Sylvia Solochek Walters Biography

Sylvia Solochek Walters

American

1938-

Biography

Sylvia Solochek Walters, printmaker, educator, and administrator, was born Sylvia Solocheck in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 24, 1938. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees (B.S., M.S., M.F.A.) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, began her teaching career in 1963. She taught painting, printmaking and art history for several years at public and private colleges in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and New York State. She moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1967 eventually joining the staff at the University of Missouri at St. Louis where she founded and chaired the art department, and, for ten years served as gallery director. In 1984, Walters was invited to join the faculty and to chair the art department at San Francisco State University. She was chairwoman until 2004 and was awarded Professor Emerita status in 2009. 

She continued to teach relief printmaking at San Francisco State University and produced a body of highly detailed reductive woodcuts. Her work, which began in the late 1950s with strong black and white figurative compositions, gradually incorporated more subtle narratives. She developed an inventive technique combining stencil and wood that allowed her to use a full color palette in her prints using a single block of wood.

Walters' work has been featured in over 300 exhibitions internationally with thirty-four awards, several of them for book design. Her work is held in the collections of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Chazen Museum of Art, Judah Magnes Museum, Library of Congress, Milwaukee Art Museum, New York Public Library, Oakland Museum of California, Saint Louis Art Museum, as well as many private and corporate collections.