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Sharon McConnell

Sharon McConnell

(b. 1960)

Sharon McConnell, a fiber artist, is the director of the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery housed in the School of Art & Design at Alfred University. She earned her MFA from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. For three years, she served as a visiting professor of sculpture at the College of the Holy Cross and taught exhibition design. [1]

McConnell’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. including the Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI.; the Chicago Cultural Center and Roy Bode Gallery in Chicago; the Johnson Museum in Ithaca, NY, and the Bentor Museum in Storrs, CT. She has received several awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship, a Saltonstall Foundation Individual Artist Grant, and a New York State Foundation for the Arts Artists Grant.  

In her artwork, McConnell uses materials such as thread, fabric and pins to create sculptures that allude to earth, air, fire, and water. Using a simple material and the replication of a single action, her work requires careful, detailed hand labor. The installation of Cloudscape, the piece selected for exhibition in Art in Craft Media 2017, required the collaboration of many people and numerous hours to complete. [2] 

Discussing Cloudscape, McConnell explains, “Fabric, thread, felt, metered repetition and quiet precision become a meditation on elemental states of earth and atmosphere. Overtime, an individual square of cotton becomes eight thousand squares of hand-dyed fabric arrayed in a pixilated image of the sky expanding across the floor…. The detailed handwork, visible as a microcosm of…pixels gives way to macrocosmic allusions to earth and atmosphere.” She continues, “When I am completely enmeshed in the work; this constant shifting from the single element to the patterned whole gives the work its energy and relevance, reflecting my unwillingness to give up on positive change for the future of our planet.” [3]

[1] Sharon McConnell, “Resume.”

[2] Houghton College Ortlip Gallery, “Inextinguishable,” exhibition announcement, 11/13/2015, http://www.houghton.edu/calendar-events/art-exhibit-reception-works-by-sharon-mcconnell/2971/. (Accessed 10/05/2017)

[3] Sharon McConnell, “Artist Statement.”