At Night, thread on fabric, 36 x 48 inches

Scherer’s observations…in textiles are like soulful paintings. I left the exhibition with a heightened sense of the precious fragility of life… Here is an art that gives generously to its audience.”
                 …Robert Amos, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC, March 2, 2006

Surrounded by Family & Friends is a series of six thread-on-fabric tableaus that depict culturally diverse family groups and individuals who are caring for a loved one who is dying. This work invites a broad spectrum of response about dying as a natural part of life within the context of community and relationship. Scherer received a Fine Arts Fellowship from the Open Society’s Project on Death in America to complete the series. She was honored by the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine’s 2008 Humanities Award and the Rhode Island School of Design’s 2010 Alumni Association Award for Artistic Achievement  “for the innovative medium of textile art she has developed, and for her thought-provoking investigations of our society’s views of aging, reflections on life, death, family relationships and the welfare of future generations.”

“Surrounded by Family and Friends” is featured in Camilla Rockwell’s film, HOLDING OUR OWN: EMBRACING THE END OF LIFE, which was screened at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and broadcast on Vermont Public Television. It is still available as a DVD and recently viewable for free on YouTube.


“I was just recently introduced to your work through a class of mine. I’m a second-year medical student at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in Huntington, WV. Our assignment is to study each piece in your “Surrounded by Family and Friends” series and submit a reflection for each.”  …Joseph Chirico

“Both in subject matter and technique, the fabric and thread paintings by Deidre Scherer at the Brattleboro (VT) Museum & Art Center are truly amazing. …(they) help us envision what choices we might have in our own last days as well as put us in awe of the unknowable experience of dying. The comforting presence of quilts or blankets tucked around the frail bodies of the bedridden figures heightens our awareness of how fabric is a soothing and healing presence throughout life’s course.”
….Nina Bander, The Recorder, “Artist Focuses Work on Family, Friends, Death”,  Greenfield, MA,  2001

For exhibitions and presentations, contact  For catalogue, see Surrounded by Family & Friends. All of the “Surrounded by Family and Friends” images are available as Archival Prints by emailing the titles to the artist at


LAYERS, thread on fabric, 15 x 13”, frame 25 x 22”

The Last Year, a series of ten thread on fabric works, portrays the final months in the life of an elderly woman. With compassion and respect, they chronicle the woman’s journey toward death, from the onset of her decline, through brief reprieves of renewed strength, and finally, to acceptance and release. Each work depicts a visually compelling moment, while raising universal and social issues that surround the processes of aging, dying and grieving. Scherer notes that her work “…provokes a dialogue that is essential to our times and our lives.”

“I’ve thought about your art quite a bit over the years. Loving the pieces I have, but uncomfortable with the end of life works. However, I must say that it is those pieces that have helped me prepare for my parents’ last days. My father last year, and my mom in hospice now. Your images somehow give me comfort, I think because of the compassion in them. Over time they helped me grapple with the inevitable. I am less fearful, and I thank you.”     …E. Wright, MA

For scheduling exhibitions and presentations, contact Deidre Scherer at

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS for Last Year and Surrounded by Family & Friends

2015    First Congregational Church Wolfeboro, both LY & SBFF, Wolfeboro, NH
2013    San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, LY, San Jose, CA
            Bigelow Gallery, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, both LY & SBFF, New Brighton, MN
2009    Greenville Museum of Art, both LY & SBFF, Greenville, NC
2008    “Holding Our Own”, film screened at Museum of Fine Arts Boston, on Vermont Public Television broadcast, also available as a DVD and free on YouTube.
             The Appleton Museum of Art, SBFF, Ocala, FL
2007     Hebrew Union College–Institute of Religion Museum, SBFF,   New York City, NY
2006    Maltwood Art Museum, University of Victoria, both LY & SBFF, Victoria, BC
2005    Drury Gallery, Marlboro College, SBFF, Marlboro, VT
2004    Washington Center for the Performing Arts, SBFF, Olympia, WA
2003    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, SBFF, Lebanon, NH
             Genet Gallery, Syracuse University, SBFF, Syracuse, NY
             Thirty Distinguished Quilt Artists of the World, SBFF, Tokyo, Japan
2002     Int’l Congress on Care of the Terminally Ill, Palais d Congres, SBFF, Montreal, Canada
              Karl Drerup Gallery, Plymouth State College, both LY & SBFF, Plymouth, NH
2001     Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, SBFF, Brattleboro, VT
              Syracuse Stage, “The Last Year” accompanied the play “Wit”, Syracuse, NY
2000     Museum of American Quilter’s Society, LY, Paducah, KY
1999    The Memorial Union Art Gallery, University of California, LY, Davis, CA
              Dennos Museum Center, LY, Traverse City, MI
1998     Cahoon Museum of American Art, LY, Cotuit, MA
1997     Everson Museum of Art, LY, Syracuse, NY
1995     Redding Museum of Art and History, LY, Redding, CA
1994     Int’l Congress on Care of the Terminally Ill, Palais d Congres, The Last Year, Montreal, Canada
              Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery, LY, Keene, NH
1993     The Dorchester Arts Center, LY, Cambridge, MA
1992     Williams College Museum of Art, LY, Williamstown, MA
              Viterbo College, National Cancer Conference, LY, LaCrosse, WI
1990     Social Movement Gallery, LY, Nashville, TN


“Dad’s Last Day” is an extraordinary, unflinching portrait—both opening a portal and a healing.”                 …C. Isobel,  CA

DAD’S LAST DAY, thread on fabric, 16 x 19 inches

Based on a drawing that I did at his bedside, this is my father on his last day. Throughout his seventies, eighties and nineties, I drew and sketched him multiple times. This is my final thread-on-fabric portrait of him which took four years for me to begin and then nearly four years to complete. This piece is presently featured in Life-Lines, an on-line exhibition curated by Sebastien Carre of Strasbourg, France: Surface Design Association 

For scheduling exhibitions and presentations, contact Deidre Scherer at