Sally Russell is a California girl, born in San Francisco and raised in one of California’s most magical settings, the Monterey Peninsula. She’s a fourth generation native and comes from a bohemian bloodline. Her great, great uncle was a co-founder of Carmel, which is still an artist’s haven today. Needless to say, Russell was born with the creative gene. She has a keen sense of style, a passion for art, and a gift for mixing and matching elements. She’s adventurous and daring, and her personality is reflected in her work.
Raised in a tennis family, Russell was a ranked junior and collegiate player. She attended a variety of California Universities - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Francisco State University, and UC Santa Barbara - experimenting in textiles and studio art, but didn’t find her true creative expression until several years later. In the mid 1990’s, Russell began her exploration in clay. Greatly inspired by the works of Viola Frey, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Joan Brown, she was drawn to the irregularity of hand-building and the ease of acquiring texture. She soon developed a signature style mixing shapes, texture, color and pattern, and became fascinated with the interplay of these elements and the unlimited possibilities they create. Stacking components in a vertical fashion forces the viewer to physically interact and engage with the work from a variety of different angles. Hence, her bold ceramic totems were conceived, described by one collector as "pure vitality and joy."
In addition to her outdoor sculpture, Russell also created a line of ceramic dinnerware and home textiles. She was able to bring her hand-built organic touch and playfulness to everyday, functional objects which she sold online and to boutiques across the country.
2015-2018 "sculptureWALK," Sculpturesite Gallery, Glen Ellen, CA
2012 "41st Annual Marin Designers Showcase," at the Villa Belvedere, with Sculpturesite Gallery, Belvedere, CA
2009 A New Leaf Gallery | Sculpturesite, Sonoma, CA
2008 Totem installation, Carmel Highlands, CA
2008 Totem installation, Monterey, CA
2008 One day totem exhibition, Carmel River State Beach, Carmel, CA
2004 Totem installation, Carmel Valley, California
2003 Totem commission, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CA
2003 Ceramic wall commission, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CA
2003 Totem installation, Seattle, WA
2003 Totem installation, New York, NY
2003 Totem installation, Santa Fe, NM
2003 Canvas Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2003 A New Leaf Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2003 Lauren Taylor Gallery, Carmel, CA
2002 Totem installation, Big Sur, CA
2002 Totem installation, Pebble Beach, CA
2002 Totem installation, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA
2000 “Larger than Life,” Solo exhibition, Sunset Cultural Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA
2000 Saks Fifth Avenue
1992 Cheviot Hill, Designer Showcase, Pebble Beach, CA
1992 La Mirada, Designer Showcase, Monterey, CA
1991 La Mirada, Designer Showcase, Monterey, CA
Studio Arts, University of California at Santa Barbara
Textile Design, San Francisco State University
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
I am fascinated by the interplay of shape, color, texture and pattern and the unlimited possibilities they create. My totem-like ceramic sculptures are an exploration of these elements.
Stacking components in a vertical fashion forces the viewer to physically interact and engage with the work from a variety of different angles. To me, the experience of three-dimensional art creates an unconscious relationship between the viewer and the work itself.
My hope is that these sculptures delight the soul and awaken the imagination.