Sheila Oettinger

Sheila Oettinger has been a professional sculptor for thirty-five years. She maintains a studio at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston, Illinois. The primary source of inspiration throughout her career is the human figure, especially the female figure, and her principal medium remains stoneware, a high fired ceramic.

In the early years Oettinger’s sculptures were classically realistic. She worked from live models and focused on an individual’s unique qualities of spirit and body. As time has passed, her sculptures have become more abstract and personal. In recent years, her work focuses on gesture and movement and in the beauty of pure organic form. In some of these new sculptures, the figure disappears.

Her art includes tiny miniature pieces in cast silver, worn as jewelry to life-sized figures that have been installed in several outdoor public and private settings. Some of my work is cast into silver, aluminum and bronze or combines metal with ceramic. The ceramic sculptures have surface patinas created with metallic oxides, stains, and oil pigments.

Oettinger received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Urbana and studied in Europe, Mexico, and in Chicago at The Art Institute of Chicago.

She has been teaching figurative sculpture for over twenty years at the Evanston Art Center and working as a visiting artist and docent in a program called “Sculpture in the Classroom” run by the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park for over ten years. Currently, Oettinger serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Sculpture Park.

© Sheila Oettinger