Artist of the Month - Sharon Berkan-Dent

Saginaw Township Art in Public Places is pleased to present Sharon Berkan-Dent as the Artist of the Month for June.  Sharon's art will be on display at Saginaw Township Hall, 4980 Shattuck Rd., Saginaw, 48603, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. thru June 28, 2024.

Artist Biography
I am a lifelong artist who has sampled a range of artistic mediums including drawing, pen & ink, paint, and textiles, which led to a focus on jewelry making that I pursued for 25 years. During that time, my jewelry was featured in a solo exhibit and published in Art Jewelry Magazine as well as the book CAST.  While teaching at The Midland Center for the Arts, I took advantage of other artists’ classes where I rediscovered my love for drawing, and developed techniques in long-form drawing with graphite mechanical pencils. I continue to create and teach jewelry, but for the past 10 years, my creative emphasis has been focused on drawing. My work has been accepted in local, regional, and international shows, as well as solo exhibits. I sell both my drawings and jewelry on my website as well as my Etsy shop.

Artist Statement
When I spend time in nature, I often feel awed by its splendor: the wide vistas, the vegetation, the change of seasons, and especially the creatures that inhabit it, both wild and domestic. Through my graphite pencil drawings, I explore this connection; the joy I sense by interacting with farm animals, the feeling of wonder in viewing deer throughout the seasons, and an ethereal bond between humans and animals.

There are three series of drawings in this collection of work, the first is “Beyond the Fence”.  During the Covid lock down, I spent many hours engaging with animals at a nearby farm, which inspired the series. Observing the deer wandering through our property in my subdivision was the foundation for "Waskevich Whitetails". The mystical bond and long-held beliefs about the symbolism of animals, their importance, and how we might apply these traits to our lives are explored in the series "Animalia".

Using a naturalist viewpoint, my drawings are formed with great attention to composition, texture, and detail. Despite their modest scale, these graphite renderings take a lot of time to complete, with each piece requiring anywhere from 40-150 hours of work using 0.2 and 0.3 mechanical pencils. Through my art, I aim to inspire a deeper appreciation for the wonders of nature and foster a sense of stewardship for the wildlife that graces our world.