Dana Sherwood: Some Kind of Tea Party or Thereabouts in the Realm of Madness

September 21 – December 28, 2022

© Dana Sherwood: Inside the Belly of a Rabbit, 2020 Watercolor on paper, 18 x 24 in
© Dana Sherwood: Inside the Belly of a Rabbit, 2020 Watercolor on paper, 18 x 24 in

Opening Reception: AHA! Night, Thursday, October 13, 6 to 8 pm; Artist Talk at 6:30 pm
Exhibition Curator: Viera Levitt


UMass Dartmouth’s College of Visual and Performing Arts is proud to present “Some Kind of Tea Party or Thereabouts in the Realm of Madness,” an exhibition by New York-based artist Dana Sherwood at the University Art Gallery at Star Store Campus in downtown New Bedford through December 28, 2022. An AHA! Night reception on Thursday, October 13 will feature a tea party from 6 to 8 pm with an artist talk at 6.30 pm. 

This exhibition, which includes films, ceramics, oil and watercolor paintings, explores the relationship between humans and the natural world, drawing on the artist’s exploration of cross-species communication, domestic culture, and the mythical connections between the feminine and natural world in a changing environment.

As part of this exhibition, UMass Dartmouth commissioned a new work, “Queen of Cups,” and invited the community to create porcelain teacups alongside the artist Dana Sherwood directly in the exhibition spaces. In September/October 2022, almost one hundred people participated in creating porcelain pinch cups and saucers of various shapes, sizes, and colors, drawing, painting, glazing, and adding a golden rim.

Queen of Cups, September 2022, Interactive ceramic performance with Dana Sherwood. Photo credit: Viera Levitt
Queen of Cups, September 2022, Interactive ceramic performance with Dana Sherwood. Photo credit: Viera Levitt

During the reception, the artist will be offering tea in these cups using herbs grown and wild foraged in her garden and around her home in Copake, providing a sanctuary from hectic life outside of the gallery – a communal table, where creativity and conversation lead to magical moments of connection. 

Sherwood’s elaborate nocturnal banquets, in which she serves up decadent cakes, sculpted gelatin molds, and raw meats for wild animals to enjoy, are presented through the selection of surveillance video footage, which inspires the whimsical paintings and drawings in the exhibition. In the enchanted world of “Some Kind of Tea Party or Thereabouts in the Realm of Madness'' nature plays a complex role as both subject and collaborator, asserting its presence and subverting the artist’s perceived control. We see racoons, possums and other animals enjoying Sherwood's elaborate food offerings, similar to us enjoying her exhibition and communicating with each other and with the world beyond the realm of the everyday. The cups created for this project might eventually be used by the animals in Sherwood’s future work, erasing the distinction between the “civilized” and the “natural” world.

Thank you to all the community members, UMass Dartmouth students and faculty for participating in creating the work, “Queen of Cups.” Special thanks to the Ceramic Department and Prof. Rebecca Hutchinson.

About Dana Sherwood

Dana Sherwood received her BFA from the University of Maine, Farmington. Her work has been included in exhibitions at dOCUMENTA 13, Mass MoCA, Storm King, The School (Jack Shainman Gallery), Nassau County Museum of Art, Flux Factory, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Pit, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, and Marianne Boesky Gallery. Sherwood has had solo exhibitions at the Florence Griswold Museum (Connecticut, 2022), Denny Dimin Gallery (New York, 2016, 2019, 2022), Kepler Art Conseil (Paris, 2017), and Nagel Draxler Reisbureau Galerie (Cologne, 2015). Sherwood’s work has been featured or reviewed in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, Hyperallergic, Surface, The Village Voice, Food & Wine, The Huffington Post, Art F City, and the Miami Rail. Dana Sherwood has received several prestigious residencies including Swing Space by LMCC, Pilchuck Glass School, and OMI International Arts Center. She lives in Copake, NY with her husband Mark Dion and their son Fairfield.



Gallery University Art Gallery