Sharon Louden's work as an advocate for artists is extensive and growing. Her efforts to create opportunities and collaborate extend not only to fellow artists, but also to curators, critics, museum professionals, educators, and others. Although Sharon focuses her energy as a catalyst, collaborator and connector in the following areas below, her advocacy is ongoing and spread across many different channels at the same time. The underlying principal prevalent throughout stems from the simple idea that generosity yields generosity.
The Living and Sustaining a Creative Life conversation tours which began in 2013 have so far led to over 125 events across the country and abroad that has involved more than 8,500 in attendance. The current conversation tour which uses The Artist as Culture Producer as a platform for conversation, connection and creating opportunities is currently on a 100-stop tour. Through panel discussions, symposia, workshops, casual conversations, and town-hall forums, Sharon cross-pollinates contributors from her books with local artists, critics, curators, thought leaders, non-profit organizations, and other members of the general public to learn about, lend their voices to, and be inspired by the vast range of influence that artists exert on society today. Frequent collaborators include Hrag Vartanian, Zoe Charlton, Tim Doud, Wendy Red Star, Austin Thomas and Sharon Butler.
The measurable outcome from these events continues to be substantial and wide-ranging, including employment and exhibition opportunities, community building, individual validation, and implementation of new ideas. Data culled from attendees has clearly revealed what is needed and wanted by artists in every community. The data is also being collected to form a case study that will be shared publicly in different forms, including an exhibition in a collaboration with artist and Living and Sustaining a Creative Life contributor Jennifer Dalton. We are currently working with various partners to organize and distribute this data widely.
The Ford Foundation has endorsed the The Artist as Culture Producer Conversation Tour with fiscal support for events that cross-pollinate book contributors with local artists in communities who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to participate.
Sharon acts as an ambassador from the front lines of artist communities across the country, sharing first-hand accounts with important nonprofit organizations and foundations. Her contributions and partnerships vary depending on the needs of each organization and include mentoring, consulting, leading workshops and webinars, and serving on boards. At every opportunity, Sharon shares with fellow community members to further these organizations' missions and create opportunities for artists.
teaching & public speaking
Sharon has taught for more than 25 years since graduating from Yale University School of Art in 1991. Her teaching experience includes studio and professional practice classes to students of all levels in many institutions throughout the United States. Colleges and universities at which she has lectured and taught include: Kansas City Art Institute, College of Saint Rose, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Vanderbilt University and Maryland Institute College of Art. She has been invited as a visiting artist all across the country and abroad.
Sharon is currently a faculty member in the MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts in New York and a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art, where she organizes a popular lecture series interviewing luminaries and exceptional individuals in the art world and beyond. She is also frequently called upon to make recommendations of artists and critics for visiting artist programs to many institutions.
In addition to teaching in colleges and universities, she continues to conduct Glowtown workshops in schools and non-profit organizations across the country.
- Hervey, Jane Claire, "This is Why the World Needs Artists," Forbes, February 27, 2018
- Terrell, Matthew, "Artist Entry Fees: A Necessary Evil or Barrier to Entry?" Burnaway, January 4, 2018
- "Interview - Sharon Louden," Point + Line, September 14, 2017
- Kienle, Miriam, "The Generosity of Cultural Production: A Conversation with Sharon Louden," Medium, April 7, 2017