Cheri Gaulke has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a Master of Arts degree (in Feminist Art/Education) from Goddard College. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), in a Smithsonian-touring exhibition, and in settings all over the world including buses, churches, and prehistoric temples. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and the Brody Arts Fund. Her work has been written about in numerous books and publications. She was recently inducted into the UCLA Oral History Program and in 2004 received a mid-career COLA (City of Los Angeles) fellowship.
In 1975, she moved to Los Angeles to be involved with the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building. There she embraced the notion that feminist art could raise consciousness, invite dialogue, and transform culture. She worked primarily in performance art from 1974-1992, addressing themes such as religion, sexual identity, and the environment. In addition to her solo work, she cofounded collaborative performance groups Feminist Art Workers (1976-81), which merged feminist art and education techniques into interactive performances; and Sisters Of Survival (1981-85), who wore nun’s habits in the spectrum of the rainbow and presented their anti-nuclear performances in Europe and the U.S.
Though Gaulke has moved away from performance, the feminist art strategies that she helped to innovate in the 1970s in southern California continue in her work. Her art continues to be a vehicle for social commentary and as a way to tell the stories of individuals and groups under-represented in society. She works in a variety of media, but mostly video, installation, artist’s books, and public art. Such projects have included a video in collaboration with lesbian and gay teens, a photographic wall installation about lesbian and gay families, a video installation with Latino teenagers about the L.A. River, and a video installation about kids’ perspectives on a river in North Carolina. Gaulke has completed three public art projects — a Metro-Rail Station in Los Angeles that tells stories about an oft-ignored urban river, an outdoor sculptural piece for a library in Lake View Terrace, and three stainless steel and glass glowing “Pillars of Community” for the City of Lakewood. A black granite memorial honoring the service of Filipino WWII veterans was dedicated on November 11, 2006 in a park in Historic Filipino Town, Los Angeles.
* Linton, M. (editor). Doin’ It in Public, Catalog of Exhibition, 2012.
* Payne, R. “Shoe Fetish” (review) Artweek v. 20 (December 21 1989) p. 11-12
* Apple, J. “Circus Moon”(Performance Review, Laguna Art Museum, California). High Performance v. 12 (Spring 1989) p. 68-9
* Geer, S. “Changes of the Moon” (Performance Review, Laguna Art Museum, California). Artweek v. 19 (October 29 1988) p. 6-7
* “The Function of Art in Culture Today” [90 artists, who have appeared in High Performance, offer short statements]. High Performance v. 11 (Spring/Summer 1988) p. 26-75
* Geer, S. “Stamping on Fertile Ground [Performance Review, Church in Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA.) Artweek v. 18 (September 26 1987) p. 8
* Raven, A. (Performance Review, Franklin Furnace, NY). New Art Examiner v. 14 (June 1987) p. 61-2
* Burnham, L. F. “Our Lady of L.A.” High Performance v. 10 no. 3 (1987) p. 98
* Sandford, M. R. “Cheri Gaulke & Christine Papalexis: Virgin” (Performance Review, Franklin Furnace, NY). High Performance v. 10 no. 2 (1987) p. 72-3
* Lieff, L. “The Postcard Project” [interview]. Heresies v. 6 no. 2 ( ) p. 38-40
* James, D. E. “A Case of Blaspheminism” (Performance Review). Artweek v. 16 (June 1 1985) p. 7
* Burnham, L. F. “Revelations of the Flesh [Performance Review, Wilshire United Methodist Church, Los Angeles). High Performance v. 8 no. 2 (1985) p. 64-6
* Wolverton, T. “Taking the Leap (Performance Review, University of California, Los Angeles). Artweek v. 15 (March 31 1984) p. 9
* Norklun, K. “Body Politic” (Performance Review, Church in Ocean Park, Santa Monica, Calif). Artweek v. 14 (May 14 1983) p. 9
* Buchanan, N. “Sure-footed Balancing: DTLA.” Artweek v. 11 (July 5 1980) p. 5-6
* Gaulke, C. “Teaching Environmental Art in Los Angeles.” Artweek v. 24 (September 23 1993) p. 24+
* Scoates, C. Afamilyaffair: Gay and Lesbian Issues of Domestic Life (exhibition catalog from Atlanta College of Art Gallery, March 17-April 31, 1995.
* Brown, B. and A. Raven, Women & Their Art. NewSage Press, 1989.