The foundation of our mission here at desirablethings is to champion artists and designers who are on the frontier of their craft.  So naturally I wanted to include a very talented friend of mine Cheryl R. Riley, a gifted wonderfully creative and talented Artist, Designer and Consultant!

Inspiration: “Commemorates my trips through the vast and beautifully rich American Southwest.” Media: Honduran mahogany, beveled mirror, brass tacks, found and made objects such as sea horse and turtle shell.

Cheryl’s ingenious art includes various forms of creative disciplines including furniture design (custom and collections),  and her creations has exhibited in over 25 museums, over 50 galleries i.e, Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, and the Mint Museum of Architecture and Design in Charlotte, NC (to name a few) and acquired by some of the top Curators in America for permanent collections.  Take a look at some of her creations and note the intrinsic astuteness she has with details and the unique combination of media used. (Don’t forget to click onto the photos to get a better visual appreciation to the details/elements of the design).

Inspiration (right): The surface design was taken from a Bukuba cloth pattern, and the legs recalls her love of Greek mythology. Media: Patina and rusted sheet steel, alder and gold metal powder in wax.

Inspiration: Baroque and Victorian influences. Media: Maple, mahogany, brass tacks, with a tarnished gold leaf offset by tack-studded animal feet.

Inspiration: Custom designed for writer Terry McMillan’s “Fun Room” utilizing a Fulani beaded necklace she noticed in her dressing room that she never wore.  Media: Maple, Italian glass beads, cooper wire, bronze tacks, stainless steel legs (used for version 1, version 2 used legs made with solid maple).
I’m inspired by her work, because it’s so eclectic and contemporary and each peice has its own individual signature and style.  She seems to re-purpose the most ordinary things, from beads, to feathers, shells, glass, steel, and use natural objects and substances such wood, resin, luminous metals, patina and rusted material, amber, cooper and unusual hardware.  There is a plethora of information to share with you about Cheryl Riley, such as her experience in servicing non-profit boards including The American Craft Council and Capp Street Project.  Also, her commitment to the Artist community in Jersey City and African-American women in art, which you will learn more about in future posts.  So, stay tuned-in for upcoming projects and additional creations from this wonderful artist and more details about her contributions to the art & design world.  Let’s tantalize the senses with one more creation from Cheryl’s Mirror Series titled “Because You’re Worth It.”
Dimensions: 24″W x APR. x 6″D x 38″H
Inspiration: “The frames are more important than the actual mirrors as they must always be covered with a material that is historically or currently used as a means of exchange.” Media: MDF, leather, macaw feathers, gold ink, escutcheon pins, cooper and steel wire, beveled mirrors, amber, brass, resin, glass, and bone beads.

If you wish to contact Cheryl for a project or art consultation you can do so by sending her an email at:

Photo Credits: Robert Baldridge, David Livingston, George Chinsee