E. Sherman Hayman

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Year Participated: 1995, 2000, & 2007

How did showing in the exhibition impact your career as an artist?

“I remember wonderful openings – connecting with other artists, and feeling so proud to be included.”

Artist Statement


This two year project plays with the current, overused idiom ‘like’, a seemingly benign word that has come to serve several purposes. It has become a buffer providing a pause before the speaker must commit to a particular feeling. It mitigates the adjective about to be used. And finally, it acts as a reticence to state something with clarity.

The adjective in each piece of SO I WAS, LIKE…. is portrayed, both in font and background, in such a way as to illuminate the emotion and state of mind involved.

Having used text liberally throughout the years, SO I WAS, LIKE…. continues this trajectory as it relates to language/image/text, and now highlights my own feelings both past and present. Memories converge…. Sometimes collide and consume each other, sometimes stay hidden for years and become mind mulch. But emotions lie in the wake, leave a residue, and dictate our states of mind. Thus does this series deal with my OWN.

My usual studio practice is Sgraffito and mixed media on museum board, which allows me to have maximum textural and color effect. Sgraffito involves laying down base coats of wax and oil crayon, layered with iridescent oil pastels, then using various tools to scratch through the layers and also digging into the 4ply museum board to peel up certain areas.

Artist Biography

Born in Newport News, Virginia, Hayman studied literature at Hollins College (now Hollins University) in Roanoke, VA., studied art in Paris, and later moved to Philadelphia to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Major exhibitions over the past years include those at Cerulean Arts (Philadelphia), Goggleworks (Reading, PA), Lake Eustis Museum of Art (Florida), Rosenfeld Gallery (Philadelphia), James Oliver Gallery (Philadelphia), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington (Virginia). Selected group shows and invitationals include InLiquid-Crane Arts – “Nursery Rhymes for Questionable Times” (Philadelphia); The Heller Museum – “One Nation” (NYC); The National Liberty Museum – “Deconstructing Bowie”, “Philly’s Freedom” (Philadelphia); Art in City Hall (Philadelphia), and The Philadelphia Foundation (with the Philadelphia Art Alliance).

Hayman’s studio practice for the past 20 years has focused mainly on social issues (gun violence, politics, death customs, inner lives of artists), but has always embraced text as image.