Conceptual artist Colin Sherrell will display work inspired by both Florida and Illinois in an exhibit called “Coming Home,” at the Laura A. Sprague Art Gallery from Jan. 19 through Feb. 12 on the Joliet Junior College Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.
Sherrell is the son of recently retired JJC Fine Arts Professor Steve Sherrell. Even though Sherrell’s work is a lot different than his father’s, whose September exhibit showcased more traditional artwork like paintings, he said his father played an important role in his love for art.
“Throughout my youth, he was always open to allowing me to do whatever I wanted. He didn’t push toward the arts, but he did tell me about what it means to be an artist,” Sherrell said. “Obviously, he’s been a huge supporter of the decision I made about going into art. I’m completely grateful for everything he’s given me as far as knowledge. Even though our work is completely different, we feed off each other and talk to each other on a daily basis. We have a fantastic relationship.”
Sherrell grew up in Oswego, Illinois before making the decision to attend college in Miami, Florida. He lived in Miami for ten years before choosing to come back home.
Sherrell said he creates his artwork based on life experience, and this exhibit definitely reflects the differences between the two states he’s lived in. For example, one of his pieces shows a lifelike palm tree with snow on it, and beside it a winter coat is physically hung up on the wall.
According to JJC Gallery Director Joe Milosevich, Sherrell’s exhibit is very different than anything else they have shown in the gallery before because his work features conceptual art, a form of three-dimensional work where the ideas behind the piece are more important than the work itself.
“Art is a very subjective subject. It’s open for interpretation,” Sherrell said. “My advice for aspiring artists is to keep making. You can have successes and failures, and you can work off both of them. Failures are just as important as successes.”
In addition to visiting the gallery, the community is welcome to Sherrell’s reception on Thursday, Jan. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m.
The Laura A. Sprague Gallery is free and open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about the Laura A. Sprague Gallery or the JJC Fine Arts Department, visit www.jjc.edu/info/fine-arts.