My Story

During the 80’s and 90’s Sharon Matusiak was having great success gaining academic approval for her drawings and paintings through juried exhibitions, but financial burdens often cripple artists’ careers. Fearing she couldn’t make a living with them, she made a fateful decision to stop exhibiting her fantasy paintings and drawings. She began creating and exhibiting mixed media sculpture, called Jewelry For the Wall at art fairs and the wild success of that consumed her time. Though she’s proud of much of what she created during the past 20 years, her passion has once again intervened to change her life path.

            With wisdom of age in hand, and her strong background in drawing and painting, she has returned permanently to 2-D art, with a series of works concerning the environment and social issues. Since the late 70’s she’s been an advocate of the Gaia Theory, that the Earth is one living organism. The human effect on the environment and the very real dangers of climate change informs one of her newest series of paintings depicting wildfires.

            Matusiak says that during this tumultuous year, she has also felt compelled to make art that responds to her time. It comes as a surprise to her to find herself making images of a political nature. A new mixed media drawing depicts the intersect of the Pandemic, the BLM movement, and the uprising of White Supremacy and Fascism that she is witnessing in America and around the globe. One of her recent sketches most clearly expresses how she has felt during this year of Covid. It is of a horse standing upon her chest as she gazes out at the viewer in anguish.  

            Her art is included in over 25 corporate collections including Del Mar College’s Permanent Drawing Collection.

Her husband, Robin L Washburn shared the endeavor of Wolf Creek Studio, collaborating with her much of the time since 1999. He has returned to metalsmithing and has his own website, www.RobinLWashburn.com 

JURIED EXHIBITIONS, PAINTING & DRAWING

“Maturity and Its Muse: Celebrating Artistic Experience 2021” Art St. Louis 2021

Central South Art Exhibition  Nashville, TN  1994

Art Experience  Gallery 100,  Cape Girardeau,  MO  1992

Fifteenth Biennial Michiana Show  South Bend, IN  1988   Painting Award

22nd Annual Drawing & Sculpture Show  Del Mar College, TX  1988

Del Mar College Permanent Collection Purchase Award

Kenneth and Dorothy Holmes Purchase Award

Illinois State Fair Professional Exhibition  1987-1988

The Artist’s Magazine  Floral Competition  Semi-Finalist  1986

INVITATIONAL  (Partial List)

Inspired by Architecture Group Show  Rendlake Marketplace,  Whittington, IL  2013

Ancient Echoes  2 Person Show  The Gallery Space  Murphysboro,  IL 2007

Center of Contemporary Art    “Clockworks”    St. Louis,  MO  1999

del Mano Gallery  “It’s About Time”  Pasadena,  CA  1997

L. Freud Gallery   “Time is Relative”   Birmingham,  AL  1997         

Showcase Artist  Illinois Artisans Shop  Chicago, Il  March 1999

“One of A Kind”  Artworks Gallery  Peoria,  IL  1994

“Double Vision” Two Woman Show Gallery 510,  Decatur, IL 1993

Solo Show  “The Women in My Life”    John A Logan College  Carterville, Il  1991

Solo Show  “Recent Work”  Rend Lake College Learning Resource Center 1992

“Furniture As an Art Form”  Associated Artists Gallery  Carbondale,  IL  1990

Fine Arts Competitive Exhibit  (F.A.C.E.) Carbondale,  IL  1990

 “Unspoken Voices”  3-woman show  300 Gallery,  Bloomington,  IL  1989

 Gallery Group Show, 300 Gallery  Bloomington, IL 1988

 Marymount College  Salinas,  Kansas  Group Invitational  1988

 Arc Gallery Group Show, “15 Years-15 Walls”  Chicago, IL  1988

 Presentation “Art and Religion” Theosocratic  Society, Millikin University Decatur, IL                                  1988

 Presentation “Mythology and Art” Unitarian Church Decatur, IL 1988

PUBLICATIONS  (Partial List)

