Art has always shaped the life of Sheila Lamb, and her life has enriched her art.

From the urban environs of Philadelphia and New York to the white marble mountains of Massa-Carrara in Italy to the tropical lushness of Samoa; through sculpture, printmaking, photo etching and watercolor, inspired by the Italian Renaissance, African sculpture, and Samoan tapa design; Sheila Lamb has produced a large body of work that stands as a vital part of the American culture.

Sheila Lamb
Sheila first discovered her creative urge at the Neighborhood Center in South Philadelphia where she grew up. She demonstrated such promise through her work in sculpture and pottery that she was awarded a merit scholarship to study sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. There, she won the Stewardson Prize for sculpture and the coveted Cresson Award for study abroad. She traveled to England, France, Italy and Greece, happily immersing herself in the art of the Renaissance, a vital experience for a young artist. Another formative experience was her in-depth study of the extraordinary African sculpture collection at the Alfred Barnes Foundation.

Upon completion of her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy, she returned to Italy to study sculpture at the Academia di Belle Arte in Massa-Carrara. She later studied printmaking at Pratt Graphics with Clare Romano, photography at the International Center of Photography, art therapy with Margaret Naumberg at the New School for Social Research. Since 1987, Sheila has made many trips to the Samoan Islands, inititially studying tapa design with Mary Pritchard, renowned Samoan tapa artist and then developing and exploring her own unique artistic vision inspired by the people, legends, and landscapes.

Today, Sheila works primarily as a printmaker and watercolorist. Her Samoan influences, as well as her innate feeling for color and design are evident in her vivid and exuberant work.

Sheila in front of "Ode to a Dead Gecko" at an awards ceremony at the National Arts Club, New York City, 2004.

"My education as an artist is still evolving. My many trips to the South Pacific have contributed to a vocabulary of form and color that I would never have imagined possible. At the Academy, design elements like pattern and decoration were unmentionables, a poor relation to 'real' art. It was in Samoa and through my exposure to the indigenous art of tapa, that I came to understand how design elements can be representative of the movement in landscape, sky, trees, ocean, shadows, birds, tattoos and lush, verdant foliage."

Sheila Lamb

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