Cheryl Foster

What is your professional background/expertise?

As a large – scale public artist, I enhance community spaces for communities along the east coast. Glass and metal are my preferred materials and mosaics are my area of expertise.

How did you come to know/work with Kelley Oklesson?

In completing a major project for the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities, I was in search of a landscaping specialist to put the icing on the cake with natural ground cover. The Commission recommended Kelley, as a person who had worked successfully with other artists on numerous major projects. We met at the site and I was immediately struck by her professionalism and knowledge. She offered several valuable recommendations in a timely fashion. I was quite pleased with the visual outcome and we have worked together on projects ever since our original encounter.

What was something that you learned while working with Kelley?

As a visual artist, I have found that sometimes it is difficult to verbally convey your vision to other members of the team. Even drawings can fall short of sharing thoughts dwelling in your imagination. Kelley’s patience and supportive and respectful tone, made it easy to talk thru adjustments. She took the time to listen to my concerns and converse in my communication style. Kelley never appears to be rushed and that counts when problems arise on site.

Were there any challenges or changes in plans and how did Kelley handle it?

There are always bumps in the road that we have no control of and Kelley’s calm demeanor and quick thinking saved the day on a number of occasions. She can be counted upon to communicate clearly in high level meetings and resolve complex problems thoughtfully, when they arise.

What did you enjoy about working with Kelley and how did she compare to working with other design professionals?

Due to her passion for her work Kelley travels to research other interesting or distinctive projects. We often spent time looking at inspiring photos of unique projects throughout the United States. This photographic library served as a catalyst of ideas for current and future projects.

What piece of advice would you give those considering hiring a design professional?

“Accepting help doesn’t always mean being out of control” As artists, we often work in a vacuum and adding members to your team can often feel like you are relinquishing control. Kelley walks softly and I have found that working with her is a welcome opportunity to share ideas and accept concepts that are birthed outside of myself. This has only enhanced my work and enriched my outcomes.