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Marsha Balian - "M is for Mammal", collage,  12" X 12"

Please join us for receptions for the Artists on
Friday, July 7, 6-9 pm, & Saturday July 22, 2-4 pm

Sherry Parker - “The Journey”, collage, 8”x7.5”

Artists Marsha Balian and Sherry Parker both work in the medium of collage, using instinctive juxtapositions of found images & intuitive compositions to
create works full of mystery and humor

Balian, who leaves behind a long career as health care provider, sees her work as
reflecting an interest in the bits & pieces of narrative that make up a life. Her collages, however, are never straightforward stories. They begin with a playful mix of odds & ends, ephemera, and studio scraps. And she builds on each work as improvisation, letting the sense & direction of each piece unfold intuitively. 

Of her work Parker says: “CHANCE is my muse. What excites me about this
medium are the ideas that flow from chance: the serendipitous discovery of 'found'
materials, the random (unconscious) selection process, the fortuitous mistakes and
the bringing together of disparate ephemera to begin the formation of order out of
chaos.  I call this process 'orchestrated chance'."  Parker's impeccably crafted
collages have much in common with classic Surrealism, with their shadowy
landscapes and anthropomorphic hybrids. 

GearBox is open Thurs. & Fri. 12 - 6 pm,

Saturdays 11 - 5,

& First Fridays 6 - 9 pm

  (510) 859 - 5208

Copyright ©2016/17 GearBox Gallery, All rights reserved.


De l'art helvétique contemporain

rubrique des arts plastiques et de la littérature en Suisse 04/02/2017

Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret

Sherry Parker une chatte aux coussinets feutrés

Sherry Parker (qui a étudié à Lausanne) sort ses doux sarcasmes par ses collages. Cela évite aux mots de faire la morale. Pour autant l’artiste évite toute impasse sur la métaphore visuelle. Elle prouve que le destin et le défi des postmodernes restent de gratter la poussière des apparences. Elle reconstitue l’homo sapiens à partir de ses morsures. Elle ignore la mesure lorsqu’il s’agit d’évoquer l’existence mais elle montre tout autant à travers ses fresques ce qui fait tourner en bourrique. Pas question de caresser un blanc-seing ou de dormir sur la table del’atelier.

Sherry Parker ne cesse de remettre le couvert dans ses narrations où un pigeon borde au besoin un lit à baldaquin. Qui sait si ne se trouvera pas une viole de gambe sous les sabots d’un cheval ? Bref la praticienne poursuit sa quête avec une finesse exquise. Elle fait penser à une chatte aux coussinets feutrés en perpétuelle action d’émerveillement en partant pourtant de ce qui ne prête pas à rire. La collagiste dédouble les caps de bonne espérance et fait jaillir d’un édredon une vois lactée : sa trainée de poudre éclatante s’étend sur des brassées de nuit. Manière d’essuyer les railleries et les « angelures » en négociant des mesures indicibles dans le moindre jardin de groseilles.

Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret

"Stranger than fiction", Sebastopol Center Of Arts, Sebastopol (Californie, USA) du 4 janvier au 12 février 2017.



Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret


Sherry Parker la pudique

Sherry Parker est une collagiste raffinée. Rien de « bricolé » dans son œuvre. Le collage prend un caractère spirituel puisqu’il métamorphose le monde jusqu’à lui donner un envol en dénonçant ses horreurs en images elliptiques. La technique le façonne par la matérialisation des rêves étranges et pénétrants. 

Reprenant la réalité Sherry Parker jette du feu sur son huile.

L'artiste n’épuise jamais les risques tout en jouant les  romantiques et en provoquant errances et dérives en filages intempestifs. Les vérités admises y deviennent inaudibles et le réel se franchit vers un dedans que nous trouverons jamais sur une carte - fût-elle du tendre. 

Objectif ou non le hasard parfaitement contrôlé fait la nique à la réalité. Surgissent des images du troisième type où se cultivent des rapports inédits. Sherry Parker travaille les impressions de matière et d’optique dans ses filages intempestifs.  La mélancolie se retire comme un escargot dans coquille.

L’artiste rend l'impalpable visible. L’œuvre témoigne d'une sororité mystérieuse à l’esprit surréaliste  et ludique. L’artiste n’épuise jamais le risque de rapports intempestifs. Il y a là plus d’impudence que d’impudeur là où tout se montre ou plutôt se devine.

Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret


Stranger than Fiction”

John Hundt and Sherry Parker are cutting-edge California
collagists who share a fascination with anthropomorphism.
There are many interesting parallels in their work: meticulous
execution, flairs of surrealism, edgy whimsy, and witty

John Hundt’s collages explore the notion of evolution that
“took a wrong turn”, be it flora or fauna – blending and
distorting encyclopedic-like elements drawn from human,
animal, geology, astrology, and archeology. He quips, “The
funny thing is, it is likely that over the hundreds of million
years of Life on Earth, many of these strange little creatures
may have well walked the earth at one time.”

