WesternInnSanMarino is a brooch from the series Upside Down in Paradise which expresses the poetic paradoxes found in the day to day of ‘California Dreamin’ as photographed or recorded from ‘the road’.

As an ‘east coaster’, I can’t help but reflect on the history and socio-cultural conditions evident in the urban roadside scenery, especially in relation to the magnificent natural beauty. As an artist, I tend to see the potential metaphor in everything…

The imagery is distorted and fragmented reflecting the heightened awareness, continuous movement, and endless sky, sea, roadways, and dreams- encountered when going to California in your mind. At times the freeway is a sea of cars; green interstate signs are floating clouds, and the freeway flyover brings the sense of a passing ship. The pieces translate those sensations as the passenger becomes the wearer—experiencing the landscape—with a disorienting view.

So, does the wearer complete the jewelry or does the jewelry complete the wearer? I suggest it is reciprocal - changed by each other they venture out into the world, to start a conversation.

Sondra Sherman

Sondra Sherman b. 1958

Originally from Philadelphia, Sherman has been Head of the Jewelry and Metalwork Program at San Diego State University, California since 2010. She received the Diplom Degree (MFA) from the Academy of Fine Art in Munich Germany, where she resided for ten years.

Sondra Sherman’s work explores the distinctive voice of jewelry and the psychological and social contexts of the body/wearer. Subjects inherent to those contexts have inspired diverse series of work which use the social codes and private/public locations of jewelry as a platform to invite a broad audience to a conversation grounded in empathy. 

Sherman has been the recipient of many awards including Individual Artist Fellowships from the Rhode Island Council on the Arts, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Emerging Artists Fellowship, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Regional National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship for Study Abroad.

Exhibited and published in Europe and the US, her work can be found in significant public and private collections including the The Museum of Art and Design, NY, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.