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AMY
SHERALD

GROUNDBREAKING CONTEMPORARY PAINTER.

FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO PAINT AN OFFICIAL FIRST LADY PORTRAIT.

VISIONARY. INNOVATOR. PERSPECTIVE SHIFTER.

With the unveiling of her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, artist Amy Sherald was catapulted to the world stage. Called a “tour de force” by the New Yorker, her work now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian. But she was an overnight art sensation many years in the making. Watch her film to see her unordinary story.

 

AMY
SHERALD

GROUNDBREAKING CONTEMPORARY PAINTER. FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO PAINT AN OFFICIAL FIRST LADY PORTRAIT. VISIONARY. INNOVATOR. PERSPECTIVE SHIFTER.

With the unveiling of her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, artist Amy Sherald was catapulted to the world stage. Called a “tour de force” by the New Yorker, her work now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian. But she was an overnight art sensation many years in the making. Watch her film to see her unordinary story.

Amy

 

“I ALWAYS SAY, ‘I DIDN'T CHOOSE ART. ART CHOSE ME.’ IT'S JUST IN ME TO DO THIS. AND WHEN I LOOK BACK AT MY LIFE, I SEE ALL THINGS FALLING INTO
PLACE
IN ORDER TO GET ME TO WHERE I AM NOW.

 

“I ALWAYS SAY, ‘I DIDN'T CHOOSE ART. ART CHOSE ME.’ IT'S JUST IN ME TO DO THIS. AND WHEN I LOOK BACK AT MY LIFE, I SEE ALL THINGS FALLING INTO PLACE IN ORDER TO GET ME TO WHERE I AM NOW.

 

Through her life, Amy’s greatest advocate has also been her biggest adversary. “My mother did not want me to become an artist. She was a black woman born in 1930s Alabama where everything was really about surviving. She didn't understand what it meant to be an artist, and so she spent most of my adulthood trying to talk me out of it.” But forging her own path became Amy’s purpose. “I always say that she was the perfect mother for me, because what I needed was somebody to prove wrong. Every day, I woke up with the mission of doing that.” And over time, her mother saw things differently. “About four years ago, she was like, ‘You're a pretty big deal.’ That was a great moment. I’m a strong woman because I was raised by one, and I’m a better person for that.”

 

Through her life, Amy’s greatest advocate has also been her biggest adversary. “My mother did not want me to become an artist. She was a black woman born in 1930s Alabama where everything was really about surviving. She didn't understand what it meant to be an artist, and so she spent most of my adulthood trying to talk me out of it.” But forging her own path became Amy’s purpose. “I always say that she was the perfect mother for me, because what I needed was somebody to prove wrong. Every day, I woke up with the mission of doing that.” And over time, her mother saw things differently. “About four years ago, she was like, ‘You're a pretty big deal.’ That was a great moment. I’m a strong woman because I was raised by one, and I’m a better person for that.”

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