Sommerhoff, Herrat


My eyes caught sight of large boxy bundles of white Styrofoam regularly being discarded at a warehouse. When taken home and laid out on the lawn, there were clean, straight shapes, with a low set-back pattern. I envisioned a COLUMN out of 8 identical pieces, to be painted in primary and secondary colors, (Red, blue, yellow and green, orange, violet), etc  — AFTER assemblage and the application of a stucco finish. To add more interest, I attached found, painted shapes to the “simple” column. The result is this sculpture, SENTINEL XXI.

Stucco stands up better in all weather conditions than other materials I have used. It can be power-washed and repainted when needed.

My sculpture on the RIVER VALE Library has been cleaned twice in 10 years and currently looks brand new.



This fiberglass cat was part of a public arts project in the Catskills during the summer of 2014. It was sponsored by a local tourist organization and chosen to be the “raffle” cat in the fundraiser. I attended the gala and auction of the other 50 cats and purchased several raffle tickets for my cat at the last minute; – To my great and pleasant surprise, I won my cat back and have exhibited it ever since. The cat is now located in Leonia’s sculpture garden next to the gazebo.

I enjoy participating in public arts projects. My images are covering traffic control boxes, recycled doors and rain barrels. It is a pleasure to see a delighted public visiting Main Street or a sculpture park, walking from one sculpture to another, admiring its shapes and colors.

Past Works



Herrat Sommerhoff was born and educated in Germany. After immigrating to the United States she began her art studies at Bergen Community College and continued at the Art Students League in New York as well as at the Art Center of Northern New Jersey in New Milford. Her outdoor sculptures are made out of found Styrofoam packing material covered with flexible cement. They are on exhibit in River Vale and Clifton, New Jersey; in Oak Creek, Colorado; and in the Catskills in New York. Her most recent solo exhibit abroad was at the Ministry of the Environment in Berlin, Germany. Sommerhoff is affiliated with the Art Center of Northern New Jersey, SALUTE to Women in the Arts, and NAWA (National Association of Women Artists) in New York City. Her artwork is in numerous collections. Last summer Ms. Sommerhoff was the grant recipient for a public arts project, “The Doors of Roxbury” in the Catskills. For information please go to


Herrat Sommerhof

This sculpture is located in the sculpture garden. At every construction site dumpsters seem to be overflowing with wood, new as well as old. Pallets, having carried heavy materials, are being discarded. There seems to be no further use for the wood. – Wrong! – For some time, I have been picking up pallets to take apart and use in artwork.

Creating outdoor sculpture is my preferred art form – at least right now. There is no limit to size of the artwork, there is lots of exhibition space, and many more people have a chance to see it.

Preparing the wood properly and using high-quality paints, acrylics as well as oils –  covered with varnish – preserve the artwork and make it last many years – even when exposed to the elements.

This sculpture was inspired by some of Paul Klee’s  “grid” work. –

After horizontal pieces of painted boards were attached to the 4 verticals, it looked like a weaving.  Since I was concerned that it might be too rigid, I started to attach playful shapes, also cut from pallets, which changed the piece completely.

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