Sharon Killian lives on the edge of a hill on the White River just east of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She was born in Jamaica, immigrated to Harlem, NY where she grew up, lived in DC and Northern Virginia before moving home to Fayetteville with her husband in 2005. Killian earned degrees in art history and in painting from the University of Rochester where she originally enrolled as a pre-med student, knowing inside she was destined for art. She has taught Art Education at U Arkansas, Fayetteville and studio art in Washington, DC.
Killian is president of Northwest Arkansas African American Heritage Association, a 501c3 cultural organization, and of Art Ventures Gallery, also a 501c3 cultural and educational organization, and she is a cattle farmer. Killian’s work can be found in private and corporate collections including Tyson Foods, the University of Arkansas, and Northwest Arkansas Community College.
About the Work
“You’re Killing Me” is my response to the systemic racism that Black people are bombarded with while going about the business of their daily lives. We caution our children about how to “act” powerless and servile, to guard against being killed by the Police – a governmental entity that we pay to protect us. In this work, I begin with the concept of abstraction – that mere color or light or value is as profound and significant as any depiction of the everyday visual world in which we live. My subjects become part of this figurative scenario that may be immediately relatable to the viewer.
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