Sharon Norwood is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans several media, including painting and ceramic. Norwood is a recent graduate from Florida State University with an MFA in Studio Art. She holds a BFA in Painting from the University of South Florida. Sharon’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Florida, Georgia, Baltimore, Kansas City, New York, Canada, South Korea, Jamaica, and Germany. She is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and scholarships, including the 2016 Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Art’s emerging artist recognition and the 2016 Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s Best of the Bay Emerging Artist merit. We caught up with Sharon in South Florida as she is featured in the Miami MoCAAD African Diaspora Heritage exhibition titled “Reconstructing Identity: An Exploration of Identity and Diaspora Through Artistic Practice.”
1. Where in Jamaica are you from?
I was born in Kingston, but my mother’s family is from St. Thomas.
2. How did you become interested in art and painting?
I’ve always been interested in art, but I believe it was after high school that I began to take a serious interest in painting. Art was always a natural part of my life. I grew up my uncle writing and performing his poems. For a time, I was mostly interested in literature and writing; eventually, I found my way to painting and drawing which is currently the place where my practice resides. I decided to study art only after realizing that my life was full of instances where art was at its center. Creating was constant, and I eventually decided to embrace this interest.
3. Has the recent upsurge in recognition of your work had an effect on your career and your art?
I really enjoy making art and being an artist. The process involves creating work that inspires you, then sharing the work. I am always excited for opportunities to present and share the work.
4. Are you a self-taught artist, or do you have a formal education?
I hold a BFA in Painting and an MFA in Studio Art.
5. What stimulates your imagination best?
My daily life and interactions with people in the world stimulate my imagination and inspire me to make work about those things that interest me the most.
6. How do you define art?
Art is difficult to define. It is subjective. For me, art is about creating. I believe we all have a uniqueness about us that sets us apart. Art can create a space for us to investigate and channel that unique creative energy.
7. Tell us about the other projects you are working on?
I’ve been busy making new work. Working in the studio preparing for some upcoming exhibitions. I am excited to participate in the Reconstructing Identity exhibition presented by The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, curated by Donna Marie Baptiste. The exhibition opens June 6th at the Historic Ward Rooming House in Miami.
8. What do you do for fun (apart from art)?
I love to grow things and have started an organic garden.
9. What technology can you not live without?
10. If you were not an artist, what would you be?
I would be an Olympic swimmer.
11. Seven days, six night, all-expense paid, my vacation destination is…
12. Any final thoughts?
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my work.
Image Courtesy: Sharon Norwood