Cherylle Booker is a ceramic artist and painter. Booker takes inspiration from her personal and emotional life, as well as greek mythology. Combining these vast and expansive ideas and emotions, Booker translates these ideas into her pieces to create a discussion around universally shared experiences.
Booker describes her works as a therapeutic process, “Emotions and memories are something that comes into play. Sometimes I am just working things out. If I am feeling a certain emotion to take the clay or the painting to personify that, it helps me process those emotions and to allow other people to have a glimpse into how those things feel to me and maybe other people who are in other situations."
As a child, Booker would watch PBS and become inspired by Bob Ross and Mister Rodgers. The artist and host would lead her to create sculptures of flowers made from colored paper and salt dough clay with her mother. Her grandparents also brought her great inspiration with their collection of encyclopedias and children's books.
Booker would also later convince her art teacher to let her stay after school to learn how to create ceramic masks. It was in these experiences in which inspiration first struck the artist.
Booker also discusses her emotional experience in being a neurodivergent person with her elaborate ceramic Mask pieces. In one of her Mask pieces, Booker takes the idea of personifying wrath. The piece features a white mask with a black snake emerging from the mouth in an upwards position to bite the third eye.
Booker states, “When you are in that state, and you are speaking to people in a wrath-like way, that shuts down your intuition and your higher nature. The third eye represents your intuition and the best or pure part of yourself, and there are emotions that you can have that can shut that down, while the more positive emotions open that up”.
In discussing social justice issues, Booker takes her family's experience share-cropping and her own experiences of racial profiling. Booker states that she wants to help fight and stand for these causes, “I can take a piece that is related to that and try to make it where it is easily understandable to everyone. I am open about telling these stories about my family, about my experiences, because that is what is going to bring us all together”.
Cherylle is now open to commissions. She lives in Chicago's Forest Park neighborhood, and she has been with Project Onward since 2019.