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Art & Life with Tess Mosko Scherer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tess Mosko Scherer.

Tess, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My path has had its fair share of twists and turns that have gotten me to this place that I am in right now. Like most other kids, I began life as an artist. Shy and timid, I took to art as a way to express myself. I loved books and reading, and learned how to combine the two. My roots are in the book arts, although primarily self-taught. As the books became more complicated, the book structure became less important and eventually fell away, becoming the genesis of my art. My art has sewn elements that stem from my book work, and is an integral part of what I do.

However, I got sidetracked from making art onto a different and unexpected path. While in college, I got a job working in a gallery. First as a framer, then marketing, eventually, manager, and finally sales. I excelled in each position, bringing a new energy and perspective to the already successful business. Long story short, I fell in love with the founder, we married, and I had a 30-year career as a gallerist. I loved it. I loved working with our artists and clients. I loved making the connection of a piece of art with a collector.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My path changed again when we closed the gallery in 2006 and eventually divorced a few years later. These unexpected changes gave me time to create art. My compositions are simple, minimalistic. Working with pastels on paper and a limited palette, I may build up 10 or 12 layers of color. I inscribe marks, sometimes in the form of words, patterns, or line into the paper, which is torn and sewn together. There is a narrative to my work – literally and figuratively. Some pieces have words strewn within the composition and the narrative is quite literal. With other pieces, there are no words, but a visual narrative of our inner landscape. My most recent work has a book-like structure that I use as a symbol for the human figure. This symbol is beginning to morph and I am excited to see where it goes.

Often my art is guided by my interest and study of the human psyche, specifically the light and shadow theories of Carl Jung, I excavate human emotions and archetypal energies that prevail in our human nature and explore the imbalances between the complex machinations of our inner world and the outer world in which we are seen.  My work comes from a place deep within myself and because it is so personal, it becomes universal. Because it is individual, it becomes the voice of the collective. I am always surprised to hear admiration and respect from artists whose work I admire and respect.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
The challenges I have faced have made me stronger, opened me to opportunities and possibilities and forced me to flex my courage muscle. The truth is, the biggest challenge I have had to overcome as an artist, has been myself. Overcoming my fears around exposure and judgment – not of the work itself, but of myself as the creator of the work and what I am expressing. I had to overcome my insecurities and dance with being vulnerable.

And for me, there’s a paradox in that. For nearly 30 years of my career, I coached artists on this very issue. I honestly didn’t expect that I would suddenly find myself insecure putting my work out in public. And yet, there I was at my first show, tongue-tied! I had to coach myself as I had coached all these other artists for all those years. This launched a parallel path, I became a certified life coach and opened a private practice working primarily with artists.  Together, I help them overcome fears, build a business plan, a marketing strategy, website, or whatever they need. I offer workshops primarily on marketing and sales. Selling from the H.E.A.R.T. is a program I developed to help other artists navigate the slippery slope of presenting and selling their work.

We need to change the myth from the starving artist to the hero’s journey – the successful artist. For most artists we create multiple income streams. Keep going. Find alternate income paths that fuel you rather than deplete you. Stay true to the work.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can support my work, and the work of other artists by building collections of artists whose work you respond to, relate to in some way. Hopefully my work is included in the collection. In our industrial, digitized world, surrounding yourself with handmade works of art is more important than ever. My work can be found at Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery, 156 S Montezuma St # B, Prescott, AZ 86303

My work can also be found at the Eye lounge group show in September, 2018; December 2018; and March, 2019 as well as a solo (or maybe two person) show in July/Aug 2019.  Eye Lounge is located at 419 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Addtionally, I will be a guest artist at the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, November 16-18 & 23-25, 2018.  Studio #24, 6315 E. Old West Way, Cave Creek, Az 85331. My work can be found in other local and national shows. Please visit my website:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos courtesy of the artist, except:
Tess at the wheel: courtesy David Lloyd Bradley
eye lounge gallery image: courtesy William LeGoullon

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Barbara Bayless Lacy

    September 19, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Wonderful article about an AMAZING woman artist!

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