Sheryl McRoberts

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Describe your featured work:

Homage to Anne Boleyn, terra cotta, 2017, 17″ diameter

While this series of work began by my looking at human gestures expressed through the work of many artists, it wasn’t until I saw Spanish Baroque that I realized the direction my work would take. The Spanish artists expressed their pain and sorrow through historical events in very emotional and expressive forms. I began a series of heads on platters referencing the Biblical story of John the Baptist, a motif that is present in many Spanish collections. The idea that a mother would ask her daughter for the head of a prisoner on a platter as a gift seemed so unfathomable that I had always ignored that story thinking humanity had progressed and was incapable of such acts. I was reminded of writer William Faulkner’s quote: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past” which reinforces the idea that artists need to keep telling the truth about human nature.

Homage to John the Baptist I, terra cotta, 2017, 16″ diameter
Homage to John the Baptist II, terra cotta, 2017, 16″ diameter

What are you making now?

I am presently exhibiting sculptures of terra cotta hands and feet, and drawings of Japanese Gardens at Normandale Community College Gallery. This has led to my next series of terra cotta relief images of food painted with oil washes.

I belong to CIVA because…

CIVA supports serious artists with a Christian emphasis.

After receiving my MFA in sculpture from Indiana University, I taught at Doane University and the University of Wyoming. I have taught sculpture and drawing at Normandale Community College (Bloomington, MN) for 25 years and retired in 2018. My work has been published in Contemporary Ceramics: An Internal Perspective (Emmanuel Cooper), Animals in Art, Figures in Art (Lark Publishing), Ceramic Review (March/April, 2005), Sculpture Reference Illustrated, and Sculpture Fundamentals, (Arthur Williams). I received a Fulbright Grant to Pietrasanta, Italy, and have worked on a number of commissions. In 2017 was awarded a McKnight Fellowship grant.