Steve Sherrell

Profile Picture
Currently based
Chicago, IL. USA
Affiliated institution
Professor of Digital Art, Joliet Junior College, retired

Steve Sherrell was born in Muncie, Indiana, USA in 1950. He studied Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago getting his BFA and MFA in 1977-78. He was established, showing his paintings in the Chicago art world when in 1992 he walked through the Art Institute of Chicago with a friend who was working in the digital media lab at the University of Wisconsin. His friend told him of the new Amiga computers and how they would revolutionize the way computers could be used bv artists.
Fortunately there was a store near him that was an Amiga dealer who also sold peripherals, incloding the new user based HP inkjet printers. He purchased a computer, printer and monitor and went to his studio to learn how computers could make art.
The Software was Dpaint, 256 colors and hi res being 640 X 480 dpi. You could load floppy discs , the hard drive was 64 mb with 1 mb ram which he increased to 2. Sitting in his studio, he began making art.
He realized immediately that most artists would want to use it in a traditional way like real world art materials and he immediately rejected that idea for the idea that the computer was a new tool and should be used differently. He thought that if Wassily Kandinsky had been given this tool, he would see it in a different light and that the computer was built to make abstract art, so that is what he began doing. The tools were simple so he made simple art, relying on childlike whimsy and color to define the artwork. He called the artwork “Goofypics”.
Because he was able to load a lgreat amount of work on floppies and since the Amiga could handle both Pal and NTSC format, he began entering and exhibiting his work in Europe and America in some very early “Introduce the public” exhibitions on television>
He has continued his practice of painting over the decades but has also explored how the computer can co-exist with continuous tone art as a source, a planning tool, a collage material generator and with large format printing, hang next to paintings as equals in a showing environment. He has become a computer art activist, has taught computer art to thousands of students and uses social media to break down the prejudices that the art world still exhibits toward digital artmaking. He believes that the computer will be recognized as important or even more important than many of the greatest discoveries in art. He continues to make digital work nearly every day in his studio.

Steve Sherrell
Painter and Digital Artist

“Working with the same assuredness in a variety of different media, from computer art to painting to collage, Steve Sherrell moves with equal ease between a diverse range of styles”
Garrett Holg (former Chicago Sun Times Art Critic)
"One of the most underrated young Chicago artists". Lynne Warren- New Arts Examiner

B.F.A.‑ School of the Art Institute of Chicago‑ 1977
M.F.A.‑ School of the Art Institute of Chicago‑ 1978
Studied with: Whitney Halsted, Ray Yoshida, Pat Steir, Jonathon Borofsky,
Nicholas Krushnick, Phil Hanson, Barbara Rossi, Miriam Shapiro, George
Timock, Stan Brakage, Betsy Rupprect, Thomas Kapsalis, Vince Franco

Employment-Personal History
Director of Exhibitions- Water Street Studios- Batavia Illinois- Currently
Founder and Member- Represented by- Water Street Studios Artist Collective Gallery
Represented by 33 Contemporary Gallery-Chicago 2005-2015
Represented by Sonia Zaks Gallery 1994- 2005 (Gallery closed due to Sonia’s death)
Professor Emeritus of Art - Joliet Jr. College ‑
Founding Member- West Hubbard Gallery- 61 W. Hubbard St. Chicago IL.
Founding Member- 33 Collective Gallery, Chicago
Participant- Wasted Words- Book, Dave Hickey 2013-15
Mentioned in Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now
by Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino | Sep 14, 2018 University of Chicago Press ISBN 022616831X