Sherry Parker is intrigued by CHANCE and the way in which
this phenomenon “informs” her work from start to finish – the
serendipitous discovery of "found" materials, the random
(unconscious) selection process, the fortuitous mistakes,
and the bringing together of disparate ephemera to create
order out of chaos. Oxymoronically, she calls her process
“orchestrated chance.”

Both oeuvres, in their own unique styles, are marvelously
stranger than fiction.


PRESS RELEASE August-September 2016_______________ STANFORD ART SPACES


Metamorphic: Collage in the Dada/Surrealist Tradition

Jenny Honnert Abell, John Hundt, Catie O’Leary, Sherry Parker, Francesca Pastine and Vanessa Woods

2016 marks the centenary of Dada, the anarchic art movement that signaled the end of nineteenth-century
bourgeois naturalism and the beginning of the twentieth-century concept of the artist as miscreant and
provocateur. Unlike Cubists like Picasso, Braque and Schwitters, who used collage to seek expression in
abstract form, Dadaists like Hannah Hoch, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, and Max Ernst employed
collage for the subversive critique of the hypocritical European society that had slaughtered a generation in
the Great War. The Surrealists a decade later employed collage with equal distaste for social conformity,
especially in the areas of sexual desire and, following Freud’s discovery of the unconscious, the kingdom
of dreams. The prolifically creative Max Ernst, who was involved with both movements, pioneered the use
of cut-up and recombined old engravings for his influential collage novel, La Femme Cent Tetes, The
Hundred-Headed Woman. The juxtaposition of unlikely elements to create a paradoxical or enigmatic
narrative became one of Surrealism’s signature devices, nicely expressed in the phrase from the visionary
Uruguayan of the 1860s, Isidore Ducasse (aka the Comte de Lautréamont), whose Miltonic/satanic novel
, Lay of Maldoro, became something of a breviary for Surrealism: “as beautiful as the chance meeting on a
dissection table of an umbrella and a sewing machine.”

The subversive spirit of Dada and Surrealism continues in the Bay Area, a traditional haven for
independent-minded creatives. Metamorphic brings together six practitioners of this resolutely low-tech
but still powerful medium for creating visual poetry: Jenny Honnert Abell, John Hundt, Catie O’Leary,
Sherry Parker, Francesca Pastine, and Vanessa Woods. I hope that the imaginative marriages of art and
science (since much of the imagery is taken from scientific publications) in these small, charged works wil
l find resonance in the Stanford tech audience. André Breton, known as the ‘pope of Surrealism’—
because the movement, comprised of lapsed Catholics, was churchlike, to the extent of including
excommunications—defined Surrealism as pure psychic automatism without aesthetic concerns.
Of course no artists ignore aesthetics; to imply that intellectual content precludes visual style is a mistake
that only non-artist theorists make. These six Bay Area collagists explore the creative imagination without
limits, or, rather, they accept the limitations of the medium, and, in a judo-like reversal, transform them into

For more information, please see:


JennyHonnertAbell.com | JohnHundt.com | CatieOLeary.com | FrancescaPastineArt.com | VanessaWoods.com

There will be a reception for the artists on Thursday, August 4, from 4:30 to 7:00pm, in the foyer of the
Paul G. Allen Building. The adjacent David W. Packard Electrical Engineering Building will be open as well.

Parking at all university lots and parking structures is free after 4:00. The Via Ortega Parking Structure
(formerly Parking Structure 2, entry into rear of building on Panama Street) is closest. The Cantor Arts
Center and the Anderson Collection at Stanford, only a block away, are open until 8pm on Thursday
nights; free admission to both. Those wishing to visit these museums may wish to park in the street lots in
front of the Cantor, or in the Roth Way Parking Structure (formerly Parking Structure 1, at Roth Way and
Campus Drive Loop). Please see our Facebook page for directions and parking locations (link below).

Stanford Art Spaces is an exhibition program serving the Paul G. Allen Building, housing SystemX
Alliance, the program’s sponsor, and the David W. Packard Electrical Engineering Building, with smaller
venues located throughout campus: The Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, The Center on
Longevity, The Department of Human Resources, and Building 52 at the Stanford National Accelerator
Laboratory. All except Building 52 at SNAL (or SLAC) are open during normal weekday business hours.
For further information, or to arrange a tour, please contact Curator DeWitt Cheng at 650-725-3622 or
dewittc@stanford.edu, or see Facebook.com/Stanford Art Spaces.



