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­­­­As Published in Artifacts Magazine

By Kate Hall

Most birds use their natural plumage to attract their mates. Not so with the bowerbirds. They strike a different chord, relying on their wits as creators instead. They are the steampunk renegades of the avian world. Bowerbird males rely on their keen sense of style and arrangement as they construct intricate twig structures called bowers. Once the bowers are built, they switch modes and conduct themselves as the most obsessive masters of design. They scour their surroundings for objects of color and textural interest. Pieces, both old and new, found treasures and items discarded, colors and textures are woven together to form a display designed to woo the object of their affections.  As their collection is amassed, the treasures are grouped together according to color and their unique preferences. No effort is spared to make sure every adornment is meticulously arranged. The whole is greater than the mere sum of its parts. So it is with bowerbird artist.

Cheryl Dossey of Cheryl Dossey Art on Bay Street in Lakeland is one such artist. Dossey, like the bowerbird, focuses her creative efforts on assemblage. “I love to mix the old with the new. Old books, paper, letters, stamps and found objects with a past will usually find new life in a piece of my artwork.” Dossey weaves her own doodles into the mix seeking to craft a work rich in texture, depth and storytelling. Each work is a complex maze that invites the viewer to unravel its elements, sorting origins from embellishment. Self-described as lighthearted and whimsical, the works are designed with simple messages of positivity.

When asked what drove her towards art, Dossey suggests that it was always omnipresent in her life. “I have been creating as long as I can remember. I have family members in creative fields. Art has been a continuous theme throughout my life and career. I can’t imagine my world without it.” Dossey’s roots are steeped in small town Florida. She pursued art throughout her childhood education and went on to study at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  From there, she opened a framing shop and enjoyed success in the industry for 25years.

 Over those years, Dossey confesses that her creative spirit went on hiatus. When she started offering part of her framing shop as a gallery to showcase other local artists, reawakening came. “I was feeling rejuvenated and excited again to create my work. “ In 2011 Dossey began taking her work more seriously. She locally entered her first judged exhibition, Arts on the Park. Her efforts were rewarded with a merit award and the sale of her work. “That experience was the encouragement I needed to further develop and pursue my art.”

Dossey’s work has been warmly received and continues to win awards and notoriety in the press. Recently celebrated were the publications of her work in the Winter 2016 issues of both Somerset Life and Somerset Studio. The publications followed her acceptance of a third place award for her entry, “Dream”, in the Fall 2015 Lakeland Art Guild Show.  How does it feel? “Like most artists, having your work recognized or appreciated is very rewarding. However, what I enjoy most is being able to share, teach and encourage others on their creative journey.” When asked about her plans for the future, “In five years, I would like to be teaching on a much bigger scale. My vision is to be part of a creative group that travels around the country to varied art retreats.” And just like that, the Bowerbird Artist is off in search of the next great assemblage.


 


Comments

09/06/2016 4:16am

This was a first type of art that I have seen in my life and it really makes me wonder that there are many creative people in this world. Those are gifted with such abilities to make such incredible piece of art.

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This is such a unique kind of masterpiece, to be honest. You really have that strong passion and dedication to pursue your dreams in life. I really admire you for that. You are such an inspiration to everyone and I hope you'll always continue to share your artworks with us. Share your own talent and let the world see and appreciate it. You already have a bright future ahead of you that's why you should keep on pushing yourself to the limits. Do what you're capable of doing and make the most out of it.

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10/24/2017 9:50pm

Since I was 18, it became my habit of going to art exhibits just for the purpose of refreshing my mind. I don't know, whenever I am seeing art works, it gives me the feeling of relaxation and satisfaction. I love abstract artworks the most because it always makes me think purposely. I have this attitude of solving abstract artworks by finding what particular message is behind the artwork. I love it. I just love it. And I am a fan of great artists. They are my inspiration.

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09/13/2016 10:35pm

I have seen a Bower bird once. It was on a tree near our house and it had big blue eyes too. I wonder what is the back story of Cheryl Dossey on bower birds. Art is an expression for some people right? It must mean something to her or it must represent something in her life.

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10/09/2016 4:25am

Seems like you really love these birds. This painting is pretty nice.

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12/29/2016 5:15am

If in case you're an artist by yourself, you probably do not need to read this as your would perhaps already know it.

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01/08/2017 5:18am

It is a wonderful picture. I like bird and it is great pleasure for me to watch their picture. I have got many pictures of birds.

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05/31/2017 10:42pm

Encouragement is the important factor which boosts each and every artist to create more and more art works in his or her career. So we should encourage children if they show interests in painting, story writing, etc…

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