The Sherwin Series: An Exploration in Nomadic Lifestyle

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The Sherwin Series exhibit, by artist Joelle Dietrick, has been on display at IUP's Kipp Gallery for nearly a month. According to Dietrick's official website, the artist hails from Pennsylvania, and graduated from Penn State in 1996. She has gone on to create an impressive repertoire of artwork, including The Sherwin Series.

Dietrick's website also states that The Sherwin Series features "a group of paintings, prints and animations that remix foreclosed homes and Sherwin-Williams 2007 Color Forecast paints. Sherwin-Williams chose the colors during the height of the housing bubble before the foreclosure epidemic began."

An intriguing exhibit delving into the lives of female nomads, "The Sherwin Series" utilizes an array of color and shapes to illustrate their trials through abstract art.

Life as a nomad is one of the most difficult and misunderstood lifestyles a person can choose. Nomads are constantly on the move, traveling the world and very rarely stopping for long amounts of time. The beauty of this way of life, however, is the opportunity to see the world and experience cultures unlike any you may have encountered before.

The flip side to being a nomad, however, is that you don't have any sort of citizenship. You are, quite literally, a person without a country to call "home." This can result in all sorts of difficulties, especially considering that most job applications require you to list if you're a citizen. If you're not, the next question is typically "what country are you from?" An expatriate is unable to provide an answer to this.

The other issue for an expatriate is a home to call their own. As they're frequently on the move, they're often overcome with a desire to have a home, as many people do. However, their desire for travel tends to overpower their desire for a home and, again, they're on the move.

Joelle Dietrick's exhibit hopes to shed a little light on this issue through art.


The exhibit featured a total of 32 different paintings, 28 of which were combined into four different groups.

The first painting I noticed was "Untitled." A spiraling mass of crimson, it appeared as though it were a set of stairs- perhaps symbolic of the uphill struggle for women to succeed as nomads in the world.

The second work, "Sherwin's Balance Living," appeared as a presentation of serenity with pastel yellows, blues, greens and greys. Standing at a slight distance, one could nearly visualize a globe out of the colorful shards.

"Sherwin's Kinetic Contrasts 21," although presented differently on the website, seemed to document a neighborhood besieged by flames.

Overall, the exhibit featured paintings with a very earthy theme. Shades of brown and green often appeared throughout the paintings, perhaps representing a nomad's traversing of earth.

Joelle Dietrick's "The Sherwin Series" in itself was a global project. The exhibition itinerary states that the exhibit material was "conceived in Salzburg [a city in Austria], created in Florida and Pennsylvania, and animated in Berlin."
(Courtesy of

With architectural beauties like this, it's not difficult to see how an artist can become inspired.

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This page contains a single entry by Kristen R. Gilmartin published on March 3, 2012 6:15 PM.

The Hunt for Foreign Culture in Indiana was the previous entry in this blog.

Film Festival Documents Life Abroad is the next entry in this blog.

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