Sheri discovered at 13 - continues to inspire at 74!

I was reminded of the tv theme song, “she can turn the room on with her smile” upon meeting Sheri. Numerous people suggested I speak with Sheri about pro-aging and embracing aging.  She embodies what it is to age gracefully.  Self described as an artist, hiker, traveler, writer and life lover.

At 74, Sheri illuminates confidence, strength and grace through her art, personality and outlook on life.  It all began at 13 when her mother enrolled in Adrian Modeling in hopes of helping her overcome her shyness.  I guess it worked, in addition this Look Magazine cover, Sheri graced many Confession covers and won the prestigious Miss Rheingold title (the 2nd largest election after the president).  Sheri’s modeling career continues today!

Family & Early Career: Sheri married young (since divorced) and moved to Denver. From 13 to 39, she never took a break from modeling until 1982 when she moved to Marin from Hawaii.  She has four kids and four grandkids. When Sheri moved to Marin, she become involved in doing road art (making art out of found or recycled pieces).  In addition to Road Art, Sheri also did paper quilts to make money in the beginning of her art career. Sheri taught at Drake High School & Tam High School through the Adult Ed program and was also involved in Youth in Arts program.

Start in Art: Sheri entry into the art world was via an artist boyfriend who was painting while she was writing. She started dabbling with art and her first project was an art quilt, later taking a design class at COM, making the famous pin.  People liked the pin so much that they wanted to buy it so Sheri made more and people bought more, thus started her commercial art business. Her art has supported off and on over her career and she still makes a little bit of money here or there.

Life Today: After the election of 2016, Sheri felt we were headed into a frightening and unknown era and the only thing to do at that moment was something kind, something for others. She had made quilts for the Linus Project (, an organization which gives quilts to kids in the hospital or shelters, so Sheri decided to make some more, this activity engaged her mind and disengaged it, for the moment, from the political climate.

The Kindness Project: One of the most thoughtful of Sheri’s is the Kindness Project. Kindness can change the world but we can’t count on it.  In the meantime, a kind act might make at least two people feel better for a least that moment.  Even the small things, like letting someone else take that parking space you were waiting for or letting someone go in front of you in traffic, can change someone’s day.  Sheri asked friends to send her their everyday acts of kindness and created the Kindness Project book.

For the past 20+ years, Sheri and a group of six art friends stay creatively active by exchanging resources and doing local collaborative projects together.  In addition to Linus Project quilts, Sheri works in paper making quilts and books (Kindness Project).  She and her boyfriend, Ken work together on team art projects too!

Everyday Life: In addition to art, Sheri stays active with hiking, yoga and Pilates.  One of her favorite hikes was an adventure with a group of friends enjoying the 7 day, 86 mile Hadrian Wall Path ( in England.

Shopping: She loves shopping at Seattle’s Value Village ( with her daughter and does most of her Marin shopping at consignment/thrifts stores too.  Bloom, formerly Image for Success, is a frequent venue for shopping.  She has an eclectic style so for value, quality and variety thrift stores provide the greatest resource for shopping.

Are we embracing aging? Sheri commented that currently no but it’s mostly due to social conditioning.  We are conditioned to not expect mature faces in marketing and advertising so with some reconditioning expect Sheri to become one of the faces of pro-aging.

In closing, Sheri left me with this: “You’re here for a good time not a long time, so make the most of it!



Stephanie O'Dell