Exhibition Record-
2022- Water Street Studios Collective Artists- TNPS Gallery Dixon Illinois
2022- Sauk Valley College- Extraterrestrial Exhibit - Dixon Illinois
2022 Prarie State College- Storytellers- East Chicago Illinois
2020- Water Street Studios Collective at Water Street Studios during Covid
2020- Membranes of Perception- Zhou B Art Center- Chicago, IL
2019- Two Storytellers- Tall Grass Arts Gallery, Park Forest Illinois
2019 – WSSAC Ggroup Show- Water Street Studios
2019- 10th Annual Anniversary Show, Water Street Studios
2019 – Dot to Dot – Colin Sherrell and Steve Sherrell- Dempsey Gallery- Water Street Studios
2018- Degrees of Abstraction- 201 Gallery- Argonne National Laboratory
2018- Ghosts- Water Street Studios- KCC Gallery
2018- 9th Annual Anniversary Show, Water Street Studios
2018 – WSSAC Goup Show- Water Street Studios
2018- Resident Artists- Water Street Studios
2017- 8th Annual Anniversary Show, Water Street Studios
2017- Chicago Artists Interpret American Literature, Chicago Theological Union
2017- Water Street Studios Collective Exhibition
2017- Resident Artists- Water Street Studios
2017- Chicago Artists interpret Shakespeare- Water Street Studios
2016- 7th Annual Members Exhibition- Water Street Studios
2016- Group Exhibition- Olivet Nazarene University- Bourbonnais, IL.
2016- 200th Indiana Bicentennial Exhibit- Ft Wayne Ind.
2016- Studio Art Faculty Show- Joliet Junior College
2016- 2 Person Show with Richard Deveau at Water Street Studios.
2015- Retrospective Exhibit: “Choices- a selection of artwork spanning the career of Steve Sherrell” Joliet Junior College- Sprague Gallery.
2015- University of St. Francis, Joliet IL.- One person exhibit- Digital Mashups
2014- Argonne National Scientific Laboratory (US. Dept. of Energy)- One person exhibit
2014- "Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare 'As They Like It." at Elmhurst Museum of Art, Elmhurst IL.
2014- Allen Pepa Architecture, Aurora, IL.- Digital Mashups
2014- 33 Contemporary Gallery- Members exhibition
2014- 33 Contemporary- Black and White
2014- Centerline- Zhou B Center, October
2014- "Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare 'As They Like It." at Miami of Ohio University
2013- Art Basil- Art Spot- Miami Florida, December
2013, Phoenix Gallery-Moline Illinois
2013- 33 Contemporary Gallery "Art, Energy, Future" at Argonne National science laboratory
2013- February- "Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare 'As They Like It." at Carthage College- Kenosha Wisconsin.
2013- January- 33 Contemporary Gallery at Joliet Junior College
2012- Nov- The Fish Bowl- 3 person exhibition at 33 Contemporary Gallery
2012- Nov- Shakespeare Exhibition at Concordia University
2012- Honorable Mention, 3rd Anniversary show- Water Street Studios- Batavia Illinois
2012- Group Exhibition, Vienna Austria
2012-Urban Transmission. 33 Contemporary Gallery
2012- 33 Contemporary Gallery in Turin, Italy MUSEO REGIONALE DI SCIENZE NATURALI DI TORINO
2012- Mixed Up Media- one person exhibition- 33 Contemporary Gallery- Chicago
2012- ,"Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare 'As They Like It." Beverly Arts Center, Chicago
2012- Springen- Members exhibition- 33 Contemporary Gallery
2012- Love Apple- Digital exhibition= 33 Contemporary Gallery
2011- Infusion- Members exhibition- 33 Contemporary Gallery
2011- 7th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhibition. 33 Contemporary Gallery
2011- “Ethereal Fauna: The Artist's Muse”, Carthage College, Kenosha Wi.
2010- “Here to Paradise”- Mythopians, College of Lake County- Grayslake, Illinois
2010- “Donnie”- Museum of Computer Art, Brooklyn, New York
