Don Sherman


November 11 – December 17, 2021

SMAC Gallery

509 W Main Street, Marshall, MN 56258
(Mailing address: PO Box 55)


Regular office hours are:
Monday-Friday 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm


If you would like to schedule a private viewing or coordinate a visit outside regular office hours, please contact us via email at:

Don Sherman

This exhibit is about handmade papermaking and its foundational application to other art media, project design and social practice. The value of papermaking is recognized for its historic importance and its potential as a substrate for interdisciplinary and personal development within aesthetics, sciences, health, and environment.

Don’s work focuses on making handmade paper from plants with good fiber structure that grow in western Minnesota. His attention connects to the earth’s raw materials and how they appeal to conservation, wellbeing, aesthetic expressiveness, and social engagement. He shares this interest through exhibitions and by providing workshops in his studio or in community settings where participants can familiarize with two- and three-dimensional methods, materials, and the creative process of turning raw, natural fibers into useful paper.

Since 1964, Don has been designing “community involvement through arts” programs, a concept he picked up from Professor Jim Brutger, at the U of M, Duluth. These projects are about redesigning, repurposing, and the reallocating overlooked resources to basic needs. This work has evolved through various start-up projects in high schools, colleges, a correctional institution, and local community settings in the Midwest. Some specific examples are: an arts and recreation program for those imprisoned, initiator and co-founder of the Upper Minnesota River Valley Meander and also, the Bonanza Education Center, and facilitator of the College Now art mentorship program for high school teachers and students. He served as a local organizing agent for improving local education with the U of M Humphrey Institute for School Change.

He has presented regionally on arts in healthcare and as an ArtSage resident nursing home artist/exhibitor. Relatedly, he found ways to organize a community-built playground and pickleball courts for all ages. His documentary trips to folk schools in America and Europe underlie a devotion to promoting hands-on, needs-based learning experiences and democratic community building practices.

Don has a BA from the University of Minnesota, Morris and holds a MFA degree from the University of Arizona. He is a MN Naturalist, with memberships in SciArt, North American Hand Papermakers, Handpapermakers, and Sustainable Farming Association. He has also served numerous times on the state and regional arts review panels.

With the help of a grant from SMAC, he completed a papermaking internship at CavePaper, with Amanda DeGener in Minneapolis in 2020. The grant also contributed to outfitting his studio with tools, equipment and know-how to understand efficient and effective ways to produce paper that is indigenous to the region and suitable to the new forms of expression that are appearing through exhibits and workshops he is developing in the region.

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