Anne Sheffield is an artist, art educator, and writer who has taught creative expression to all ages, from parent/toddler to seniors, and at boarding schools, community college, UConn required courses, and special education k-12. She admires folk arts, three dimensional work, and the boundary between reality and imagination, representational and abstract. Titles are important because they hold her concept, which may be different for viewers. These textile pieces are tactile, with a range of textures. They also feature variety within a color, reflecting the diversity of individuals who share some qualities. After growing up in Greenwich Village and New England, she received degrees from Vassar, U of Michigan, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and studied at the U. of Oregon where she loved working at the Oriental Art Museum’s traveling exhibit program. These textile pieces are a an original fusion of her experiences with textile arts—spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, embroidering. braiding, appliqué, knitting. She combines ancient women’s dkmestic crafts with contemporary colors, materials, and meaning. Many invite us to notice and appreciate nature; others refer to genetic ancestral traits of skin and hair related to popular DNA tests. Each piece leads to another in series of exploration. They might resemble ceremonial wigs and costumes as they offer reverence to the world of people and places around us.
Anne has shown her mixed media assemblages for the last twenty-five years (and won some prizes) through many art organizations in Connecticut where she was a member: West Hartford Art League, Glastonbury Art Guild, Wethersfield Art League (board member, newsletter), Essex Art Association, Slipe Gallery at Hartford Art School. She showed many constructions related to male-female relationships at the Fringe Festival at Yale Art School, and has had several one person shows at libraries. As a long time member of CT Art Educators Association (and NAEA) she has presented workshops at numerous conferences. Recently on the Council of CT Women Artists, she organized events such as museum tours To sees Judy Chicago and the annual meeting, this year all day at the Florence Griswold Museum of American Impressionism. In addition, she has published dozens of poems, essays, reviews, interviews, and short stories in literary journals and newspapers. The Lab School of Washington DC selected her for training in disability learning through the Arts, supported by the Rauschenberg Foundation. The Guggenheim Museum in New York funded her for a week long training in Creativity and Collaboration In Problem Solving, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas funded her for a week to train in teaching through observing and discussing original art. Another weeklong training in NYC concerned strategies for teaching students with Autism. Her CT Art Special Needs Teacher of the Year award highlighted her many class field trips to local museums and gardens, as well as showing her students’ work in statewide shows during Youth Art Month each spring. A fan of “Arts for Learning” (previously called Young Audiences), she has attended their workshops and events, as well as teacher workshops at the Wadsworth Museum of Art. She subscribes to Hartford Stage and Theaterworks, loves the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at U Conn, Storrs, and attended their National Puppetry Conference, including therapeutic workshops. Puppetry is not just for children anymore! It is a poetic, sometimes silent art of moving objects to share universal narratives, a richly intense blend of all art forms, a minimal form to suggest maximum concepts and feelings. Her belly dance is an obvious influence! The resonant props, stage sets, and costumes of dramatic and performances have inspired Anne’s current work with layers of cloth that are sometimes bound together, or free to move in the breeze, just like us. They would be suitable for low vision people who could feel the variety of surfaces within each piece.