Cheryl Lichwell is interested in what makes people tick, what motivates people to do the things they do. She focuses on the emotions that everyone experiences, hoping that viewers will see a reflection of something of themselves in the work. There came a time in Lichwell’s life that she sought a new challenge, a technical challenge, so she limited her work to heads and hands. This turned her thoughts to the more elusive aspects of the human experience, ultimately leading her to explore silence. How can silence be expressed? What does the body look like when we are silent? Why are we silent? Silence is found in secrets, in contemplation, in wisdom, in foolishness.
Lichwell started working as a portraitist but turned early in her career to clay. Few artists can express not only emotion but the impulses and motivations underlying motions as Lichwell can. Whether expressing a tragic figure or mirroring common foolishness, Lichwell’s work shows the prosaic but never in a prosaic way.
Lichwell has had a long career showing her work in New England, and in particular in Maine and Massachusetts. She has won numerous awards, including being the Featured Artist of the Maine Arts Journal in November 2017, winning the C.C. Long Award from the Leominster Art Association, and receiving numerous awards from the Greater Gardner Art Association.
In addition to creating art, Lichwell has for many years invited therapists to bring their clients into her studio to view, watch, and experiment. The studio affords the clients a unique and affirming therapeutic environment and helps Lichwell explore the emotions and experiences that fuel her work.