Eight New Artists Join 32nd Annual Ojai Studio Artists Tour

Ojai, CA – Eight exceptional new artists were juried into OSA this year, including two world-class practitioners in media not seen that often, at least not at the level of mastery demonstrated by Carol Shaw-Sutton (fiber art) and Gail Hercher (paper art).

Carol Shaw-Sutton is a sculptor and installation artist specializing in poetic fiber and textile work. Often inspired by nature and its cycles of growth and decay, she also describes being moved by an exhibition at a convent in France of the personal effects of the nuns who had lived there including the single set of sheets used and re-used by each during her lifetime. For Shaw-Sutton, the sheets took on the imprint of the owner’s very essence. Her own work is often deeply felt and similarly laden with meaning. Deep human concerns for harmony and release, longing, repairing and empathy are recurrent themes in her work.

Her list of honors and museum exhibitions is long. Among the honors: two National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships, the Young American Award from the American Crafts Council, a United States / Japan Fellowship and United States / France Fellowship and the Fine Art Award from the International Textile Biennale in Kyoto, Japan.
Museum shows include important exhibitions in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Japan and Canada, as well as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Her work is also to be found in corporate and private collections around the world. She chaired the Fiber Program at Cal State University-Long Beach for most of her thirty year tenure and remains Professor Emeritus today.

Gail Hercher’s fascination with paper began when she learned how to make an origami boat at the age of 8 from a missionary to Asia. Since then she has explored many paper paths (media) in which paper is a major component—including printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding, paste papers, boxmaking, surface design, etc. She is especially interested in the paper crafts of other cultures such as origami, orizomegami, suminagashi (Japan), paper cutting (Mexico), papyrus (Egypt), tapa (Hawaii), and marbling (Europe). She also weaves, using brown paper from grocery bags, in patterns from the South Pacific.

Her work is in several public and private collections in New England and Hawaii and is featured in her book Crafting With Handmade Paper (Rockport, 2003). Making Monoprints with a Gelatin Plate (Handbooks Press, 2002), and Craft Project Book (Quarry, 2000). Her unusual mosaic work can be seen in the recent book American Mosaic Today (Schiffer, 2012). She has received many awards and grants including a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Europe.

Hercher received her B.F.A. (painting) and M.F.A. (printmaking) from the University of Hawaii, after which she taught in schools and colleges for 20 years. Later she completed coursework for a PhD in Art History at Boston University and earned a certificate in Museum Education from the Museum Collaborative (NYC). She has worked in museums and taught Museum Studies at several colleges and from 2000 to 2007 Gail owned The Paper Crane, a paper making studio & paper art gallery in Beverly, MA.

The Ojai Studio Artists are proud to present two singular artists, each a master in her unique new field, and each new to Ojai. Their studios and their life and art-stories – along with fifth other OSA artists - will be open to all during the 2015 Ojai Studio Artists Tour on October 10, 11 and 12, 10 to 5 each day. Ticket prices are $30 in advance, available at OjaiStudioArtists.org and – on Tour Days – at the Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St.