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Artist Interview: Sharon Loper

Artist Interview - Sharon Loper

By Patrick Folise

Sharon Loper has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. An award winning sculptor, photographer and printmaker, acknowledged by collectors and critics, she has been included in numerous public and private collections both here and abroad. These include exhibitions held at notable art institutions, such as Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, Triton Museum Of Art, Santa Clara, California, Historiches Museum der Stadt, Vienna, Museum Katten Kabinet in Amsterdam, Santa Cruz Museum Of Art & History, Santa Cruz, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee, Museum Villa Haiss, Germany, and the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, Skokie, Illinois. Educated at Otis Art Institute and UCLA, Loper maintains studios in Los Angeles and New York.

As an accomplished sculptor, photographer, and printmaker, is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work?

The theme that runs through my work is the connection to organic principles. What I mean by that is all of the work deals with and relates to the natural forms of existing and coexisting in a given space. Mind, body and universal ideals that connect to our inner space and are driven by my thoughts.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.

My studio is cluttered with sketches pasted all over the walls of ongoing projects. Each piece has life for me and I always research everything, trying to learn as much as possible about my subject. This provides a path to understanding and the information is subliminally transferred into the work. Every artist works differently, I am a hands-on artist doing much of the work myself including working at the foundry.

What artists have influenced you, and how?

I would not say that I have been influenced by any one artist, but rather that I have been inspired by all great art. As a student at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, I was fortunate to have great teachers. One of my professors, Joe Martinek, taught that by learning anatomical and geometrical principles, I would build a foundation from which to grow. Professor Martinek also said, “develop your own voice and never copy another artist past or present.” Having said that, I can honestly say that I love all kinds of art and believe that art gives us a path into greater consciousness.

What is the best advice you could offer an artist who is just starting their career?

Don€™t be afraid to be different, follow your instincts and always be honest with your audience. Sometimes it helps to develop work ethics, a starting point. Formal training goes a long way to get you through the difficult times and keeps you sane. Tell your story, work hard and have fun with it.

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Sharon Loper’s “Clio” at the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park

Sharon Loper’s “Isolation” at the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park