Initially a painter, Sondra Sherman became drawn to jewelry when she recognized adornments as a medium for empathically reaching out to the social and personal self of individuals. To her, jewelry holds this wonderful power to both have personal meaning and instigate social exchange. She will be presenting pieces from three of her latest series : “Anthophobia : Fear of Flowers” (2007), “FTD” (2009), and “Rorschach Corsages” (since 2013).
Her brooches, whose silhouettes evoke traditional elaborated corsages, include shapes and forms from botanical psychopharmica, that is to say botanicals used for treating social anxiety and depression such as opium (poppy), belladonna and nicotine. By combining the two, she aims at expressing psychological states in social relations, at questioning the increasing need for medicinal treatments and the social conditions which created so much anxiety. Her preoccupation for psychopharmica also came from her familial background, her mother being a therapist and her father a pharmacist. “FTD”, a common acronym for Florist’s Transworld Delivery, is also the acronym for “Formal Thought Disorder”, a term used in psychiatry to describe a pattern of disordered language. “Rorschach Corsages” evolved from the two previous series : the brooches are now bi-laterally symmetrical forms, the front surface presenting the public persona while the elaborate back sides are inspired by the emotional states we do not proclaim in public.
Associate Professor of Art and Head of the Jewelry and Metalwork Program in the San Diego School of Art + Design, Sondra Sherman has been an invited speaker and a panel participant at numerous fairs and professional events. Her work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, The Museum of Art and Design, NY, The Racine Art Museum, WI, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC, and Rhodes Island School of Design Museum.