Release Date: June 8, 2009
Outwrite exhibition will help fund scholarship for gay students
Award-winning artist Robert Sherer pledges proceeds from sale of his work
For media inquiries: Cheryl Anderson Brown, Director of Public Relations,
770-499-3417 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Puppy Love" by Robert Sherer is part of the artist's special fundraising exhibition at Outwrite Bookstore in Atlanta.
KENNESAW, Ga.—Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Atlanta will host an exhibition, “Puppy Love,” featuring the artist Robert Sherer’s “American Pyrographs” series, June 19 through August. Net proceeds from the sale of works in the exhibition will benefit the Robert Sherer GLBT Scholarship Endowment at Kennesaw State University, where Sherer is an associate professor of art.
This exhibition is the first opportunity for Atlanta buyers to purchase Sherer’s pyrographs, which until now have only been sold at Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown, Mass. The selected works at Outwrite have been released by his gallery to allow Sherer to use them for the scholarship. This also means that the pieces will be available at a lower price than one would normally find in an art gallery.
Sherer began the series after finding his old Boy Scout woodburning tool. The gadget brought back a flood of boyhood memories, inspiring Sherer to use it to create scenes from his Alabama childhood spent camping, scouting and playing sports. The drawings mimic the illustrations found in camping guidebooks and scouting manuals of the 1950s and ‘60s. Most of the playful works are also infused with double-entendre easily recognizable to Sherer’s fans in the gay community. Sherer creates the pieces by burning the outlines onto thin sheets of wood and then coloring them with furniture stain.
“The secret rites of passage and relationship intrigues played out in the locker rooms, pup tents, and tree houses helped to define me as a man,” Sherer says. The “American Pyrographs” series has resonated with many people, including Europeans who saw them at the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy in 2007, where they earned Sherer the a Lorenzo de Medici (il Magnifico) medal. “I think the viewers in Florence particularly responded to the kitschy Americana of the pyrographs. If I had grown up anywhere else in the world, I wouldn’t have been able to create them.”
Sherer says he is appreciative of the loving support he received from his family, both of him as an artist from an early age—he always called his childhood bedroom his ‘studio’—and as a gay man. “I wish that every gay person could come out in a supportive environment, but that’s just not the case for so many. That’s why I wanted to establish a scholarship fund, so that young people could feel accepted.”
The Robert Sherer GLBT Scholarship Endowment was set up in January 2008 to benefit self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered art students at Kennesaw State. Sherer is funding the scholarship primarily through sales of his artwork. He has pledged more than 20 pieces from his “American Pyrographs” series, his neoclassical series and his “Blood Works: Portraits of Love and Loss in the Age of AIDS” series. He derives no income from these works, opting instead to build the endowment so that as many students as possible may benefit from the scholarship, he says.
Sherer is an Atlanta-based visual artist with an international exhibition record. For the past 20 years, he has created and exhibited openly gay art, oftentimes, he says, under fire in a hostile cultural arena. Sherer has represented the United States at the 2002 Triennale of Contemporary Art in Paris and the 2001 and 2007 Florence Biennale. He is represented by the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts Gallery in New York City, Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown, Robert Kidd Gallery in Detroit, and New Arts Gallery in Litchfield, Conn.
The special exhibition at Outwrite, located at 991 Piedmont Avenue, opens with an artist’s reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 19. For information about Outwrite visit www.outwritebooks.com or call 404-607-0082. For more information about the Sherer GLBT Scholarship, including how to make a tax-deductible gift to support gay students, call 770-499-3214. Robert Sherer’s website is located www.robertsherer.com.
An independent bookstore and coffeehouse located in midtown Atlanta, Outwrite opened in 1993 to serve Atlanta’s gay & lesbian community. Growing quickly to become the largest GLBT landmark in the South, Outwrite has greatly expanded our clientele, products, and services to reflect the growing & diversifying Midtown community while staying true to our GLBT roots.The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University supports, defends and promotes academic freedom in artistic expression. For more about the college, visit www.kennesaw.edu/arts.
# # #
A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.