LOS ANGELES, CA (April 18, 2012)—SCI-Arc today announced it has elected two new trustees to its ranks: SCI-Arc alumna Abigail (Abby) Scheuer (M.Arch ’93) and Los Angeles philanthropist and developer Abby Sher. "Two design visionaries, twin Abby's, one from the east, one from the west, will now meet on the SCI-Arc Board,” remarked SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. "It is a double coup for architecture and culture in Los Angeles."
The 25-member SCI-Arc Board is chaired by land-use attorney Jerry Neuman, who stated “At the center of SCI-Arc are creativity and an enduring ability to challenge convention and change it for the better. Our two new trustees personify these core values, bringing an incredible amount of expertise, vision and leadership to the board and our school. We are pleased to welcome them to the SCI-Arc community.” The SCI-Arc Board includes noted individuals such as Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Ted Tanner, Kevin Ratner, Tom Gilmore and Rick Carter. The trustees unanimously elected Scheuer and Sher at their quarterly meeting held April 13 in Los Angeles.
Abigail (Abby) Scheuer received her Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc in 1993. While in school, she interned with architect Peter Eisenman and SCI-Arc founding faculty Ray Kappe. Upon returning to New York, Scheuer worked for the architecture firm Perkins Eastman, then at a boutique firm specializing in high-end residential projects. In 1997, she co-founded Atema Scheuer Design with fellow alumnus Ate Atema (M. Arch ‘93); their firm focused on commercial and residential projects. During this time, she was a member of the Women in Architecture and Housing Committees of the AIA NY chapter. With the birth of her daughter, Scheuer became a full time mother and focused on fundraising, advocacy and community outreach. She is on the board of KiDS of NYU Medical Center Foundation; on the advisory board and recently elected to the board of directors of the Jazz Foundation of America; is a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) New York Council, and of the Studio Partners Leadership of Studio in a School, which supports visual arts programming in NYC public schools; and co-founded Green Team in collaboration with NYC Partnerships for Parks and the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Scheuer has served on the SCI-Arc Alumni Council since 2010, recently co-hosting the Alumni and Friends New York event at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Alumni and Friends Los Angeles event at the L House in Culver City.
Abby Sher grew up in Los Angeles in a house designed by mid-century modernist architect Douglas Honnold, and from an early age architecture has been an important influence in her life. Sher studied French Literature at UCLA, followed by a Masters degree in Liguistics. Later, while working as a Clinical Linguist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, she authored the Diagnostics Specifications Manual (DSM) III category “Elective Mutism.” In the 1980s, Sher developed Edgemar on Main Street in Santa Monica. Under her guidance, the Edgemar Farms egg-processing plant was transformed into an inventive mixed-use center designed by SCI-Arc trustee Frank Gehry. Sher enjoys a wide range of interests that have found expression in a variety of diverse and imaginative projects. Her creative pursuits have included making an award-winning documentary film about the Pacific Northwestern woodsman and artist Dudley Carter (1891-1992); founding the Santa Monica Museum of Art as part of the development of Edgemar; performing the political performance art piece A Red Line Connects Us for six months in 2006, and writing an accompanying blog; and performing the Ramayana at REDCAT in 2010 with the CalArts Balinese gamelan group, Burat Wangi. Sher has served on the boards of several social justice, social service and homelessness organizations including Chrysalis, the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Westside Family Health Center, and The Shefa Fund. She is interested in contemporary "new music" and provided the lead gift and name for the CalArts outdoor music pavilion, The Wild Beast, designed by Hodgetts + Fung.