Cheryl Wassenaar is a visual artist who investigates language as a system of meaning that is dependent upon arrangement and context. Her latest body of work uses signmaker’s vinyl alongside manipulated objects, sound, and video to activate environments in site-specific installations, often collaborating with a writer or poet. The Cabinet of Ordinary Affairs, a collaborative multi-media exhibition with Stephanie Schlaifer, was awarded an Artistic Innovations grant in 2018 by the Mid America Arts Alliance.
Wassenaar’s object-based pieces work with found commercial signage, repurposing the discarded wood into visual metaphors of failed communication that borrow from the language of modernist painting, contemporary advertising, and technology. Merging aspects of graphic design, painting, and sculpture, the work evokes visual stutters of sounds, ideas, and data.
Wassenaar earned her BFA from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, and her MFA from the University of Cincinnati. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally, appearing in over fifty group and solo exhibitions. Her corporate commissions include Camden Real Estate headquarters in Houston, Fidelity Investments in Boston, and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids. Wassenaar also researches and gives lectures on the visual and cultural impact of color. She is currently represented by LongView Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Work by Cheryl Wassenaar
The Cabinet of Ordinary Affairs, installation view of a multi-media collaborative exhibition with Stephanie Schlaifer, 2018
When the Eye Saw It Appeared, 2014
You Call It A Cloud: Ascent, 2019
Ode to W. Haldane (Pearl + Ottawa), 2016