Born in 1980 and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland, Sherry Jankiewicz studied Art Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, and began teaching middle school art in the Howard County Public School System in Maryland. She qualified for a Fulbright Scholarship Program with UMBC in 2010, traveling abroad to Mexico to study art history. In 2013, Sherry and a friend created a project in Blantyre, Malawi to paint a mural in a city park with orphaned children residing with the Samaritan Trust Program. Inspired through travel and the desire for adventure, Sherry left teaching in 2016 to pursue her passion of painting and printmaking in Portland, Oregon and currently resides and works here. When not in the studio, Sherry can be found in a yoga class, rock-climbing, hiking, and reading while sipping on Oregon’s affordable red wines.
I began to question the notion of permanency within identity after experiencing a major life change, and my work reflects the struggle between conforming to societal expectations and being true to my own visions. Using bold color, mark making, and various processes, my work references an internal dialogue of my mind attempting to process and react to new information. My personal search for my own identity is mirrored through my process as I move back and forth from painter to printmaker. Working from intuition, I overlap brush marks, incorporate dynamic movement, and create spaces that I imagine to exist internally but are ever changing. Many of my pieces are relief or silkscreen prints, but some are what I call “printerly paintings,” which describes my process of carving a woodblock, painting the whole block, and then screen printing on the raised surface. At times, when the piece has reached a finished state, I cut it up and remix it with other pieces in order to find a greater perception and understanding of the existing potential left within a piece and how chance can contribute to a resolution. Through the process of remixing, there is struggle yet connection, clarity yet confusion. This allows for a continuous reinvention occurring throughout the pieces concluding with the sum of all parts taking a smaller role than the meaning of the whole. My work is bolder than I am, and it is through art making that I learn to have faith in chance encounters, and to view experiences with an optimistic lens. Art teaches me to challenge my past identity, and to see the greater potential that change can bring to my life.