Catherine B. Heller Collegiate Professor Emerita of Art, School of Art & Design
- M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1967
- B.A., Stanford University, 1965
After earning her M.F.A. degree, Sherri Smith worked as a textile designer in New York City for Dorothy Liebes and for Boris Kroll Fabrics, where she designed jacquard woven textiles for interiors. She then accepted a faculty post at Colorado State University, where she taught for three years. She joined the University of Michigan School of Art and Design in 1974.
Smith developed the School’s fibers program and has continued to be the only permanent faculty member in that field. Her current work is strip woven and takes its images from mathematics and the sciences. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she served for seven years as the School’s associate dean for graduate studies and, for a period of six months, held the post of interim dean.
Smith has been prominent since 1969, when one of her pieces was exhibited at Wall Hangings, a groundbreaking exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City credited with launching the field of fibers as an art form. Since that time, her work has been represented in many important exhibitions, among them four Biennales of Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland, the third Tapestry Triennale in Lodz, Poland, Fiberworks at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Old Traditions - New Directions at the Textile Museum of Washington, D.C., and The Art Fabric - Mainstream at the San Francisco Museum of Art and nine other major museums.
Other exhibition venues have included the Milwaukee Museum of Art, Manhattan’s Contemporary Crafts Museum, the International Minitextile Biennale of Szombathy, Hungary, the fourth Biennal of Fiber in Chieri, Italy, and the Textilmuseum of St Gallen, Switzerland. In addition to many one-woman exhibitions, Smith has been part of many invitation exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. Her pieces have been featured in many seminal books on the subject of fibers.