For nearly three decades since departing Otis, Sterritt (’79 MFA Fine Arts) has explored formal aspects of weight and balance, surface and texture through her sculptures, often beginning with a material that enters her awareness, and inevitably involves some form of stacking.
“In recent years as society has indelibly changed,” notes d.e.n. contemporary art, “many works of art have come to be seen in a relatively new light as they reflect ideas of imbalance, the notion of certain geometries as invulnerable, and the disparity between the raw and the refined. Viewed in the context of these uncertain times, Sterritt's work ventures into new directions with an up reaching, but precarious verticality, while still retaining moments of innocence and surreal fairy-tale construction.”
“I usually attached myself to a particular material,” says Sterritt in Spraygraphic, “such as cork, scrap lumber, cardboard, felt (whatever I find interesting at the moment) and focus on a single action — gluing, clumping, stacking, joining, etc. — and the form creates itself. The work is described by its own determination. Since I’ve been incorporating recognizable objects such as the found furniture, the work has opened up to narratives and metaphors out of not my control — and I really enjoy what happens. It’s a labor-intensive, but joyful process. Fluid and intuitive, mysterious and full of questions. It’s provided me with a set of circumstances I can work against: a catalyst to move forward.”
Sterritt has been an avid teacher, too. Her teaching career began in 1983 and has included positions at Otis, USC, Cal State Long Beach, and Pepperdine University. She was a Distinguished Visiting Artist at Cal State University, Fullerton, and an Adjunct Professor at The Claremont Graduate University before joining the Long Beach Community College Art Department in 1998 as the full-time faculty coordinator for the sculpture program.
Sterritt has exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has received many awards including artist fellowships from the NEA, Art Matters, J. Paul Getty Trust, and City of L.A. (COLA Award). Among the notable collections that include Sterritt’s work are the MOCA, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; and Scripps College Collection, Claremont, California.