Cheri Gaulke

Cheri GaulkeArtist’s Statement

I believe feminist art raises consciousness, invites dialogue and transforms culture.*

My art and life were profoundly changed in 1975, when I moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles to join the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building. As a performance artist, my body was the storyteller. From deeply personal stories about sexual identity, the body and religion to global perspectives on the environment, war and equality. I co-founded performance groups Feminist Art Workers and Sisters of Survival.

I’ve also worked in artists’ books, installation, video and public art. I’m committed to collaboration and facilitating the voices of others, particularly those underrepresented in dominant culture. My goal is to continually reinvent the role that art plays in people’s lives by bringing art to new audiences in nontraditional settings and involving communities as active participants. Examples include videos about queer youth, installations about lesbian and gay families, a memorial to Filipino World War II veterans, public service announcements about domestic violence survivors and a Metro station about the Los Angeles River. I have collaborated with teens on media projects such as The LA River Project and The Righteous Conversations Project (Holocaust survivors and teens addressing an array of social issues). My Digital Storytelling Adventures take teens to Laos, Rwanda, Cuba, Cambodia to make documentaries about war and genocide.

I am currently making new experimental and narrative media projects informed by decades of life as a woman, lesbian, mother and activist.

*Arlene Raven, cofounder, the Woman’s Building



Select Solo Exhibitions

Cheri Gaulke-Peep Totter Fly, Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), a Getty-sponsored Pacific Standard Time exhibition, Los Angeles, CA

Select Film Festival Screenings

University of Oregon Queer Film Festival, Eugene, Oregon
aGLIFF: Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, Austin, Texas
Reeling 2014: 32nd Chicago LGBT International Film Festival, Chicago, Illinois
OUTrageous!, Santa Barbara Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Santa Barbara, CA

Select Group Exhibitions from 2011-2015

WonderWomen, curated by Frenchy Lunning, Howard Oransky and Susan Smoluchowski, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Binding Desire: Unfolding Artists Books, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

Under the Wings of Artemis: Scholars, Artists and the Places Between, curated by Lauren Dudley and Sandra Kroupa, Special Collections at the University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, WA

Tapping the Third Realm, curated by Meg Linton, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

Breaking in Two: A Provocative Vision of Motherhood, curated by Bruria Finkel, Arena 1, Santa Monica, CA

Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building, curated by Meg Linton and Sue Maberry, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, a Getty-sponsored Pacific Standard Time exhibition, Los Angeles, CA

Select Fellowships and Awards

Art is a Hammer Award, from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Celebrating the Art of Resistance, Los Angeles, CA

COLA, City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship Award, Los Angeles, CA

Select Community-based Artwork

Digital Media Artist-in-Residence, A Window Between Worlds, Los Angeles, CA

Project Director/Film Mentor, Digital Storytelling Adventures (for teens)
Laos, Rwanda, Cuba, Cambodia

Artistic Director, The Righteous Conversations Project, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Los Angeles, CA


M.A. (Feminist Art/Education), 1978
Goddard College, Los Angeles, CA

Instant Theatre (Rachel Rosenthal’s theatre company), 1976-77
Los Angeles, California

Feminist Studio Workshop, 1975-77
The Woman’s Building, Los Angeles, CA

B.F.A. (Intermedia), 1975
Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN