Cheryl Wrangle: The Arts as Common Ground

Winter, 2018.19

Methow Valley artist, Cheryl Wrangle, sees the arts as a way to bring people and communities together. “We live in a divided world,” Wrangle says. “Divisions are often encouraged. This keeps us from coming together when trying to solve problems and prevents our full appreciation of each other as the problems become more important than the people.”

“In divided times,” Wrangle says, “we find ourselves separated by ideas, words, opinions and beliefs, with no common ground.”

But the arts, Wrangle believes, can bring people back together. “The arts are common ground, a place that welcomes—in fact champions—diversity,” she says. “We can all enjoy the arts together and see that our common humanity is more important than our beliefs or opinions. We are all connected.”

Like her assessment of the current socio-political climate, Wrangle’s artwork is introspective and spiritual. Through her work, she aims to reveal the inner response we have when we view the material world. This inner response of “appreciation of beauty or horror at atrocity,” says Wrangle, must be communicated with others, in order to “share a vision” and “challenge others to believe in and find their own equally valid inner knowledge and intuition.”

As a former teaching artist for Methow Arts, Wrangle has spent many hours creating art with students. “Children are very connected to their vulnerable inner spirit,” says Wrangle, but become disconnected from it by the material world. She believes that making and appreciating art can keep children connected to their “naturally creative, loving, trusting and self-respected selves.”

“It’s rewarding to teach art to kids,” Wrangle says, “because they have so much to teach us about self-expression. The arts are a validating and encouraging antidote for kids to appreciate that inner life of feeling, creating, and valuing who they are.”

Learn more about Wrangle at