2010- “Red” – Members Exhibition- 33 Collective- Chicago
2010- “Layers and Latitudes”- Members Exhibition- 33 Collective- Chicago
2009- “New Memes- Old Memes”- one person exhibition, 33 Collective Gallery, Chicago
2009- Members Exhibition- 33 Collective- Chicago
2009- “As Time Goes By”-Mythopians at Prairie State College
2009- “Ethereal Fauna: The Artist's Muse”, Tom Robinson Studio Gallery
2009- “Radius”- 33 Collective Gallery- Chicago
2009- Area Faculty Exhibit- Governors State University
2009- “Sabbatical”- one person exhibition, Joliet Junior College
2009- “Amiga to Jaguar- Computer art of Steve Sherrell”- Illinois Institute of Art, Schaumburg, Illinois
2009- 33 Collective artists at Prairie State College
2009- Red Car Post Productions, Chicago- in house computer work presentation.
2009. “Collective Resonance”- 33 Collective Gallery
2009- Traversing Abstraction -Carthage College-Kenosha, Wisconsin-.
2009- “Tales of Transformation” Chicago State University- Mythopians
2009- “Pure”- South Suburban College- one person exhibition
2008- Computer Art – one man show- Arts Medicine Services- University of Illinois Chicago
2008- New Gallery Opening 33 Collective-
2008- Imagine Foundation- Solo Exhibit- Jacksonville. Il.
2007- Self Portraits- 33 Collective Gallery, Chicago
2007- Mythopians- Works on paper- Old Town Art Center, Chicago
2007- Members Exhibition- 33 Collective Gallery , Chicago
2007- Members Exhibition- 33 Collective Gallery , Chicago
2007- Focus on Chicago- Photo/Digital Exhibition 33 Collective Gallery, Chicago
2006- “Pure” solo exhibit, Joliet Junior College Gallery.
2006- “Expanding the Romantic Vision” Mythopians, Norris Cultural Art Center Gallery, St. Charles ,Illinois
2006- “Electric Paint” The Computer as 21’st Century Canvas’ Leigh Yawkey Woodsome Art Museum, Wassau, Wis.
2006- Large Paintings Orleans Street Gallery, , , St. Charles, IL.
2005- Museum of Computer Art “Before and After Science”
2005- Lane Allen Gallery, Batavia,IL ‘Nature’-“ Paintings of Nature, Nature of Paintings”
2005 - One person exhibit, Around the Coyote, Chicago IL., S.o.b.s Gallery
2005- Joliet Junior College, “Process – Concept, Concept- Process”
2005- Orleans Street Gallery, St. Charles, IL. “Once upon a time”
2005- Mythopians- Bradley University, Peoria,
2004- Six Ways of Worldmaking- Carthage College, Kenosha Wisconsin
2004- Expanded Image_ Fox Valley Arts Council- Aurora University
2004- Joliet Junior College Faculty Exhibition
2003- Florence Biennale, Biennale Internazionale Dell Arte Contemporanea, Citta di Firenza (city of Florence), Italy 800 International Artists by Invitation only, Fortessa de Basso
2003- One person traveling Exhibition, in conjunction with the Museum Lasoberana, Art Communication- Art Points- Art Day of the Earth Universe, Costa Blanca- Spanish Levant, Spain
2003-“ Mythopians”- Lane Allen Gallery, Batavia, IL
2003- “Dualities” Mythopians- Aurora Public Art Commission Gallery
2002- “Computer Art at Joliet Junior College” - Curated and participated
2002- Museum of Computer Art- one person exhibit -
2002- Curated and Participated in Fox Valley Art Council Members Invitational at Aurora Public Art Commission Gallery
2002- South Suburban College South Holland, Illinois- Goofypics: Computer Art by Steve Sherrell
2002- Lane Allen Gallery, Batavia IL, Two person Show with Tom Mahaffey
2001- Fox Valley Arts Council Invitational, Curated and Participated
2000-2001- O=Hare Airport International Terminal Gallery, “Earth and Sky” two paintings included, curated by the Mythopians.
2000- Governors State University, Area Faculty Exhibition
2000- Mythopians “ Planets” South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
