Shadow Brooch

Massey, Sharon
My work is inspired by the post-industrial landscape of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, and I pay homage to the region’s blue-collar past though my use of both labor and materials.

Much of Sharon Massey’s work includes found and repurposed materials from salvaged discarded metal to the galvanized steel found in guardrails and home heating ducts.  She finds beauty in the commonplace, everyday objects surrounding us and, as she has stated: “These ‘precious’ forms made from a beautiful, yet underappreciated material are meant to challenge the notion of what we value.”  Her series of wall-mounted metal structures which she calls “Streetviews” pay homage to Pittsburgh, the city where she found her own, unique artistic voice and her “Brickworks” allude to the abandoned masonry structures that populate western Pennsylvania and other areas of the blighted midwest Rust Belt.

Born in 1977, Sharon Massey attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina where in 1999 she was awarded a BFA in Sculpture with a concentration in jewelry and metals.  Her teacher there was the British silversmith Alf Ward.  From 1992 to 1995 she also studied metals and enameling with Susan Willis at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville South Carolina.  She subsequently pursued graduate studies at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina where she was awarded an MFA in Metal Design in 2006.  While at ECU she studied enameling with Linda Darty and metals with Robert Ebendorf.

After graduating from ECU, she taught at several colleges and universities in the Midwest eventually settling in Pittsburgh where she worked at the Society for Contemporary Craft.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Jewelry and Metals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Massey’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the collections of the Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; Gregg Museum of Art and Design, Raleigh, NC; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

In 2009, she was the recipient of the Art Jewelry Forum’s prestigious Emerging Artist Award.

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