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painter | United States

Sharon Shapiro

Sharon Shapiro - painter
"I create images of the social and private lives of women and children as a means to express vulnerability, chronicling the complexities of growing up female in America."

Sharon Shapiro is an American contemporary artist who lives and works in Virginia. She received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and is currently an MFA candidate at the Maine College of Art. Her figurative paintings portray opposing forces; the subject matter is both gentle and abrasive, fantastic and real, utopian and dystopian.

Inspired by the past

Shapiro explores her own and other people’s pasts, often through their family photographs, drawing inspiration from personal memories. Interested by the conflict between the inner and outer self, her work aims to break down this barrier and explore complex emotions. The narrative in her work results from an ongoing struggle to establish a sense of place in a world where meaning shifts and recollections fail.

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Exploring memory and childhood

Shapiro works primarily with oil on canvas to create her dreamlike works. Beauty in her work serves as a temptation for the viewer, but upon closer inspection, the cracks in the artifice reveal a darker side. Employing visual disruptions and bold color, she combines realism and abstraction to create an experience that interests both the brain and the body.

National success

Shapiro has exhibited widely in the USA, and overseas in the UK. She has been awarded several residencies, and in 2018 was a second time recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. Shapiro’s work features in significant collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia.


Domesticated Paradise

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  • 2018
    VMFA Fellowship- Graduate Fellowship– Richmond, United States
  • 2017
    Maine College of Art Scholarship- Presidential Merit Scholarship– Portland, United States
  • 2000
    VMFA Fellowship- Professional Fellowship– Richmond, United States

Group exhibitions

  • 2018
    Le Chic / {Poem88} Gallery – Atlanta, United States
  • 2017
    BRAND 45 Works on Paper / Brand Library – Glendale, United States
  • 2017
    19th Annual Works on Paper / Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts + Sciences – Long Beach, United States
  • 2016
    The Fourth Wall / Charlie James Gallery – Los Angeles, United States
  • 2014
    Nymphs and Shepherds Come Away / {Poem88} Gallery – Atlanta, United States
  • 2014
    Juvenescence / Silber Art Gallery, Goucher College – Baltimore, United States
  • 2014
    Threesome / Second Street Gallery – Charlottesville, United States
  • 2014
    Identimorph: Identity Portraits / Catalyst Art Projects – Washington, DC, United States
  • 2014
    Strictly Painting 9 / McLean Project for the Arts – McLean, United States
  • 2013
    Blow-Up / {Poem88} Gallery – Atlanta, United States
  • 2013
    Bound: An Exhibition of the Women's Caucus for Art / Phoenix Gallery – New York, United States
  • 2012
    49th Annual Juried Competition / Masur Museum of Art – Monroe, United States
  • 2012
    Momentum: An Exhibition of the Women's Caucus for Art / Gallery 825 – Los Angeles, United States
  • 2011
    The American Dream: A Juxtaposition / Woman Made Gallery – Chicago, United States

Solo exhibitions

  • 2017
    Above Ground / Welcome Gallery – Charlottesville, United States
  • 2017
    Garage Sale / The Garage – Charlottesville, United States
  • 2014
    Strawberry Letter 23 / {Poem88} Gallery – Atlanta, United States
  • 2011
    California / {Poem88} Gallery – Atlanta, United States
  • 2007
    Half of What You See / Brenau University Art Gallery – Gainesville, United States
  • 2005
    It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity / Steven Zevitas Gallery – Boston, United States


  • 2015
    Jentel Artist Residency Program - Banner, United States
  • 2013
    The Ragdale Foundation - Lake Forest, United States
  • 2013
    Virginia Center for Creative Arts - Amherst, United States
  • 2012
    Ucross Foundation - Clearmont, United States
  • 2012
    Virginia Center for Creative Arts - Amherst, United States
  • 2011
    The Hambidge Center - Rabun Gap, United States
  • 2009
    Virginia Center for Creative Arts - Amherst, United States

Permanent collections

  • The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), United States

  • The Tullman Collection, United States

  • Brenau University Gallery, United States

  • Common House Social Club, United States

  • Hotel Clermont, United States

  • American Pavilion Library, Garikula, Kaspi, Georgia
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