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October 7th - Jazz Portraits: A Chicago Artist Captures Their Culture

Jazz Portraits – A Chicago Artist Captures Their Culture Sheri Smith, a.k.a. Crème Sheri

Gala Opening 10/7/18 - Ken Hirte Gallery, 760 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

SHERI SMITH (a.k.a. Creme Sheri)

SHERI SMITH, Chicago Artist, has been a champion of capturing the culture of the performing Jazz Musician for fifteen years. She works from the audience in darkened venues such as The Jazz Showcase and The Green Mill.

Her lap is her easel. Her medium uses suede boards and Caran d’Ache crayons and black and white scratch-board. Once back in her home studio, she completes the image. The pieces portray the musicians in action. Having drawn over five hundred performers, she has narrowed this show down to one hundred solo and group Giclee prints and originals of musicians currently ages fifty – ninety years old. She has included many works of beloved Jazz musicians who are now deceased.

BETWEEN 2 & 3PM This show of Jazz history will have a special highlight tribute. There will be an “Unveiling” and presentation of Portraits to 6 Musicians – including pianist, Willie Pickens; saxophonist, Eric Schneider; vocalist, Dee Alexander; bassist, Marlene Rosenberg; saxophonist, Sonny Rollins and guitarist/vocalist, Frank D'Rone. The respective singers and musicians will be on hand to accept theirs - or loved ones will accept for those who are deceased.

ARTIST'S STATEMENT – The fleeting nature of these Jazz performances is central to my work. The impending end of a song or set allows me to work quickly. This rapid pace often dictates my choice of materials. When Caran d’Ache crayons are not appropriate, I use a sharp implement on a scratch-board. When working in a dim venue, my color palette is limited. My drawing boards are small and fit on my lap as I work in a confined space. I have developed a short hand of details to create an identifiable image

PERFORMANCES and PROCESS are not the only things that are fleeting. Many of the performers I have drawn have passed away. I am documenting their illustrious careers. It is essential to have each performer sign their respective piece. I give them one of my drawings, so that my artistic spirit will go with them. I am not sure of the full extent of my work until I get them to my home studio and see them under bright lights. Once I select one that I wish to fully realize, I rework and complete the image. It is finally scanned into a computer application which I turn into a Giclee fine art digital print through which the colors become more vivid.

ABOUT THE ARTIST – Professional Artist, Sheri Smith aka Creme Sheri, is a native of

Chicago. She has her Bachelor of Fine Art from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She has taught Fine Art in the Chicago Public School System for twenty years. After experimenting with other art mediums including Sculpture, Textile Design and Performance Art she immersed herself in drawing Jazz. For fifteen years Sheri has been devoted to historically chronicling, through her Art, the live performance of Jazz singers and musicians mostly from Chicago. Smith was the Artist in Residence at The Mayne Stage in Rogers Park during 2014 and into 2015.


The Ken Hirte Gallery, 760 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Sunday October 7 from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm. (312) 733-4632 Sheri Smith, the Artist, will be present to sign the works of Art. One hundred Giclee Print Jazz Portraits and Originals will be on view.

An EDIBLE TABLECAPE of refreshments and treats will be created by the Artist especially for this show.

Enjoy beer, wine and Sheri's delectable appetizers!!!


The Tribute “Unveiling” of selected musicians will be presented between 2 and 3:00 pm.

The afternoon's live Jazz entertainment - Hinda Hoffman, Dennis Carroll and Lee Rothenberg

A Closing Reception will take place Sunday, October 28 from 2 – 6:00 pm.

Viewing by appointment as well.

CONTACT: Barb Bailey (312) 388-8889

Sheri Smith (773) 710-4911

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