1999- Millennial Myths “Planets Exhibition” University of Illinois at Springfield
1999- Fox Valley Arts Council Members Exhibition, Best of show
1999-2000- Red Magazine, Online Exhibition,
1999- Millennial Myths Artists Planet Exhibition, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
1998- Governors State University- Two person Show
1998- Aurora Public Art Commission Gallery Invitational
1998- Inaugural Solo Exhibition: Downstairs Dunham Gallery - Aurora University
1997‑ Millennial Myths Artists ‑ Joliet Jr. College
1997‑ College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL. ‑ Solo Exhibition
1996‑ Joliet Jr. College‑ Solo Exhibition
1996‑ Aurora Business Center‑ Three Person Exhibition
1996‑ Bit.Movie Computer Art Festival‑ Palazzo del Turismo, Riccione, Italy
1995‑ Aurora University ‑ " CyberArt at Aurora University"
1995‑ Zaks Gallery ‑ Chicago ‑ group gallery exhibition
1994‑ Pixel Art Roma 94 , Rome, Italy ‑ Three of my compugraphic paintings were
included in video exhibition which was then shown on Italian Television.
1994‑ Two Person Show : Point of View Gallery , Aurora , IL.
1994‑ One person Show " Computer Paintings" ‑ McHenry County College
1994‑ One Person Show‑ Aurora University ‑ Aurora IL.
1994‑ "Amiga Artists on the Air" My Compugraphic paintings were included in a
Television Show about computer art which is distributed to public TV.
1993‑ Pixel Art Expo 'Roma 93' ‑ Rome, Italy‑ Four of my Computer Paintings were
of the Top Ten Winners in the 2D Static Graphic Picture Division
1993‑ One Person Show: Teikyo‑ MaryCrest University, Davenport, Iowa
1991‑ City of Aurora, IL. : Art on the Fox ; 2'nd Prize/ Purchase Prize
1990‑ One Person Show; Joliet Jr. College
1990‑ Three Views of Abstraction: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago
1989‑ Two Person Show: Carl Sandberg Community College, Galesburg, IL.
1989‑ Area Invitational: Aurora University, Aurora, IL.
1989‑ One Person Show: Aurora University
1986‑ New Traditions in Chicago Art: Central Michigan University
1985‑ Chicago and Vicinity Show: Art Institute of Chicago
1984‑ " History of the Alternative Galleries in Chicago Art" : Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
1984‑ " Chicago Head '84" : Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago
1984‑ Group Show: Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
1984‑ "Water Over Fire": Two Person Show; Indianapolis Art League; Indianapolis, In.
1983‑ One Person Show: One Illinois Center, Chicago
1983‑ "New Talent, New Vision" Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago
1983‑ " Twenty Years of the Abstracted Figure in Chicago Art, The Big Pitcher"
Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
1981‑ Young Chicago Artists‑ St. Louis Community College: St. Louis , Mo.
1980‑ Two Person Show: West Hubbard Gallery, Chicago
1980‑ Chicago Art Prospectives: Assistant Curator, exhibitor, Navy Pier, Chicago Office of Special Events
1980‑ "81/2 X 11" Show: West Hubbard Gallery, Chicago
1979‑ Members Show: West Hubbard Gallery, Chicago
1978‑ Open Wall Invitational: Artemesia Gallery, Chicago
1978‑ Three Person Show: West Hubbard Gallery, Chicago
1977‑ Graduate Student Drawings: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1977‑ Three person Show: West Hubbard Gallery
1977‑ Opening Members Show: West Hubbard Gallery, Chicago
1976‑ Chicago and Vicinity Show: Art Institute of Chicago
1975‑ One Person Show‑ School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1972‑ Two person Show: Ball State University, Muncie, In.

Upcoming Exhibit- March 2023

Digitalism: Water Street Studios, Batavia, Illimois USA

An exhibit of art based on the Computer as art tool.

Exhibitions & Events