CHERYL BERNHARDT has always been an artist. As a child she would draw, paint, and work with her hands using different mediums to express herself. She enjoyed oil painting as a teenager, giving them away to friends. Later in college studying Sociology & Psychology, discouraged by the lack of opportunity for women other than the traditional fields, she decided to make art her career. She went into Advertising Design & Graphics transferring from Middle Tennessee State University to The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. The discipline she learned there and exposure to different mediums left her longing for more creative outlets. Cheryl set her sights back on being an artist.
Moving back to Tennessee & the University she had made the decision to go into Print Making because she loved the processes, color and freedom of design. Cheryl worked as a portrait artist for the first season of what was then Opryland Theme Park in Nashville. She believes to this day that the overwhelming volume of portraits in charcoal, pastels and watercolor she created there trained her artistic eye to see. At this time, she began to teach herself the vanishing art of Silhouette cutting and attended school with that BFA in Print Making her goal. She set up her art studio/apartment producing a successful series of Nashville themed screen prints, handmade candles, worked waiting tables and traveled doing street festivals and arts and craft shows all over the eastern U.S. She traveled from Miami's Calle Ocho Street Festival, Beaux Arts Festival, Viscaya Art Festival to State College, PA Street Festival, Belle Chere Festival in Asheville, NC, Helen Keller Festival in Alabama and many more.
Soon she married and had three children which took her love and attention away from her print making, but still she pursued her career by cutting Silhouettes and making candles. Cheryl found herself divorced from her abusive husband left to raise their three children on her own. Losing her loving father, being a Daddy's girl, left her heart completely broken and in survival mode. Her and her Mother's loss bonded them as adults raising together her children. Cheryl worked a fulltime job, did shows and festivals, volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and instructed canoeing. She was facing life’s challenges head on when her youngest daughter was killed in a drunk driver accident. Her creative efforts stopped.
After approximately eight years she picked her scissors back up. She returned to her roots the old neighborhood in Nashville. Getting involved in the planning of "The Hands Together in Flatrock Festival" she returned as an exhibitor cutting Silhouettes. She also did the Helen Keller Festival that year.
Since then she has returned to her first love of oil painting setting up her working art studio to paint. The Screen Printing part of the studio will soon be completed.
Welcome to Cedar Valley Studios and the creative adventures of the artist Cheryl A. Bernhardt.
The BEST is yet to come.