26 Mar Sharon Jiskra Brooks “Observations” at Four Day Ray
A Chicago transplant, comfortably settled into her Geist home studio, Sharon Jiskra Brooks loves to be surrounded by nature and water. “I always wanted to be an artist – my dad was a professional photographer, and I’ve been around the arts my whole life.” She started taking art lessons early in elementary school at the local community center in her town. Saturday mornings were spent in painting lessons. “It was the only place I wanted to be.” Sharon kept that focus through high school, but when it came time for college, she didn’t want to major in painting, drawing, or weaving. “I wanted a broader sense, so I went into graphic design. It lined up more with Dad and his advertising.”
Sharon also had a deep interest in architecture; she had taken an architecture class her senior year of high school and was intrigued. Her advisors recommended she go to Ball State because of their architecture and arts programs – it seemed like the perfect fit. Enrolled in the School of Architecture at BSU, she kept wondering, “How do you get back over to the art building?” Originally unaware of the level of commitment when she signed up, she decided to stay with graphics and art – her original passion.
“I’ve grown to love the arts community here, there is such a connection – even in Fishers and Indy – I feel the sense of community in both areas. A lot of my art is influenced by the city I lived in, but also a lot by the rural life I have now. I can drive ten minutes from my home to be in farmland, which I did not have growing up. That is such an inspiration.”
During lockdown, Sharon spent a lot of time outdoors in Fishers, especially since she wasn’t going to Chicago as often for work. She had been preparing to run the mini and captured several amazing sunsets during her training runs. “I’m not always the most realistic or literate painter, but it was important to me. Working off photos and memories for the emotional response – I put that into every painting I do.”
Sharon’s exhibit, “Observations,” is part of a collection of work she’s been creating over the past year. “As many of our days were spent indoors being quarantined, I have been especially grateful for the moments I have been able to spend outdoors. Painting these memories and views from my many runs or hikes has been especially rewarding to create.”
Sharing this exhibit at Four Day Ray is Sharon’s way of helping people reflect on, relate to, and bring the outdoors in again. “Think about where you’ve been over the past year and don’t forget what nature can bring you. Take the steps back and observe what is right there in front of us and what it can do for you. Just sitting outside and looking at a flower can be the most healing thing you can find.”
See “Observations” at Four Day Ray from March 31-June 30. A special reception with Sharon will be held at a future date to be announced. All of paintings in this exhibit are for sale through Nickel Plate Arts.