Sharyn O'Mara is an artist and educator. Her studio practice spans drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, and printmaking. She is interested in the marks of language, and the language of marks - from lexicons and glacial markings, to canine nose prints on glass, and the marks of our culture. In her work, all of these exist within the context of absence and loss.
For the past few years, her work has been comprised largely of a series of drawings and images that were inspired by her deep connection to Ecco, her Beauceron, who died in 2006 at the age of twelve. Over time, these works evolved into what she considers a collaboration with her current shepherds, Tallula*, Ramona Luna, and Sammy. Working with the residue of their existence - dog hair, nose prints, tattered toys - these works are visual reflections on empathy and longing in the midst of a media-driven culture that seems devoid of intimacy and trust.
Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, and is in several public and private collections in the U.S., including the Corning Museum of Glass, Arkansas Arts Center, and Temple University.
O'Mara is an Associate Professor at Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. Previously, she taught at RISD and The Kansas City Art Institute. In Fall 2017, she served as The Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts at Hartford Art School.
She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and their shepherds.
*Sadly, Tallula passed away early in the summer of 2018.
Photo: John Carlano 2014