Sheri Gundry

Artist At Large and Executive Director

Sheri Gundry is an artist, a mentor, a teacher, a mother, an executive director focussed on helping others, and, yes even a performance clown.

Part of the developing arts community in Durham Region, Sheri’s creative work is expressed in a variety of media – pencil, pastel, marker, watercolour, acrylic, mixed media, water soluble oils, face and body paint and her specialty, modern batik art.

She chooses the technique, the tools and the canvases to communicate her vision. This may mean using ink, stylus, brushes, or wax on canvas and linen, or even skin for face and body painting. As performance artist Sunflower the Clown, she is booked months in advance to enhance events for kids of all ages. She also does live painting at events.

Sheri has been practising art since she was seven, beginning her first community course with an aunt of a friend. This one experience prompted a lifelong artistic study, mentored by today’s masters: Water Soluble Oil and Watercolour specialist Tim Packer, and Ugandan Artist David Kibuuka who specializes in Modern Batik Art, to name a few. Her art has been presented at Whitby’s Art by the Lake, the Oshawa Arts Association (OAA) Fall Art Festival, Whitby’s Station Gallery, The Mental Health Sciences’ The Conference Place, the McLean Centre in Ajax, and Brooklin’s Art in the Park, among more than a dozen other notable locales.

Her passion for art and her innate interest in human nature drove her to become a co-founder and executive director of Art With a Heart Inc. in 2009. This charity is mandated to help Durham and GTA residents enhance their lives through experiencing art.

Art With a Heart Inc. works with people who want to discover their creativity. Some participants may struggle to make ends meet day-to-day. Others may have experienced trauma, been diagnosed with different learning behaviours, or are living with illness. Some of the people Art With a Heart works with have had little opportunity to spend time reflecting upon who they are and how they connect to the world. The programs and projects run by the charity are designed to teach a wide range of art techniques, to foster positive relationships and to encourage participants to develop confidence and improved self esteem.

In addition to organizing programs and projects for groups, Sheri teaches art privately and mentors burgeoning artists. She builds and creates teams to teach and work on large-scale projects and events. As part of her personal growth and development, she is working towards completing her Bachelor of Theology in Child and Family Ministries through Master’s College & Seminary and she intends to work toward a Master degree in Psychotherapy and Spirtuality with an Art Therapy Specialty starting in Spring 2015. She is currently training for her Expressive Arts Therapist designation through ISIS Toronto’s three-year highly respected education program. In 2011, she earned her Artist-Educator – Level One certificate from the Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts program (LTTA).

Sheri has been honoured with the 2007 Mayor’s Award for “The Pebble” at the 9th Annual PRAC Juried Art Show, and won the July 2010 Top Ten People’s Choice Award for “On The Way Home” at The Conference Place Gallery show Intersection. She was invited to be guest juror for the Discovering Hope Art Show through the Ontario Shores Art Gallery. She has completed commissioned work for the Nelson Mandela Fund and for Durham Tourism.