Diane Cherr

category: Visual,

Contact & Info

Website: http://www.dianecherr.com

Phone: (914)725-6417

  • chair43@aol.com

Artist Statement

My work is rich with color, design and narrative.  My pieces are unique, whether painting in gouache, creating collages, mixed media, drawing or printmaking.  I pay homage to women’s empowerment, Eastern philosophy, mythology, Jewish heritage and traditions, when interpreting the stories and concepts that become my creations.  Handmade paper is often a choice, as it adds texture and dimension to my work.  The process of researching and designing each new piece is inspiring and exciting, often resulting in the juxtaposition of rich storytelling with wonder and whimsy. Creating images that best illustrate my ideas is a challenging and exciting process.  In addition to my narrative pieces, other works include lunar quilt paintings, trees, hearts, shoes and moons.  These images have become iconic in my work.  I continue to explore these symbols and others as I add to my creative vocabulary. My work has been shown in exhibits and galleries in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, including the Katonah Museum, the Blue Door Gallery, Upstream Gallery, the Aesthetic Sense Gallery, Madelyn Jordon Fine Art, Mamaroneck Artists Guild, and the Labriola Gallery.  My work is often shown at the annual Judaica Craft Show in Bet Am Shalom Synagogue, White Plains which showcases fifty top Judaic artists from the United States and Israel.  Yeshiva University commissioned a painting as a gift of thanks to the family of a major donor.  I am represented in private collections in the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Israel and Hungary.

Educational Background

Diane has a BA in Studio Art from Wheaton College, Massachusetts and an MA in Art and Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York.

Teaching Artist Experience

I have been teaching art for over 25 years with extensive experience in arts education.  I've worked as an art teacher, artist-in-residence, consultant and workshop facilitator in a variety of settings with a specialty in helping high school students with portfolio preparation for college admission.
As the art teacher at Manhattan Country School (MCS) in NYC, I taught Pre-K through 8th grade for eight years, focusing on the intersection of child development and the process of creating art, and worked closely with teachers and museums to use exhibits to integrate classroom and art curricula and expose students to new techniques and media.  While at MCS, I received two grants for excellence in curriculum development from the Exxon Corporation, one for a life drawing course and the other for an integrated Spanish/Art alphabet book used by older students to teach younger students.  I was fortunate to work with Keith Haring on a mural project with middle school students, using his imagery as the point of departure.  I also helped students create art portfolios for their applications to LaGuardia High School of Music and Art.
Since moving to Westchester, I have taught as an artist-in-residence in schools, museums, hospitals and senior sites.  I have worked independently and as a teaching artist for ArtsWestchester for over 15 years with organizations such as White Plains Guest Home, Grace Plaza and Huguenot House.
My art workshops stimulate creative development, encourage problem solving and enrich curriculum, using a variety of media including painting, drawing, clay, collage and printmaking.  I enjoy collaborating when creating individual and group projects.  Residencies include murals about the Historic Hudson Valley at an elementary school and working with over 300 students at the Quaker Ridge Elementary School in Scarsdale to design and create a mosaic mural as a permanent installation in the school.  I received grants from UJA to create fabric wall hangings combining inter-generational storytelling and children’s artwork at two preschools.
I have taught a number of residencies through state and federal grants in Mount Vernon, NY, a suburban community in significant need of funding and support for the arts.  My residencies have reached elementary and high school students and included murals and printmaking.  I worked with art teachers, designing and implementing curriculum.  I was also a consultant for ArtsWestchester, planning and teaching professional development programs to the Mount Vernon visual arts faculty.
I recently received a grant from Lifetime Arts for the "Libraries Project," where my curriculum "Memory, Narrative and Image" was well received by a crowd of enthusiastic older adults.  I enjoy working with older adults and have recently developed several residencies where personal memories and famous artwork provide inspiration for their projects.  These workshops provide opportunities for socialization and exploration of new artistic techniques and media.
My work with teenagers and their portfolios for college admission is rewarding.  I have taught small classes and tutor privately.  Each program is tailored to the needs and interests of the students. Student’s creative potential is maximized while building confidence and developing excellent pieces for their portfolios.  Each portfolio celebrates the student as a unique artist while exploring a variety of media.  I also mentor under served students, providing opportunities and resources to create portfolios and apply to higher education art programs.
I enjoy participating in professional workshops to keep current and energized as an artist and educator.