We had the good fortune of connecting with Sharon Shapiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sharon, what do you attribute your success to?
I’d have to say tenacity; I’m nothing if not tenacious, and I think that has evolved from being stubborn. I was a stubborn and empathetic child, and as it turns out, those two traits are necessary to be a successful artist.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud that I’ve continued to make art no matter what was going on in my life. I’ve sustained my art practice and exhibited my work for almost three decades, and it’s not been easy. Artists have to be okay with a lot of solitude, self-doubt, and rejection. Those things never go away. This is also why artists are some of the hardest working, most self-reflective, and determined people I know. I’ve learned that being vulnerable is important in making anything that matters. We spend so much time as humans trying to cover up our vulnerabilities for fear of being judged or excluded. It’s best to not waste time attempting to ward off imaginary critics.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to a few of the many wineries in the area; there is even one right across the road from our house! During normal times, I would definitely take them downtown to our lively pedestrian mall where there are a lot of restaurants and shops. Also downtown is Second Street Gallery, a nonprofit art space that brings contemporary art from all over to central Virginia, so that would be a place to check out. Given that we’re still in a pandemic, I would have them over for a socially distanced visit in my studio and then hike some of the many trails in Biscuit Run Park, which is attached to our property. We’re lucky to live in a spot that feels like we have hundreds of acres right in our backyard. A few miles down the road are the Monticello Walking Trail and Carter’s Mountain Orchard, which has some of the best views in town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband deserves a lot of credit for being my biggest source of support in every way for the past thirteen years. His steadfast belief in me and his appreciation of what I create is huge. It’s so important to have that person who believes in you no matter what.