For close to 40 years Los Angeles artist Coleen Sterritt has fabricated hybrid sculpture evoking the interplay between nature, culture, and lived experience. Her source materials are pulled from everyday objects and elements. Plaster, tar, pinecones, fishing line, found furniture, and studio refuse are just some of the components she uses to construct and express her richly evocative formal language. Questioning the diverse possibilities of sculpture in both scale and form, her eccentric, abstract structures present strong polarities possessing a resonance at once familiar and obscure.
Her sculpture and drawings have been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States and in Spain, Kenya, and South Africa. Prominent public and private collections include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A., The Crocker Art Museum, Scripps College Collection, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, NM, Nestlé USA, and The Capitol Group Companies, Los Angeles, New York, & London.
Named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 2016, Sterritt has received other awards and fellowships including: the National Endowment for the Arts (1986), the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program (1994), Art Matters, Inc. (1994), the J.Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts /California Community Foundation (1996) and the COLA (City of Los Angeles) Individual Artist Fellowship in 2007.
Her teaching career began in 1983 and has included noted positions at California State University, Fullerton; Otis College of Art & Design; and The Claremont Graduate University. Since 1998 she has been a professor and faculty coordinator of the sculpture program at Long Beach City College.
Sterritt was born in Morris, Illinois and grew up in Chicago. Her earliest influences were her grandmother, Dorothy Button, a famed local gardener and all-round maker and her uncle, James A. Sterritt, the sculptor and influential educator. They both instilled in her a reverence for nature and a love of the handmade. She received a BFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1976 and a MFA from Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art & Design), Los Angeles in 1979.