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Check out Sharon Barnes’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharon Barnes.

Sharon, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My family is a meld of African Americans and Cape Verdeans who lived in Sacramento, CA for five generations. My family moved to Los Angeles when I was a kid. The environment where I grew up in South LA has an incredibly rich and beautiful culture of Black and Latin people that stands in contrast to the struggle that is apparent in these neighborhoods even to a child. It is struggle and resilience, the hard side and beautiful side of life, that I try to capture in my work.

I’ve been fortunate to exhibit my work in major cities of the U.S. and in Panama, including shows in museums, art fairs and universities. But even with this moderate success, I always desire to be a better artist and to be able to say more thought-provoking things in my art. That led me to return to Otis College of Art & Design for graduate-level studies where I’m currently pursuing my MFA in Fine Art. It is a rigorous environment where my professors keep opening up my mind and challenging me to push my art-making processes beyond limitations. I’m planning to reach bigger and better things with all this growth.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make textured paintings and sculptural works, or what I simply call objects because the work I make is mainly about its materiality — its substance. Although I use formal art materials, I layer laborer’s materials and found objects into my works that cause them to become textural and visceral. Most of my work is abstract to give me lots of leeway to express thoughts about the historic and current challenges faced by people of color and women. I use color, material and shape in symbolic, poetic ways to talk about both struggle and resilience.

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
The art market is driven at the higher end, partly because of investment speculation. But it shouldn’t be all about big galleries and big artists. The average person can collect beautiful original art. There is so much great art by artists who aren’t represented by one of the huge galleries that have access to wealthier collectors. The challenge is educating average people to buy original art for their homes, which provides needed support to some really good artists so they can keep making their art.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I exhibit around town all of the time, at least several times a year. I was recently in a group show called “Metropolis” at Bruce Lurie Gallery on La Cienega. I also recently showed my work at Launch LA. People can find me on Instagram @sharonbarnes4702 to keep up with my work and find out where I’m showing next. Since I’m in grad school, there will be upcoming grad student shows at Otis College of Art & Design. Or check out my website I always tell people to support the work of living artists by collecting it. Most artists will work with you on purchases.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
My personal photo is by John Barnes III.

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