Cheryl Barnett

Cheryl BarnettCheryl Barnett grew up as a fifth generation Californian, enjoying the arts in San Francisco with her family (SF Symphony, ACT Theatre, SF Ballet). Her mother was a professional pianist who often traveled to Europe. She considers her mother’s love of music and travel as an influence that inspired her interest in art. A variety of university extension programs offered several opportunities to study art and music here and abroad. The great art collections of Europe: the Musee d’Orsay, Musee Picasso of Paris, the Uffizzi in Florence, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, and many more, all made a lasting impression on young Barnett to dedicate her life to art. While intrigued by these travels, she studied German for 5 years prior to living in Vienna, Austria, the summer of 1976 to study art history. Her college years were spent at UC Santa Cruz (BA), San Jose State University and CSU Fresno (MA), where she focused on bronze casting with international sculptors Jack Zajac, Nick Jonk, Fletcher Benton and David Bottini.
During her time spent living in the San Francisco Bay Area, art became her entire focus. While working as a Patina Specialist for 3 years at ARTWORKS Foundry & Gallery in Berkeley, she became friends with some of the famous artists who came there to cast their works. She continued to produce a significant body of bronze sculptures while keeping an art studio right next door for over 22 years. Even after receiving a full-time teaching contract at Merced College in 1988, she continued to commute and maintained her art studio and foundry production in Berkeley. The Meyerovich Gallery noticed Barnett’s bronze sculptures at ARTWORKS Gallery in 1986 and invited her to exhibit alongside several significant artists in San Francisco (231 Grant Avenue); first with the famous Italian artist Mimmo Cheryl BarnettPaladino, and then later with the British/LA painter David Hockney, while being paired in one room with the works of Pablo Picasso. The Eleonore Austerer Gallery invited Barnett to show in her beautiful new San Francisco Gallery (540 Sutter Street) in 1990 and years later in her Palm Desert Gallery (73-660 El Paseo Drive). Their business relationship and friendship flourished for two decades.
Austerer often displayed Barnett’s sculptures next to famous 20th century modern master’s prints or with contemporary painters. BarnettEleonore the Gallery owner’s exacting quality and stylish flair acted as a magnet to attract collectors (being from Vienna, Austria herself, then Spain, before moving to the US). Her stable of European artists often appealed to an international group of art buyers and Barnett’s works joined collections worldwide: Australia, Belgium, England, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Korea, and here in the US. Austerer mounted a show entitled “Studies of the Human Figure” in 2004 with rare prints and a large tapestry by the renowned British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) paired with bronze sculptures by Barnett. Due to high interest in her last two exhibits, buyers returned from Switzerland, Belgium and New York City to purchase a second and third Barnett for their private collections.
Barnett’s exhibition record is extensive, but mostly regional. Malcolm Rogers, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, juried a show and selected a work titled “Parted II” to award “The National Sculpture Prize” in 1998 (from approximately 4500 entries) displayed in Cambridge, MA. Over the years numerous juried group exhibitions coupled with several shows in a variety of corporate headquarters, and five significant charity art auctions helped generate sales and critical praise. During the height of the economy, four California Art Galleries were showing Barnett’s work: San Francisco, Palm Desert, Carmel and Bass Lake. Sadly, the Austerer Gallery in Palm Desert closed in 2011, two years after Eleonore’s passing. Barnett moved her art studio down the East Bay to San Leandro from 2001 to 2012 to be closer to DASfamily. She continued to create her lifesize series known as “Vessel of the Innocents” in Berkeley. Several opportunities surfaced through inclusion in the juried book American Art Collector (2006-2015) such as exhibiting with the William and Joseph Gallery (727 Canyon Road) in Santa Fe, NM, in 2012.
Currently, the artist continues to teach at Merced College while showing art at her new residence, the Ekasake Sculpture Garden & Gallery, featuring works by friends and students, as well as her own collection. The namesake is a tribute to her friends, Toni and Gordy Ekas, (prior owners of the property) – open to the public by individual appointment.

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