CHERYL WARD

PAST AND PRESENT

May 18 – July 3, 2024

Roll Up Project is pleased to present sculptures by Cheryl Ward. Created over the past 24 years, Ward’s mixed media sculptures reflect on history, personal experiences, and the sculptural qualities of everyday objects.

The windows on Third Street feature five small-scale sculptures. Ward has studied a variety of techniques, including collage, encaustic, crystallization, and mixed media sewing, by taking classes hosted by local artists. The sculptures on view demonstrate the ways she has incorporated the techniques into her practice, always breathing new life and meaning into found objects. For example, Untitled (n.d.) is a handbound notebook featuring a ribbon binding and collaged cover with Black women, birds, historical documents, and floral motifs. Based on their dresses, the women gracing the cover may represent different moments in time – one in a frilly dress with a hat and a fan, another in a simple white chemise holding a machete – but they collectively convey a sense of strength, power and grace.

As an inveterate collector of books, buttons, stamps, paper ephemera, rusted objects and much more, Ward has a ready supply of materials at hand. For Untitled, (n.d.) she cut up paperbacks, using the spines, covers, and inner pages to bring to life some of the books that greatly influenced her young adulthood. Familiar titles that include A Raisin in the Sun, Black Boy, Living Free, Black Like Me, and The Souls of Black Folk are neatly stacked together in a vintage letterpress drawer, creating a composition that is a poem, a reading list, and an homage to some of the greatest American writers of our time. The stacked and bound segments could be viewed as favorite quotes, cut out for safekeeping and future use.

Many of the other works in the Harrison Street window reflect Ward’s interest in telling stories through objects of everyday life. Her thoughtful approach to color, texture, and composition elevate found objects like a pair of wooden shutters, a wooden box, or a metal display stand into armatures for folded paper, postcards, and collected wire. Seen together, they speak to the ways we communicate and share ideas, and the things we leave behind when we’re gone.

About the Artist

Cheryl Ward is an artist and arts advocate based in San Francisco. She earned a Masters in early childhood education in Washington, DC and taught at the first Headstart program in San Diego before moving to the Bay Area in the late 1970s, where she opened Earth ‘N’ Arts Gallery. Ward is a longtime supporter of Creativity Explored, serving as a board member and participating in programs like the Mail Art Club. There she co-curated the Mail Art exhibition as well as at Minnesota Street Project and the Roll Up Project. She has also served as a board member for Alonzo King Lines Ballet and currently serves on the Collections/Acquisitions Committee at the Berkeley Art Museum. Ward is an active participant in the San Francisco Correspondence Co-op, a monthly gathering for mail artists hosted by the San Francisco Public Library.

ON VIEW IN THE HARRISON ST. WINDOW

Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
44 3/4 x 37 x 5 1/2 inches
Utitled, n.d.
mixed media
7 x 14 x 8 1/2 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
10 x 12 x 5 1/4 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
6 x 8 x 7 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
7 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 5 inches
Vancouver, n.d.
mixed media
20 1/2 x 16 x 5 inches
Carrie’s Shoes, n.d.
mixed media
8 3/4 x 8 x 11 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
32 x 16 3/4 x 2 inches

ON VIEW IN THE THIRD ST. WINDOWS

Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
10 x 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
7 x 11 x 8 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
7 x 6 x 12 inches
Untitled, n.d.
mixed media
8 x 7 x 5 1/2 inches