Silk as a fabric has been treasured for its fluidity, elegance, and delicate texture for thousands of years. Partner this delicately spun natural fabric with skilled brushwork and natural dyes; you have an ancient artform for our modern lives. This is the goal of Cheri Reckers, a silk painting artist.
Growing up in Ohio, Reckers has lived most of her life in the deserts of the Southwest. She does not recall having artists in the family but, "My first-grade teacher thought I had some talent. I was good at interpreting details in my drawings and paintings." Based on this assessment, her parents enrolled her in extra after-school art classes. Reckers pursued her creative inclinations, earning a BFA with honors from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her focus was Advertising and Fashion Design. She recalls, "My first experience with silk painting was working on my senior fashion show project. I had always loved painting, so I thought wouldn't it be great to paint my own fabric for my collection?" The rest, as they say, is history.
"My most recent work focuses on my fascination with the seasonal rhythms of Nature.The textural patterns of plants, the shapes of the animals, and the brilliant skies of the Sonoran Desert."
Reckers made a career in the arts stating, "After college, I continued to create my own art while holding down art-related part-time jobs. I freelanced in graphic design and illustration, was a studio assistant for a fiber artist and a jeweler, and worked at a gallery." Today, Reckers is a highly successful fiber artist. Her primary material is in various silk fabrics with liquid, fiber-reactive dyes that are steam set for permanence. She explains, "Some of my paintings are sewn into wearable art pieces, others are mounted and framed for wall art." To her credit, Reckers's award-winning silk paintings have been exhibited in numerous museums. Her wearable art pieces have graced runways as far away as New Zealand.
Community service has always been high on Reckers's list of "give back" activities. Her studio's outreach includes creating and producing a country-wide artist and gallery guide, creating and producing "Art for Pet's Sake" fundraiser to benefit a local animal shelter and pet adoptions, and curating fiber art exhibitions and events. The quality of fibers in our lives and their historical, cultural influence has been an educational topic for years in Reckers's to-do portfolio.
She states, "My most recent work focuses on my fascination with the seasonal rhythms of Nature. The textural patterns of plants, the shapes of the animals, and the brilliant skies of the Sonoran Desert. All are surrounding my home studio." She claims, "I have more ideas for paintings than I can actually produce, and that's a good thing." Cheri Reckers's work is available in several galleries in New Mexico and Arizona. Locally she is represented by the Shemer Art Center in Phoenix and Wild Holly Gallery in Carefree. She is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in juried shows throughout the year.