Cheryl Perry, a standout art student from Brookdale Community College, whose passion for edgy and thought-provoking art has set her apart in the local art scene, has recently clinched the top prize at the much-anticipated Edgy Show hosted by the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury. This achievement marks a significant milestone in her growing artistic career, spotlighting her unique talent and the wise messages she embeds within her work.

“I always wanted to win the Edgy Show because I pride myself on being an edgy artist,” Perry said

The “Best in Show,” titled Assassination Proclamation, is a thought-provoking piece that delves into the depths of history, intertwining themes of hope, death, and change. Measuring 24 by 30 inches, this painting captures a powerful narrative centered around the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and its implications on the slave trade.

The piece masterfully blends historical context with contemporary relevance, symbolized through its striking imagery. At its core is Lincoln’s face, meticulously studied and recreated from a $5 bill, serving as a poignant reminder of his role in American history. Perry skillfully incorporates symbols of death, like a subtly emerging skull and a raven, to signify the grim reality of the era. Yet, amidst these dark elements, a rainbow weaves through the canvas, symbolizing hope and the gradual shift toward diversity and acceptance.

Perry considers herself a conceptual artist, infusing her work with layers of meaning. “I believe in hope and positive change, and I strive to convey that despite the bleak chapters of history, there is always a light of hope shining through, signaling progress and a better future. I get inspiration from history, current events, and the animal kingdom. And this one, this was an inspiration from history.”

Creating the Assassination Proclamation was not without its challenges. Perry spent considerable time studying Lincoln’s face to accurately depict it while also incorporating symbols of death and hope in a balanced manner. She carefully selected colors like calming blues mixed with sparing uses of red to avoid overwhelming the viewer. The painting blends imagination and reality to provoke thought and evoke emotion.

The Guild of Creative Art’s President, David Levy, described edgy as ‘innovative, outside the box, avant-garde, and on the edge. Sometimes, it cannot be described, just felt.” Perry’s piece was one of only six works out of sixty-eight that received an award.

Perry is pursuing her Associate of Fine Arts degree with a focus on Studio Art at Brookdale, she has studied fine art with Professor Amy Faris and color theory with David Dziemian. While at Brookdale, she created artwork for the student publication Interpretations, directed by Professor James Cody.

“I love going to Brookdale because what I like about it is that there is diversity,” Perry explained.

painting by Cheryl Perry of a black cat in front of a grey mouse
Amid the challenges of the Covid era, Perry found herself inspired by her painting “The Cursed Cat and the Gifted Mouse” as it rested on the easel. In that moment, she embarked on a literary journey, penning 18 chapters that unravel a tale of unexpected friendship.

As Perry prepares to exhibit her work more widely, including her dream of exhibiting in museums and possibly adapting her stories and concepts into animated films or books, the future looks bright for this emerging artist.

The award from the Edgy Show is particularly meaningful to the artist, as it represents not only recognition from her peers and the broader art community but also an affirmation of her dedication to pushing boundaries and challenging conventional narratives through her art. As she continues to exhibit her work and engage with the community at the Guild of Creative Art and beyond, her story is a testament to the power of art in sparking conversations and inspiring hope.

For more information about the Edgy Show and the artist’s work, please visit the Guild of Creative Art’s website or contact the gallery directly. Guild of Creative Art is located at 410 Broad Street Shrewsbury, NJ 07702.

For more information about Brookdale’s Art Department visit this website page.

Poison Mushroom Nightmare, together with Assassination Proclamation was named “edgiest” by visitors to the exhibition.


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