Deidre Scherer: Surrounded by Family & Friends -- Exhibit at the New York Museum November 6, 2006 - February 26 2007 - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Deidre Scherer: Surrounded by Family & Friends -- Exhibit at the New York Museum November 6, 2006 - February 26 2007

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

November 6, 2006 - February 26 2007 

Artist's Reception: November 15, 2006 5:30-7:30 pm 

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
One West 4th Street (between Broadway and Mercer), Manhattan

Deidre Scherer's Surrounded by Family and Friendsexplores family and mortality though her six life-sized fabric and thread works, which depict intergenerational and non-traditional families from culturally diverse groups. According to Scherer, "We die within our relationships, complex and rich. These ties include parents, children, partners, siblings, and friends, both human and animal." Scherer creates her full-scaled panels from life, working through several hospice organizations to witness, draw, and photograph family groups who are caring for a dying person. 


Surrounded By Family and Friends evolved from a series of nine fabric and thread works, The Last Year, in which Scherer chronicles the final months in an elderly woman's life. Scherer notes, "Families and
friends who support a loved one at the end of life witness the most powerful of life's events. These are images of death that present dying as a natural part of life and that start a cultural dialogue and deeper reflection." 

The series includes: Open Window, At Night, Child, In Her Room, Three Men, and Bigger than Each Other. Her drawings for the show include:Study for At Night, Study #2 for At Night, Couple in Springfield, and Study of Couple

Educated as a painter at the Rhode Island School of Design during the mid sixties, Deidre Scherer worked in oils, charcoal, and pencil before turning to fabric and thread. She developed a distinctive narrative approach in the medium of fabric and thread, using scissors and sewing machine as drawing tools and capturing the contours with multiple lines of colored threads, both blending and highlighting, to create a startling realism. While creating a portrait series of elders in her community, Scherer addressed issues on aging and mortality, and she pioneered the figurative potential of her medium. 


Since the early 1980's, Scherer's work has appeared in more than 150 individual and group shows, including solo exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland; the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York; the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Dennis Woodman Gallery in London, England; and the Maltwood Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1994 Scherer received a Fellowship from the Vermont Arts Council, and in 1998 C & T Publishing released her book, Deidre Scherer: Work in Fabric and Thread. In January 2000 she was awarded a Fine Arts Fellowship from the Open Society Institute's Project on Death in America. 

Images available: please contact Rachel Litcofsky, 212-824-2205; 

Museum Hours: Mondays-Thursdays, 9 am-5 pm; Fridays, 9 am-3 pm; Selected Sundays, 10 am-2 pm, Oct. 22; Nov. 5, 19; Dec. 10; Jan.14, 28; Feb. 11, 25; Mar. 11; Apr. 15, 29

Information/Tours: (212) 824-2205 

Admission: Free, Photo ID Required 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.