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Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533


Berkeley, California (Tuesday, May 26, 2009) - Woodcarver Sherilyn Tharp expresses her history of drawing, woodworking and carving experience with this collection of wood carved masks being shown in the lobby gallery at 1947 Center Street in Berkeley, from June 8, 2009 through September 8, 2009. This exhibition show can be viewed during regular office hours, is open to the public, and it is free and wheelchair accessible.

Tharp takes a traditional carved form and uses a wide variety of techniques sometimes in unusual and nontraditional ways to articulate her own vision. The masks are carved from a wide variety of woods and often embellished with scraps and found objects such as nails or thorns.  The hair of a mask might be scrap from some other project such as basket making materials or fabric scraps. Some of the masks are carved from wood collected from tree cutters that save especially beautiful and unusual logs for her.  

Tharp is an artist, a professional woodcarver and master teacher. In addition to her own carving, Sherilyn Tharp continues the time honored tradition of master artist teaching apprentice, passing the woodcarving skills she learned from her master teachers to new students of the craft. She has taught woodcarving for 22 years. On any Saturday in her woodcarving studio in South Berkeley the room buzzes with the excitement of students, young and old, experienced and novice, all brought together by the desire to transform a block of wood into a finished piece of art.

The Lobby  Gallery at 1947 Center Street is a project of the Civic Arts Program of the City of Berkeley in cooperation with the Civic Arts Commission. For information about this space please contact the curator at (510) 981-7546, or Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator at (510) 981-7533. For further information about the artwork in this exhibition, please visit http://sheritharp.com/. (**website updated per artist's request, Sept 17, 2010)


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