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March 2011

UNC-Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC, Offers Works by Amy Sherald

UNC-Chapel Hill is presenting the exhibit, Recommended - The Magical Real-ism of Amy Sherald, featuring a series of paintings that blur preconceived notions of how “blackness” is defined within the context of American racial dogma. The exhibit is on view through Apr. 22, 2011, in the Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History in Chapel Hill, NC. The exhibition features the artwork of Sherald, a Baltimore-based painter.

Described by exhibition curator, Spelman College professor of art Dr. Arturo Lindsay, as “grounded in a self-reflective view of her life experiences as a young, black, Southern woman through the lenses of a post-modern intellectual,” Sherald’s introspective works exclude the idea of color as race by removing “color” (skin tones are depicted in grayscale) but still portraying distinct physical indicators of race.

The paintings, according to Sherald, “originated as a creation of a fairytale, illustrating an alternate existence in response to a dominant narrative of black history.” As the artist’s concepts became more coherent, her use of fantastical imagery evolved into scenes of spectacle, making direct reference to “blackness” and racialization. The result is an arresting series of paintings that blur preconceived notions of how “blackness” is defined within the context of American racial dogma.

Sherald, a native of Columbus, GA, received her Bachelor of the Arts in painting from Clark-Atlanta University and Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. While at Clark-Atlanta, she became an apprentice to Arturo Lindsay, then her painting instructor at Spelman College. After her formal education, Sherald secured a prestigious private study residency with painter Odd Nerdrum whom she lived and studied with in Larvik, Norway.

Sherald’s paintings have been displayed in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, and she has been Artist in Residence at Tong Xion Art Center in Beijing, China; Taller Portobello Artist Colony in Portobello, Panama; Spelman College Art Colony in Portobello, Panama; and Maine College of Art in Portland, ME. She was most recently chosen as Jurors Pick of the New American Paintings Edition 88.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of friends of The Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum. The Brown Gallery serves as an exhibition space for the critical examination of the art and history of the African diaspora and of Africa.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, contact the Stone Center at 919/962-9001 or visit (

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