BauerStadtmuseum Munich:  1993
Book:  Sondra Sherman: Anthophobia - Fear of Flowers. SG Press:  Lenox, MA, 
Book:  Sondra Sherman: Found Subjects. SG Press:  Lenox MA,