Sheri Gundry is an artist, a mentor, a teacher, a mother, an executive director focussed on helping others, and, yes even a performance clown.
Part of the developing arts community in Durham Region, Sheri’s creative work is expressed in a variety of media – pencil, pastel, marker, watercolour, acrylic, mixed media, water soluble oils, face and body paint and her specialty, modern batik art.
She chooses the technique, the tools and the canvases to communicate her vision. This may mean using ink, stylus, brushes, or wax on canvas and linen, or even skin for face and body painting. As performance artist Sunflower the Clown, she is booked months in advance to enhance events for kids of all ages. She also does live painting at events.
Sheri has been practising art since she was seven, beginning her first community course with an aunt of a friend. This one experience prompted a lifelong artistic study, mentored by today’s masters: Water Soluble Oil and Watercolour specialist Tim Packer, and Ugandan Artist David Kibuuka who specializes in Modern Batik Art, to name a few. Her art has been presented at Whitby’s Art by the Lake, the Oshawa Arts Association (OAA) Fall Art Festival, Whitby’s Station Gallery, The Mental Health Sciences’ The Conference Place, the McLean Centre in Ajax, and Brooklin’s Art in the Park, among more than a dozen other notable locales.
Her passion for art and her innate interest in human nature drove her to become a co-founder and executive director of Art With a Heart Inc. in 2009. This charity is mandated to help Durham and GTA residents enhance their lives through experiencing art.
Art With a Heart Inc. works with people who want to discover their creativity. Some participants may struggle to make ends meet day-to-day. Others may have experienced trauma, been diagnosed with different learning behaviours, or are living with illness. Some of the people Art With a Heart works with have had little opportunity to spend time reflecting upon who they are and how they connect to the world. The programs and projects run by the charity are designed to teach a wide range of art techniques, to foster positive relationships and to encourage participants to develop confidence and improved self esteem.
Sheri organizes programs and projects for groups, and creates curriculum with both a creative and therapeutic focus. She builds and creates teams to teach and work on large-scale projects and events. Sheri is a Registered Psychotherapist through an Expressive Arts Model and works privately in therapy sessions with individuals. Sheri graduated from a post-graduate program at the Create Institute in Toronto, Ontario, and is registered under CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario). More experience and training credentials can be found on Sheri’s LinkedIn page below.
As a practicing artist, Sheri has been honoured with the 2007 Mayor’s Award for “The Pebble” at the 9th Annual PRAC Juried Art Show, and won the July 2010 Top Ten People’s Choice Award for “On The Way Home” at The Conference Place Gallery show Intersection. She was invited to be guest juror for the Discovering Hope Art Show through the Ontario Shores Art Gallery. She has completed commissioned work for the Nelson Mandela Fund and for Durham Tourism. Sheri’s work can be found in private collections across the nation.