MFA Student Receives Virginia Museum Award

Sharon Shapiro MFA '19 was one of 27 Virginia art students and professional artists out of 771 applicants to receive a 2018-2019 fellowship and one of six graduate students to receive an award. The program was launched in 1940 and since then, VMFA has awarded nearly $5.6 million to more than 1,325 professional artists, art students and graduate students from across Virginia in the largest fellowship program of any kind in the United States.

Recipients must be Virginia residents and can use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists serve as jurors to select fellowship recipients.

About her work, Sharon says, "Having never believed that the characterizations of beauty and beast are mutually exclusive, I instead examine the conflict that exists between the inner and outer lives of human experience. I am drawn to stories of figures whose feral nature proves crucial to their survival. Through the work, I portray opposing forces, subject matter both gentle and abrasive, fantastic and real, utopian and dystopian."

"The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Fellowship Program has a long and proud history of providing a vital source of funding for the visual arts and art history in Virginia,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director. “We are proud to support and nurture professional and emerging artists through these fellowships as well as offering them opportunities to exhibit their work. The Fellowship Program is an important part of VMFA’s mission to ensure that all Virginians across the Commonwealth have access to the arts."

View more of Sharon's work.

View information on the VMFA and other award recipients.

Header Image: Sharon Shapiro, Cure for Pain and Above Ground.