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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Sharon Robinson

Biography

Sharon RobinsonSharon is a mixed media artist specializing in abstract collage and assemblage. Raised in New Jersey, she currently resides in the Washington DC area, after residency in Boston, Los Angeles and Portland, OR. She earned a master’s degree in urban design and community development from MIT, and worked in the transit and urban planning field for over 20 years. Since 1999 she has been a full-time artist, muralist, teacher, and arts program contractor. As an artist she exhibits in Washington DC, as well as other east and west coast cities. Sharon teaches mixed media and collage classes at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA., Smithsonian Associates and Montpelier Art Center in Maryland. She previously served as Director of SCRAP DC, a non-profit creative re-use center, and now serves on SCRAP’s national Board of Directors.

Artist Statement

The primary inspiration for my art is creating a visual expression of the elements of life that connect us as human beings and illuminate the true self. While I often construct purely abstract compositions focusing on color, pattern and texture, most of my work incorporates some representational elements, as a way for the viewer to identify with and “enter” the piece. In general I am most drawn to themes addressing cultural integration, how we define ourselves in relation to others, and biases that cause misunderstanding. I often use cultural motifs, symbols, text and related representations of ethnic, religious, racial and other forms of social identity. None of us can claim to be pure anything – we are only the latest version of millennia of mixing, matching, migrating and mingling. I layer materials both literally and figuratively, often with metallic elements, to provide dimension and reflect light. This approach allows me to construct a visual interpretation of the richness of the fabric of life and reinforce concepts which unify rather than divide.