Hampton, Virginia 1950
As the daughter of an Air Force officer, Cheryl Bryant’s childhood was nurtured by many locations including Texas, the Carolinas, England and Scotland. Migrating to New England in early adulthood, she attended the Maine College of Arts, and graduated with a BFA with honors in sculpture, primarily working in bronze. Scholarships to study blacksmithing and enameling at Penland School of Crafts took her to North Carolina, and that immersion in high craft was followed by a residency in Ireland before marriage brought her to New York City.
The streets of New York bombarded Bryant with faces and body shapes, and she took these images to Greenwich House Pottery where began her ongoing love affair with clay. She uses the immediacy of clay to translate the city’s visual feast into gesture and whimsy, and her ceramic work has been shown and collected throughout the United States.
Bryant’s summer residencies over several seasons at the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation on Cranberry Island off Maine’s rockbound coast gave her the opportunity to move towards more formal work with focus on the female figure - as literal representation and abstractly through large vessels; symbols of pregnant potential, holding the essence of life, and emphasizing the quiet power, nobility, and humor of women.
The many influences that shape Bryant’s work are difficult to summarize, but recent interests range from Tang Dynasty tomb figures, Marini’s horse and rider pieces, and Cycladic imagery –to her ongoing delight with patterns in the natural world.