Renowned collage artist SHERRY PARKER draws on the unconscious and serendipity to create her unique images.
She uses unexpected and nonsensical imagery, 1950s iconography, deconstruction and humanization of machines,
and anthropomorphic hybrids to conjure up surreal worlds. In her own words: “Collage is a rush for me – from start to
finish – an adventure, a happening. Chance is my muse." Parker is among the most inventive and engaging collage
artists working today. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Pasadena, Seattle, Santa Fe, Portland,
San Francisco, Berkeley and throughout Northern California. She is currently showing at the Nisa Touchon Gallery in
Santa Fe and will be showing work at Stanford University in July.







Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Art I'm Looking At: "Ain't Natural" at Hammerfriar Gallery in Healdsburg

by Colin

I attended the opening of the latest show at Hammerfriar Gallery in Healdsburg on May 2. The show, called
"Ain't Natural," brings together four superb collage artists working in the Bay Area--Jenny Honnert Abell, John
Hundt, Sherry Parker, and Scott Wilson.

Collage unites the four artists but they work in very different styles. Jenny Honnert Abell's work combines the
surreal with religious iconography. Brought up a Catholic, she attended parochial girls' schools through high school.
While explicitly religious themes don't seem central to her work, clearly the imagery of the church made a lasting
impact on her sensibilities. In talking with her about her collages I sensed in her an uneasiness about making fun of
the religious imagery she appropriates, a hard-to-shake compulsion to take it seriously, at least at some level. Yet,
the work is irreverent. The show includes several small pieces on worn but fancy book covers, in themselves
evocative of churchly things like decorated vestments. Onto these covers she's attached perches for Jesus-headed
birds that somehow manage to look content and not unnatural--the serenity of expression of the Jesus heads doing
its work. In other pieces on display, bird heads grow out of tree branches. Pictured here is a somewhat different
piece entitled "The Monroe Flower" that I liked for its use of color and the multiple levels of enclosed detail it

John Hundt seems to work exclusively with engraved book illustrations. He carefully cuts out architectural
fragments, figures, animals, snippets of scenery and other elements with a tiny pair of scissors and assembles the
pieces to create imaginary spaces that are clearly unreal but spaces that use perspective and subtle overlaps to trick
the eye into seeing them as plausible, inhabitable. I'm reminded of the photographic work of Jerry Uelsmann.
Merged and blended contradictions in Hundt's work involve not only physical space but also time; inevitably the old
engraved images are evocative of something old-fashioned--we no longer illustrate books with engravings much and
the subjects Hundt chooses are often historical--but, at the same time, the strange juxtapositions seem modern--at
least modern in the sense the word is used in art history.

Sherry Parker is among the most delightfully inventive artists I've encountered in the Bay Area. Her
work is consistently of the highest caliber. She has an exquisite sense of composition. Her subtle color sense is
equally impressive. Most especially, though, I like her work for the slightly edgy whimsy she nearly always achieves.
Bizarre creatures, part human, part machine, inhabit her surreal landscapes. These are dream worlds, yet they are
familiar enough to be both seductive and deeply unsettling. They are inviting and a little frightening at the same time.

To take just one example, "Yellow-throated Lookout Bird" is immediately amusing because of its title,
which plays on the conventions of real bird names, and many of Parker's titles are funny, but here we see a lone,
one-legged sentinel on what looks like a coastal rock, keeping its squinty eye out for signs of approach. But its
ability to see is illusory. The bird's eye is just a screw at the base of a blade from a pair of clippers--a rather long,
decurved blade from a nasty-looking pair of clippers. The antenna, perhaps, takes in more useful information?

Scott Wilson's work is also slightly disturbing, but in a different way. Made largely from illustrated medical
texts, the collages are interesting for their formal qualities of composition and attractive for their combinations of
pinks and beige and palest orange--the colors of flesh and viscera. But many of the images used illustrate
pathologies, so this is diseased flesh we are looking at. Collage titles name the diseases. Wilson presents his odd
combinations as if they are plates in an actual text--deformities to be studied, learned from, repelled by. Abstract
shapes often overlay or augment the human body parts suggesting early 20th century Russian abstraction. As a child,
I remember being given an encyclopedia of the insect world. It was a very thick volume. I don't remember the text,
but the plates were photographic and numerous. Each plate was an array of related insects--bizarre insects, large
and small. Round beetles, oblong beetles, elongated beetles. Beetles with antennae longer than their bodies.
Grasshoppers of every description. Walking sticks. All in black and white. Repellent yet fascinating at the same time.
I spent hours looking at that book. I was immediately reminded of it when viewing Wilson's collages. They are
likewise simultaneously fascinating and repellent.

Hammerfriar Gallery is at 132 Mill Street, in Healdsburg. The "Ain't Natural" show will run through June 22.

Well worth a visit.

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© Copyright 2012-2017 Sherry Parker. All rights reserved.