Nantucket Portrait: Audrey Sterk

Art on Nantucket and Beyond: Audrey Sterk
By Sara Boyce

Many of us know and love Audrey Sterk. Who wouldn’t? One of Nantucket’s true Renaissance women, Audrey is an artist, musician, furniture designer, wallpaper designer, and decorative painter, (and that’s just the beginning).

Audrey, how long have you been working as an artist?

I’ve been working as an artist since 1995.

And how long have you been on Nantucket?

I arrived for the first time while I was still in college in 1993 and returned full time in 1995.

Audrey Sterk

The Artist at work
How would you describe your work?

I work with a certain interior in mind and coordinate the style, feel and era of the home into the style of my work. As a mural painter and decorative artist, it is important to find the harmony of paint style and interior details. I paint large-scale room murals ranging from two-story entry murals to small powder rooms. I love painting murals, because they encompass the space and are a true representation of how we view landscapes in nature. When you’re outside, you see all around you and painting a scenic mural gives you the feeling that you are enveloped by the landscape.


Audrey Sterk
Audrey Sterk’s landscape mural in a private home
What is inspiring to you about creating art lately? Has that changed?

I feel there’s an exciting movement towards an organic, looser feel and style in mural painting. Typically, murals have been painted in a realistic manner, which is a very nice way to depict a scene. I’ve started to paint with a looser hand and it’s been fun to add a more expressive element to my work.

Audrey Sterk
Audrey Sterk
Examples of Audrey Sterk’s decorative paintingWhat is your impression of the 2011 Nantucket market? Do you see certain trends?

In the decorative arts I do see trends. Being a decorative painter alongside a mural painter, I have requests for a certain technique that seems to be popular during a certain season. For example, this year people really wanted Venetian Plaster in their interiors. I also received requests for patterned floors in an entry or dining room. Adding decorative painting is a wonderful way to bring together rooms with color, texture and pattern. My busiest time of the year is Spring and this year was exceptionally busy, which is a good indication of the market pivoting.

Audrey Sterk      Audrey Sterk
Audrey Sterk’s patterned fireplace hearth
Audrey Sterk

A ceiling detail by Audrey Sterk

Where can people see your work on Nantucket & Beyond…?

My most recent public mural is at Pazzo. I created a surround mural at the back bar featuring our local, social community as well as decorative plaster techniques on the walls.


Audrey Sterk
Audrey Sterk’s surround mural at Pazzo

Mitchell’s Book Corner has an Atlantic Sea Life mural on the walls in the elevator shaft, which you can view going up the stairs.

The Preservation Institute features a portion of a mural in the stairwell.

The Westmoor Club has my decorative painting in the entry as well as the back sitting area.

The Chanticleer Restaurant in ‘Sconset has a hand stencil technique going up the staircase in the entry as well as a patterned floor in the back dining area.

Audrey’s murals are also in private homes on island, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, Providence, the Cape, New York and San Francisco.

Audrey Sterk

The artist at work in her studio

Audrey’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest and New England Home, among other publications. To see the range of her work, check out her website:www.audreysterk.com. Somehow this busy woman find time to exhibit her new line of furniture at design shows, and still appear regularly on stages on Nantucket & Beyond with her band, You Scream, I Scream. For a hilarious role reversal, check out the MTV video of You Scream, I Scream‘s song, “Dog”.

One of Nantucket’s residents who came to the island for 3 weeks and stayed a decade, Sara Boyce has run The Brigham Galleries as an art gallery and now an online auction for fine art (www.TheBrighamGalleries.com). A supporter of the arts and many of the island’s non-profits, she can often be found lending her marketing skills to various non-profits or on the dance floor. If you miss her in her travels and want to share thoughts on the art market on Nantucket & Beyond, drop her a note atSaraBoyce@TheBrighamGalleries.com.

Photo: Lisa Frey

This article originally appeared in the January 16, 2012 edition of Mahon About Town.

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