Working at the intersection of vision and healing, my creative process is guided by a passion for learning and a yearning for harmony. I combine vibrant colors and large interlocking shapes to create visual drama. From decorative to expressive, whimsical to powerful, the bold simplicity of my work may recall the Jamaican island vibe of my maternal homeland, while other times reflects an innate impulse to hone in on the essential. A handmade human quality and balanced composition are vital components of my art.
When I paint, I begin with some marks on the canvas and intuitively respond to what I see as I work. Some paintings go through many transformations and the layers of paint reveal my process, the risks taken, struggles, choices. Other paintings transpire with an effortless immediacy; I leave what’s emerging on the canvas, staying present to what's there, the unexpected, the surprises. I like the surprises.
While painting is a spontaneous process, tufting is a more methodical slower process. It requires a lot of planning ahead. I start with a sketch or digital drawing yet I am guided by my intuition and the evolving piece, often diverging from the original drawing. Creativity requires letting go.
In life we learn to observe and accept, freeing us from our preconceptions. I approach art as an explorer venturing into the unknown with an open curiosity. The openness allows me to see something new. When a work is complete every color and shape belong. There’s a certain balance and harmony that’s refreshing and liberating. Art provides a means to expanding consciousness. The seeing and learning, the growth, the healing are what make art valuable.
Sharon Bloomfield Hicks is a Philadelphia based artist, aesthetically influenced by her Jamaican heritage. Her paintings and tapestries are distinguished by exotic color combinations, large shapes and active figure-ground relationships. Synthesizing craft materials with painterly intentions she creates fresh, uplifting work which reflects the harmony and well-being she desires to see in the world.
Hicks holds a BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art and an MS in occupational therapy from Philadelphia University. Early in her career, she completed an apprenticeship at the Fabric Workshop and exhibited her work as a member at Third Street Gallery. She served as Personal Secretary to Violette de Mazia at the Barnes Foundation, completed in-depth studies of the Barnes collection and went on to become the first Education Coordinator at the Violette de Mazia Trust.
An interest in ways of seeing in art and life led Hicks to work as a vision therapist and then immersion in the healing arts. Drawing connections between the healing arts and art, she taught Meditate and Create classes at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and other venues. During her career as an occupational therapist, she came to understand the process of creating art as a therapeutic activity. Hicks has espoused a life as art philosophy while maintaining an overarching purpose of teaching people to see. Her current philosophy links art with vision and health.
In 2021 paintings from herVibrant healing series were exhibited in a three-person show, Respite in Situ, at Jefferson Hospital’s Bodine Center for Cancer Therapy. An upcoming solo show at Da Vinci Art Alliance will highlight Hicks’ ongoing project which explores the concept of health as a balance of Yin and Yang energies. Her work has been included in shows at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Museum of the Hudson Highlands, Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Nexus Foundation, among other locations.
MS in Occupational Therapy, Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA
Scholarship, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Advanced Theoretical and Critical Studies in the Fine Arts for Educators, Part 1 and Part 2, held at the Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA
1993 - 1995
Continuing Education, Textile Design, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, Philadelphia PA
Two-year course and Advanced Seminars, the Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA
1985 - 1986
Apprenticeship, the Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PA
BFA, Cum Laude, Painting and Fabric Design, Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA
Shankin-Skwersky, Sarina, "Remembering Vio - Violette de Mazia: Director of Education and Spiritof the Barnes Foundation", Kopel Publishing
Wills, Brendan, Interview, Times Herald
Donohoe, Victoria, Review, Philadelphia Inquirer
Puleo, Gary, Interview, Times Herald
Reproduction, Effie, drawing, Vistas Vol. IV, No. 2, Barnes Foundation Press
Reproduction, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, Art Matters
Reproduction, Landscape, mixed media silk banner, Art Matters
Sozanski, Edward J., Review, Philadelphia Inquirer
Brenton, E. Y., Review, South Street Star
Da Vinci Art Alliance
2003 - 2005
Adjunct Faculty, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1997 - 2004
Art Education Coordinator, The Violette de Mazia Trust, Wayne, PA
1994 - 1995
Drawing and Design Tutor, the Learning Center, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Philadelphia, PA
1987 - 1997
Installation Committee, Moore College of Art and Design Galleries, Philadelphia, PA
1987 - 1992
Assistant to the Director of Art Education, the Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA
Yin and Yang, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA (upcoming)
Mixed Media Paintings, Pagus Gallery, Norristown, PA
Temple Shalom, Broomall, PA
Compositions, ABFAB Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Third Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Third Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Quissett Bookstore Café, Haverford, PA
Summer Juried Show 2022, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA
Juror: Meg Wolensky, Director of Continuing Education at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA
Through the Grid, Invitational Exhibition, Da Vinci ArtAlliance, Philadelphia, PA