The more art mediums the better

BELOIT - Artwork of all different types of media is what Sharon Hesket Sahlfeld enjoys the most.  Although, most of her work is stored away inside her head, she hopes to transfer those images onto canvas, paper, sculptures, woodwork, clay and leather in the upcoming years. 

Accomplished artwork by Sahlfeld will be displayed during her one woman show, starting Monday, August 13 to Friday, Sept. 28 at the Ellsworth Art Council, 223 N. Douglas Ave., Ellsworth, Kan.

Growing up, art has always been a part of Sahlfeld's life. Whether coloring for hours or creating mud art from a puddle, she says her turning moment was after winning first prize with a poster science fair project at age 11. From then on, creating was a daily mind set that bid away any difficulties she had to deal with otherwise. 

Sahlfeld grew up in Mankato, Kan., where she graduated high school. She was raised in a Fish and Game setting and learned a lot about animals and about herself and her Native American Cherokee Indian heritage.

"I have to admit, I mainly attended school for art and sports," laughed Sahlfeld. "My high school art teacher, Mrs. Anderson believed in me and steered my path towards a college art scholarship." 

Sahlfeld attended Fort Hays State University for two years with a double major of Art and Pre-Forestry and left as a junior with over 120 credit hours in just two years, taking 22-24 hours a semester, while carrying a job. She also had pre-college credit hours as she was a Certified Medication Aide, from age 16-18. 

"It's funny, because I loved college, but high school, not so much," laughed Sahlfeld. "I guess it was the free range atmosphere and all of the art opportunities thrown my way. And nobody judged, but welcomed the art ideas you had to offer."

"In high school, Sahlfeld was allowed to create items dealing with her heritage. She enjoyed creating many hand-coiled pieces of terra-cotta earthenware and used white slips and iron oxides for a more traditional effect. 

"Someday I hope to fire some items in an outside pit using corn cobs, with plans my father left for me," said Sahlfeld. 

While a lot of her works include oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, drawings, ink, leatherwork, photography, wood relief carvings that depict her Indian heritage, she says she doesn't want to be just known for that aspect. 

Sahlfeld has been asked to take part in a residency in New York now for four years and hopes to be able to say yes one day. The two weeks includes figure drawing creations and a student art show caps off the event. 

"I had figure drawing in college and I loved it," said Sahlfeld. "I love nature and wildlife as well and hope to create in all subject matter. As I think most artist feel, it is a kind of therapy for me, a stress release and a passion all at the same time. I sometimes go into a zone when working and don't even remember what I did until after I am finished."

Sahlfeld has studied several artists, from Picasso to Dali and her favorite Michelangelo and says their stories are just as amazing as their works. 

"I took a music appreciation class at Cloud County Community College and that led me to the relationships between musicians and artist as well," Sahlfeld said. "I feel individuals' art can express their struggles and that is where the therapy comes in. It belongs to them. It comes from them and it is usually viewed differently by each individual that looks at it. There are so many great artist out there."

In Ellsworth, Sahlfeld will offer several types of mediums to view and offers items for sale.

"I always try to provide all price ranges for customers, including children, with little items they can hopefully be inspired by, to open up their own creativity as well," said Sahlfeld. "Having three boys, Matthew, Mitchell and Monty and now a granddaughter Everleigh, I know the struggles of affording things for children."

For more information Sahlfeld can be reached at 785-738-8035 or her website can be seen at www.visionsbysharon.com

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