• Cecile Corral

Artist, designer Cheri Blum dies

Cheri Blum, an artist whose floral and nature motifs on painted cracked linen backgrounds are prolifically portrayed in home textiles in all categories, died suddenly on Nov. 4 at her home here on the banks of the Sassafras River.

She was 34. Wild Apple Graphics, fine art publisher and licensing company, published Blum's art since 1996 and licensed her work since 1999.

"Cheri Blum has been an important part of our company's success and a cherished member of the Wild Apple family," said Laurie Chester, co-founder, Woodstock, VT-based Wild Apple. "We will miss her greatly."

Blum, the daughter of Joseph and Joanne Novotny Blum, was born Sept. 24, 1969, in Baltimore. She was a 1987 graduate of St. Mark's High School in Wilmington, DE, and had followed her dream of becoming an artist when she entered the Fine Arts Program at Marywood University in Scranton, PA. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 1991.

Industry executives, including her home textiles licensees, were surprised and saddened by the news of her death.

New York City-based Croscill Home was a Blum's licensee for the past three years. "She was a young girl, a talented artist and this is just a shame. Success came easily to her," said Carl Legreca, vp, merchandising and marketing, bath products and decorative accessories. "We loved her a lot, and we've been very successful with her work. The industry will miss her."

Added Merle Johnson, vp, marketing, Sugar Valley, GA-based Mohawk Home, which has been Blum's licensee for rugs, mats, throws and pillows for the past three years: "Her artwork has been an inspiration for design and decor in the home furnishings industry. Her legacy will live on through her artwork."

Other home textiles licensees include American Blanket, Avanti, Hedaya Home Fashions, The Rug Market and Tweel Home Furnishings. Blum had a total of 40 licensees.

Blum's life was celebrated at a Catholic mass Nov. 10 at Corpus Christi Church in Elsmere, DE.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by three brothers and a sister-in-law, Christopher and Denise Blum of Warwick, Craig E. Blum of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., and Cary A. Blum of Wilmington; her maternal grandparents, Frank and Genevieve Novotny of Hanover, Pa.; two nephews, Chase Blum and Evan Blum; a niece, Cassidy Blum; and extended family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, Wild Apple has asked that donations be sent to Cheri Blum Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Mark's High School, 2501 Pike Creek Road, Wilmington, DE, 19808.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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