A Midwest native, Sherri Belassen has been a painter for as long as she can remember. Her artistic journey began when she flew alongside her father in his small plane. It was there that she became keenly aware of shapes and color, patching and painting the landscape beneath them as they flew high above. Because the flights were often bumpy, her father advised her that focusing on the horizon would bring her a sense of balance. In her teens, Sherri found balance in track and field as a high jumper, bound for the Olympics and the University of Missouri on a full-ride scholarship. The rigors of training made Sherri proficient in concentration, visualization and finding her own way. Her athletic discipline, along with her early aerial perspectives, would unknowingly set the stage for her artistic career.
When her dreams of becoming a professional athlete were thwarted by a devastating injury, Sherri returned to her love of painting. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Indiana University and began showing her work in 1989.
Though constantly evolving, Sherri’s paintings and philosophy remain distinctive and one-of-a-kind, not unlike the artist herself. “It’s not so much about what I paint, but about the space in which the subject exists,” she says. By using line to separate and connect spatial elements to figurative elements, she strives to evoke a feeling of spatial quality wherein the figures are connected to a space larger than themselves.