Born in 1973 in Columbus, GA, Amy Sherald documents contemporary African-American experience in the United States through arresting, otherworldly portraits. Sherald subverts the medium of portraiture to tease out unexpected narratives, inviting viewers to engage in a more complex debate about accepted notions of race and representation, and to situate black heritage centrally in the story of American art.
Sherald received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004) and BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997). She was the first woman and first African-American ever to receive first prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; in February 2018, the museum unveiled her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Sherald has also received the 2018 David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta GA, the 2018 Pollock Prize for Creativity, and the 2017 Anonymous Was A Woman grant. Alongside her painterly practice, Sherald has worked for almost two decades along-side socially committed creative initiatives, including teaching art in prisons and art projects with teenagers.
Public collections include Embassy of the United States, Dakar, Senegal; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC.
Last updated: May 17, 2019