Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Program Fall 2019 Sherri Lynn Wood

Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence

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Sherri Lynn Wood

Cincinnati, OH
➔ sherrilynnwood.com

Ever since Sherri Lynn Wood unwittingly defied the sexist dress code at Wiley Junior High School with a modest sundress of her own creation, she experienced sewing as a source of creative expression, subversive resistance, and personal empowerment. This formative experience has established a trajectory of restorative social practice throughout her career as a quilt maker, sculptor, teacher, author, improviser, activist, and healer. Currently based in Cincinnati, OH, Wood is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, and a Headlands Center for the Arts Residency. She recently completed a four-month residency at Recology San Francisco, where she undertook the task of presenting a body of work made completely from materials scavenged from the city dump. She holds an MFA in sculpture from The Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College and a Masters of Theological Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. She has been improvising quilts as a creative life practice for 30 years, and is considered a master at her craft. Her best selling publication The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously (Abrams, 2015) provides scores, or frameworks, for flexible patterns and creative exploration, along with practical instruction in stitching techniques and color theory.


“I believe something as mundane and functional as threading a needle, when engaged intentionally or witnessed within the context of aesthetic experience, can trigger a deeper, embodied understanding of our relationship to both the concept and activity of focus. I see craft—the work of human hands in history—as containing the potential to create, by hand, new relationships inside living human systems, opening up space for personal agency and social change.”


  • s a f e t y n e t w o r k, 2016, quilt: retired Recology San Francisco safety vests and uniforms, scavenged wool batting and thread, 81 by 91 inches

  • s i x p a i r s o f p a n t s, 2016, quilt: military uniform pants, comforter, cotton thread scavenged from the dump at Recology San Francisco, 115 by 98 inches

  • e r b a, 2016, soft sculpture: flattened stuffed animal, felt, carpet pad, thread scavenged from Recology San Francisco, 100 by 76 inches

  • s i n g u l a r i t y, 2016, interactive sculpture: jeans, polystyrene foam from stuffed animals scavenged from the dump, 62.5 foot continuous loop, 10 by 33 inches in circumference, installation dimensions variable

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.