Stories: A Slide Talk by Painter Amy Sherald

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Award-winning painter Amy Sherald will present a slide talk on her work on Thursday, October 26 at Johns Hopkins University.

Her talk, “Stories,” which is free and open to the public, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the F. Ross Jones Building, Mattin Center, on the Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

Sherald is best known for her acutely observed, three-quarter length portraits of African-Americans, whose skin she depicts in gray scale monochrome against vibrant, atmospheric backgrounds. The result is a dreamily detached, yet penetrating view of individuals who have been ignored for centuries by the history of art.

“My work is about taking blackness past the stereotypes and opening it up to the imagination,” she told The Baltimore Sun. “These paintings exist in the liminal space between fantasy and reality. They start with color and costume. Usually, the image comes first and the meaning and words come second.”

Earlier this month, Michelle Obama selected Sherald to paint her official portrait, which will hang in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Last year, Sherald became the first woman to win first place in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. In addition to the $25,000 grand prize and the opportunity to create a portrait for the NPG’s permanent collection, her painting, “Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance),” is currently part of a nationwide museum tour.

Sherald has been in numerous group shows around the country and has had solo exhibitions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore. Her next solo show will open at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in May, 2018. Her work can be found in numerous public collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, the Columbus Museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. She is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Sherald has done residencies in Norway, China and the Netherlands. Among other honors, she is the recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and Joan Mitchell Foundation. She was recently awarded the Geneviève McMillan/Reba Stewart Chair in Painting at MICA.

Sherald received her B.A. from Clark-Atlanta University, her M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama. She lives and works in Baltimore.

Amy Sherald’s appearance is co-sponsored by the Center for Visual Arts and Homewood Arts Programs. Below are selected works by Sherald which are free to download.