ROSENZWEIG ARTS CENTER
Join us for our monthly gallery openings, generally the first Thursday of every month from 5:30-7pm. Our gallery openings give you a chance to meet the artists and socialize with other art lovers in the community. These events are free and open to the public and are come as you are.
Sharon McConnell-Dickerson is an artist, lecturer, teacher, and speaker. Her work is featured in numerous exhibitions and included in museum, university, and private art collections. Originally from New England, she worked as a flight attendant and chef on corporate jets. In addition to heads of major corporations, she flew with such notables as George and Barbara Bush, Donald and Ivana Trump, Al Haig, Henry Kissinger, and others.
After working in the corporate world for seven years, a turn in her life took place at the age of twenty-seven. She woke up in Chicago blind. She was eventually diagnosed with Uveitis, a degenerative eye disease. After several years of surgeries and treatments she became involved with sculpture. “Sculpture is the vehicle by which I access a lost sense,” she says. She moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1996 to study all aspects of art. Taking a traditional approach, she learned from teachers and mentors including Arlene Siegel, Robert Refvem, Sam Scott, Dean Ericson, Ulrich Franzen, and Agnes Martin. She also went to Paris, France. There with the assistance of the curators and education directors of the museums and galleries did intense hands on sculpture and art studies in premier galleries and museums. After only ten months of study, she had produced a body of work consisting of eight bronze sculptures. Her earliest influence was Native American Blind Sculptor Michael Naranjo who showed her what was possible and rewarded her with her first solo exhibition at the Moxley, Ross, Naranjo Gallery.
Her first life-sized work is reminiscent of French figurative sculptor Maillol. Her life-cast work is in the same tradition and methods of master life caster George Segal. It is for her life-masks of legendary blues musicians that McConnell-Dickerson is best known. “I wanted to discover the faces behind the music I love, so I went to Mississippi to map out the visages of the real Delta Blues men and women.” Her project took root and found a strong direction of its own, leading her to create masks of fifty-two musicians. This body of work has been exhibited in the New Mexico State Capitol Rotunda, the Albuquerque Museum, Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation in Chicago, Blind Faith Gallery in Clarksdale, Mississippi, The Blues Music Awards in Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, the Mississippi Arts Center in Jackson, Mississippi, Tunica Museum in Tunica, Mississippi, Blues
Passions Festival in Cognac, France, and at the Galerie le Clos d’Epicure in Cahors, France. It is currently touring with Exhibits USA-Mid-America Arts Alliance. Another edition of 40 masks are also touring the U.S. She donated the original life-casts to the Delta State University Archives.
Now almost totally blind, Sharon is seeking venues to exhibit her works, conducting life-casting workshops, lectures, and demonstrations, and travelling. She is also painting large scale minimalist works in oil on linen. Sharon insists that all of her exhibits (with the exception of the originals) be fully accessible to people with disabilities, and are please touch exhibits.
A Cast of Blues is a multi-media, disability friendly and interactive educational, one-of-a-kind collection of blues musicians’ life-cast masks. This exhibit presents an up close and very personal view of the actual faces that the musicians themselves modeled for and left to us. This is a “please touch” exhibit. The artist invites everyone to touch these masks.
LIST OF LIFE-CASTS (Please click on the names to launch the musician profile page)
Coming May 2021
2021 GALLERY EXHIBITS
Main Gallery & Artist Alley: Women’s Art Collective
Main Gallery: Charlie Munoz – Wood, Linda Munoz – Stained glass and mosaic, George Shelton – Wood
Artist Alley: Sean Scott – Painting
Main Gallery: Tim Spanjer – Pop art
Artist Alley: Nancy Scott – Painting/Book release
Main Gallery: Tim Sanjer for first half of the month & Do Good Fund for the second half of the month
Artist Alley: Nancy Scott – Painting, Sydney Gruber – Painting
Main Gallery: Do Good Fund – Photography in conjunction with MUW
Artist Alley: Sydney Gruber – Painting
Main Gallery: Miriam Omura – Weaving/Mixed Media, Tracie Noles Ross – Mixed Media/Sculpture
Artist Alley: TBA
Main Gallery: Bri Howard – Painting
Artist Alley: TBA