Happy Monday, Everyone! This week’s featured artist is Amy Sherald. I was fascinated researching Ms Sherald and her body of work.
Amy Sherald (born 1973) is an American painter based in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work started out autobiographical in nature, but has taken on a social context ever since she moved to Baltimore.She is best known for her portrait paintings that address social justice, as well as her choice of subjects, which are drawn from outside of the art historical narrative. Through her work, she takes a closer look at the way people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations. Sherald is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery.
Early life and education
Amy Sherald was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1973. As a child, she was never surrounded by art because it was never an interest for her family. Her mother only supported art as a summer program and never as a career, until she won the National Gallery Portrait Competition. She studied at the Clark Atlanta University, where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in painting in 1997. After that, she became an apprentice to Dr. Arturo Lindsay, who was an art history professor at Spelman College.In 1997, she was also a part of the Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence program in Portobelo, Panama. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004, where she earned her M.F.A. in painting. After gaining her M.F.A, she lived and studied with painter Odd Nerdrum in Larvik, Norway. In 2008 she attained an artist residency assistantship at the Tong Xion Art Center in Beijing, China.[
Sherald’s work focuses on issues of race and identity in the American South. Her experience of being one of very few black students to attend a private school often influences her work. At the beginning of her career, she started out by installing and curating shows in the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo and the 1999 South American Biennale in Lima, Peru. Recently, her work was acquired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art.She also has helped to organize and install international exhibitions in Central and South America.
In October 2017 it was announced that Sherald and Kehinde Wiley had been chosen to paint official portraits of Michelle Obama and Barack Obama to be held in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.