The Bird and Bone Art of Joyce Cutler-Shaw and Sarah Perry
February 14 – April 14, 2007

USC Fisher Gallery
823 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90089-0292
Contact: Lisa Merighi
(213) 740-5537, fax (213) 740-7676
Web site,
Gallery hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5pm

This exhibition on view at USC Fisher Gallery from February 14, 2007 through April 14, 2007 features two Southern California artists using bones as the subject matter or the medium of their art.
Los Angeles
The Bird and Bone Art of Joyce Cutler-Shaw and Sarah Perry, an exhibition featuring the work of Southern California artists Joyce Cutler-Shaw and Sarah Perry, to be viewed at USC Fisher Gallery  from February 14 through April 14, 2007.

Both Joyce Cutler-Shaw and Sarah Perry are fascinated by bones, and bones are the subject matter and the medium of their art. For them, bones can reveal to us our origins. Because within our bones lies, encoded, the secret of life. In their art, bones acquire the significance of building blocks of matter. Bones connect to our collective consciousness of creation and are our shared link to the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, maintaining an invisible yet unquestioned presence throughout our lives as our organic support system.

A corollary vital role to bones in Cutler-Shaw and Perry’s art is played by birds. For thousands of years, since the Old Kingdom of Egypt at least, birds have symbolized victory over mortality, the passage of time, and death. The bird images of Cutler-Shaw and Perry perform a similar function: the signs of death, its decomposing flesh are substituted by the whiteness of the skeletal structure. In addition, Cutler-Shaw transformed the pigeon leg and foot into an alphabet of her own invention, linking bird and skeletal symbolism. Each artist is moved by the need to know and uniquely examines the world of physics and metaphysics: being and nothingness, endlessness and fixedness, mortality and immortality. Despite the affinities so far described, these artists are polar opposite in their artistic choice of medium and style, as the exhibition makes clear.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw focuses on drawings of skeletons and the black and white bone-alphabet which explores the dichotomies of life and death. Perry combs the California deserts to harvest the bones of animals, rodents, reptiles, and owl regurgitations of bone pellets, which she translates into skillfully engineered sculptures of earthly/galactic references. Together, Cutler-Shaw and Perry take us on a  journey through the time and space of their unique imaginations, opening worlds both intensely private and weirdly universal at the same time.

About the Artists

Joyce Cutler-Shaw is an artist of intermedia, including drawings, installations, public projects and artist’s books. Some of her public projects can be found at Mission Valley Branch Library, the Balboa Park Activity Center, Stonecrest Village, CA, Sorrento Mesa, CA, among others. She has exhibited internationally since 1972. Her works are represented internationally in the special collections of both museum and library. Joyce Cutler-Shaw has served as artist in residence/Visiting Scholar from 1992 to the present at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Diego as Artist-In-Residence/Visiting Scholar from 1992-to the present. She was the first visual artist appointed as faculty in the University of California, San Diego’s Medical School.
Sarah Perry burst on the art scene with the large-scale grouping of gorillas that she fashioned out of scraps of rubber tires gleaned from the Los Angeles highways. In the ensuing years, Perry's work shifted to smaller, more personal and poetic works, such as the 1995 mixed-media altered book piece "What's Underneath Us?" In the past ten years, she was represented in close to 75 exhibitions in commercial, community, college, and university galleries and museums—nationally and internationally—under such wide ranging titles as “Sacred Realm,” “Bio Ballistic,” “Pontus Hulten Collection,” “Exploring the Cosmos,” and “The Artful Teapot.”

Exhibition Catalogue
The show is accompanied by full-color catalogue. To order, please contact Fisher Gallery at (213) 740-4561.

About USC Fisher Gallery
Fisher Gallery is the accredited art museum of the University of Southern California. Since its opening in 1939, Fisher Gallery has grown significantly in stature and prominence as the museum of USC. In addition to showing the permanent collection, the Gallery presents traveling exhibitions and organizes its own successful exhibitions, offering the campus and community, as well as the greater Los Angeles area, a wide variety of changing exhibitions. Fisher Gallery offers programming to support its exhibitions such as lectures, artist’s talks, film screening, concerts, and poetry readings.

General Information
For general information, press information, images, or to schedule an interview, call (213) 740-5537. Press images can be downloaded at

Museum Hours and Admission
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 pm; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission to the exhibition and all related events are free. Call (213) 740-4561 or visit for more information.

Curator's Walkthrough
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 (12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM)
Join curator Max F. Schulz in a tour of one of the most compelling exhibitions of the season.
Artist's Talk
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 (12 NOON - 1 PM)
Artist Sarah Perry discusses her work.
Families at Fisher
Saturday, February 24, 2007 (2:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
Our popular event for families! Enjoy art making activities, face painting, refreshments, door prizes and more!
Sheer Paint, Sheer Poetry
Tuesday, February 27, 2007 (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)
The winter Poetry Reading by USC Undergraduate Student Writers organized by Mark Irwin.
Portrait of Our Humanity
Wednesday, March 7, 2007 (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM)
A multimedia collection of photos and stories about our community created and performed by our youth.
Sounds, Shapes, and Shades
Thursday, March 8, 2007 (12 NOON – 1 PM)
Zaneta Sykes will be performing works by contemporary composers on solo marimba.
When Art and Medicine Converge
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 (12 NOON - 1 PM)
Artist Joyce Cutler-Shaw, Pamela Schaff, MD, and Robert Tager, MD will address the convergence of medicine and art in a discussion moderated by KCRW's art critic Edward Goldman.

Lee Beckwith: Solo Guitar
Saturday, March 31, 2007 (3:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
Lee Beckwith, a classical guitarist, will be performing his Junior recital at the Fisher Gallery.
City of Angels Trio
Thursday, April 5, 2007 (12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM)
The City of Angels Trio performs music by French composers for flute, viola, and harp.
Inside-Out: A Dance Performance about the Bird-And-Bone Art
Friday, April 13, 2007 (12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM)
USC dance students will perform choreographed routines inspired by the work of Joyce Cutler-Shaw and Sarah Perry.
Special events are free and take place at USC Fisher Gallery, unless otherwise noted. RSVP to or (213) 740-4561. Exhibition on view through April 14, 2007.

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