CURRENT Sept/Oct 2016

The many faces of goddesses and shamans look down from the walls of artist Sharon Grace Bartlett’s unique home in The Heights. They are mysterious, wise, serene and soul-stirring. 

Nature has inspired many of these creations that fall under the heading of assemblage, a form of three-dimensional collage. Most are crafted with organic elements — shells, bones, antlers, feathers, driftwood and stones.  Their molded clay faces are beautifully embellished with beads and artifacts from Bartlett’s travels across India, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, alongside jewelry findings and pieces of salvaged costumes and fashion accessories. 

Bartlett spent most of her professional life as a teacher and a principal in both public and private schools, then worked for a publishing company selling educational materials. Transitioning into the realm of creating art was a  journey of the spirit, which is evident in her work.

“Over the past 10 years, I’ve become confident enough to  say I am an artist, which was shocking to me,” Bartlett said. “I never expected that. I didn’t think that would ever be a part of my world.” 

Writing her book, Kindred Spirits, Art and Story to Inspire Your Own Creative Journey, was her way of sharing her own story of finding creativity as a second act in life and encouraging others to follow that path too. It is also a chronological gallery of her work and a “how-to” manual for others who may be yearning to express themselves artistically but don’t know how to begin. Some may be feeding themselves “self-limiting” messages because they don’t believe they have the talent or skill required. 

“You encounter people every day who say they can’t do art; they don’t have a creative bone in their body,” she said. “Of course, I tell them they do. The desire to create is strong. I think it is in all of us.”

On her website (, Bartlett writes about kindred spirits.

Read more: CURRENT Sept/Oct 2016


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