J. Cheryl Bookout
The characters portrayed in my work are whimsical and the materials I use in my process have an inherent quality of mystery. The finished size of my art varies from mural-like to quite small. Classic fairy tales and fables are my inspiration and I use frogs and other creatures to tell stories. My earliest childhood memories are the illustrations of Alice in Wonderland by John Tenniel. As I began to suspect the intricate political and social satire of famous fairy tales my intrigue and inspiration follows this tradition.
Cheryl Bookout was born in Laguna Beach, CA and has remained a resident of Southern California her entire life. She is a studio artist, independent curator, arts administrator and arts activist. Over the years, she has worked with the City of Santa Ana to establish what is now the Santa Ana Artists Village and has been instrumental in the development of the Pomona Arts Colony in downtown Pomona. She was the Founding Director of SCA Project Gallery and created the nonprofit identity for the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Cheryl is a co-founder of The Chimaera Project, a nonprofit organization working with women in film.
In addition, she has facilitated numerous public art projects including “Envisioning the Future,” a two-year in development project with internationally renowned artist, Judy Chicago and nationally recognized photographer, Donald Woodman. She also worked with the Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art as a curatorial consultant with Dextra Frankel to produce Multiple Vantage Points: Southern California Women Artists , 1980-2006, a landmark exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park in 2007. Her contribution to the arts was recorded in a video interview in 2007 and archived as part of The California Women Artist Project facilitated by Gloria Orenstein, Professor of Women in Literature and Art at USC.
Currently, Bookout has a studio practice in both Orange County and Joshua Tree.