Sherrie Gallerie is one of the most renowned and well-known galleries in the Short North’s Arts district. Vibrant and breathtaking art lines the walls, while unique jewelry and skillfully hand crafted ceramics fill the shelves. Sherrie Riley Hawk is the owner and mastermind behind Sherrie Gallerie and has been in the gallery business since 1986. Her goal as a gallery owner is to create a connection between the artist’s expression and what the viewer observes. The environment at Sherrie Gallerie evokes an enlightening atmosphere where everything on display is meant to educate and please those who walk through the door.

After graduating from the Ohio State University with a degree in Accounting and a minor in Art History, Sherrie put her artistic desires on hold as she went on to work for an accounting firm in Columbus. Yet after purchasing a home in Victorian Village, Sherrie quickly fell in love with the Short North. At the age of 26, she decided to quit her job as an accountant and pursue her real dream of owning a gallery. Growing up, her parents were avid antique collectors and had a small following, which in turn allowed Sherrie to start small and gain some familiar public interest.

Although she has moved locations throughout the Short North she has never left the district. What keeps her around? The Gallery Hop of course! Sherrie is passionate about the Short North and “could not imagine living in Columbus without it.” She enjoys the people, uniqueness, community feel and openness that define the Short North and the Arts District. In addition to keeping her gallery in the district, Sherrie also is a huge fan of supporting local artists and professors from colleges and universities throughout Ohio.  Although she does her best to find the finest pieces whether it is in painting, ceramics or sculpture to better market her gallery nationally, she always keeps in mind the fantastic talent that can come from artists of the region.

Each month, Sherrie features a different artist and line of work in her gallery in order to keep a consistent rotation of new inspiration so that every time you come back there is something different. She looks for artists that are innovative, unique, and have a deep underlying relationship with their work.  She describes the art she chooses as something that is “completely different” and likes to ensure that the space in her gallery reflects the feeling of the artist. She has recently been specializing in three dimensional, sculpture and ceramic art. This month’s featured artist is Columbus College of Art and Design professor Leah Wong.  This is the third time Sherrie has featured Wong in her gallery and was excited to display her colorful, energetic and uplifting paintings during this cold winter season. Sherrie described Leah as being “unique in the way she works with layers of colors and intense detail.”

Immediately after moving to Columbus from China, Wong was eager to find the artistic and cultural hub of the city. She didn’t have to look far. After attending her first Gallery Hop, Wong immediately knew she had found what she was looking for. She enjoyed the vibrant energy of the Short North, the music, and the overall artistic atmosphere that defined the area.

Although at the time Sherrie’s focus was on ceramics and jewelry, she was interested in Wong’s 2D style and different approach to art. “I really liked Sherrie’s personality and her gallery space was already familiar to me,” stated Wong. Since their first meeting, Wong has featured three solo shows at the Sherrie Gallerie.

Right now, Wong would say that her current artwork was most inspired by the movie Black Swan. “The complicated layers of psychology and imagination in the movie were intriguing,” said Wong. She was particularly inspired by the dance in the film and how the dancers had to find a balance between skills and passion. From this, Wong views her artwork as a sort of musical rhythm, with all colors and compositions dancing to the same beat. Alongside current events, memories of her childhood also have helped and inspired Wong’s work. “These memories have stimulated my imagination, so I layer my thoughts across time and space, connecting them with iconic elements,” said Wong.

And layering she does! Wong describes her work as free-play, the mixing and layering of different elements, bringing in all different styles of art into one piece. Sometimes her art ispartly representative, partly abstract, and occasionally she adds in ideas from Chinese landscape perspectives. What is her ultimate goal behind this technique? “I like to think that my work has multi-cultural references that put time and space and many otherwise distant elements in proximity to each other,” said Wong. Leah Wong’s artwork radiates the feel and energy of the Short North, and it is from this energy that helps keep the area rich with art and culture.

In total, Sherrie Gallerie represents nearly 50 artists including jewelry artists, and has about 10 shows each year. Sherrie’s main goal as a gallery owner is to keep her space both interesting and inventive. She is extremely passionate about connecting people to art and strives to make her gallery a welcoming and eye opening experience.


Leah Wong’s exhibit “Seen and Unseen” will be featured from January 22-February 28, 2012 at the Sherrie Gallerie.