Art & Beyond  Summer 2014

Gulf Coast South News  FL  Wed January 9, 2008

The Southern Illinoisan  December 18, 2001

Heartland News  Carbondale, IL  October 2007

The News-Press  Naples, FL  Jan 12, 2007

Belleville News Democrat  May 15, 2004

Nashville Banner  June 10, 1997

Tampa Bay Times  December 6, 1997

The World of Wood  “In Honor of the Tree”  August 1995

The Living Museum  IL State Museum  Vol 57  #3  Fall 1995

Chicago Tribune  Sunday  April  2, 1995

The Milaukee Journal Sunday August 27, 1989

New Art Examiner    October 1988

CORPORATE COLLECTIONS

PERIODONTICS, LTD            Sunset Hills,  MO

JOHN DEERE COLLECTION           Madison, WI

THE BOEING COMPANY St. Louis, MO    Leadership Center–4 pieces

GENERAL ELECTRIC–SCHLEIFRING,  Elgin, IL

STRYKER  Kalamazoo,  MI     Corporate Headquarters                                                               

BERKOWITZ LEFKOVITS ISOM & KUSHNER, Birmingham,  AL     Law Firm

CAP GEMINI ERNST & YOUNG   Clayton,  MO   2 pieces

GENERAL TIRE Corporation Mt Vernon, IL      Technology Center

SIGNET    Memphis,  TN         Corporate Headquarters   

HEWITT     Chicago,  IL     Corporate Headquarters

METRIS COMPANIES      Minn,  MN       Corporate Headquarters

DEL MAR COLLEGE      Corpus Christi, TX   Permanent Collection

EISCHEN FINANCIAL GROUP   Columbus, OH

BRONZE CONSTRUCTION   Memphis,  TN 

KENT KEHR & ASSOCIATES   St. Louis,  MO  

MOONFISH   Orlando, FL     

NEIL LOCKE & ASSOCIATES Itasca, IL   Hotel Procurement

BARCELONA APARTMENTS     Skokie,  IL 

OLD NATIONAL BANK     Belleville,  IL

NOVAR   Akron,  OH

GREENLEAF TRUST    Kalamazoo,  MI

JOST CHEMICAL    St. Louis,  MO

THOMPSON & SCHREIBER, PA    Fort Meyers,  FL

CITY OF BUFFALO GROVE    Buffalo Grove,  IL

ULRICH VETERINARY CLINIC   Dongola,  IL

PROPERTY MARK REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS  Cinn., OH

JURIED EXHIBITIONS Of Mixed Media Sculpture (partial list)

Old Town Art Fair,  Chicago,  IL  2003-8, 2015-18

St Louis Art Fair  Clayton,  MO  2004, 2018

Palm Beach Contemporary  West Palm Beach, FL 2017

Krasl Art Fair  St. Joseph, MI  2017

Ann Arbor Original  Ann Arbor, MI  2015-16

Armonk Outdoor Art Fair  Armonk, NY 2015,16

Coconut Grove Art Fair  Miami,  FL  1999 & 2001-2011, 2014,16

Des Moines Arts  Des Moines, IA  2016, 2018

Canton Museum National Art Show  Canton,  OH  2010-11

Naples National  Naples, FL  2000-1, 2016

Palm Beach Fine Craft  West Palm Beach, Fl  2013-14

Washington Fine Craft  Washington, DC  2013

Westchester Fine Craft  White Plains, NY2012-13

American Craft Council  Baltimore, MD 1997, 2012,  2015  St. Paul,  MN  1997-8-9,                                 2013,15 Atlanta 2017-18, Tampa, Charlotte  1997

Buffalo Grove Invitational  Buffalo Grove,  IL  2013  Outstanding Achievement                                       Award  and Purchase Award for City of Buffalo Grove Permanent  Collection            

Riverfest Art Fair  Memphis,  TN  2012-17  Best of Sculpture 2016

Port Clinton Art Fair  Highland Park, IL  1996-2007, 2013, 2018  Merit Award     Sculpture 2013,  

1st Place Award  3-DNF ‘97   ‘99 Merit Award Sculpture

Bonita Springs National Art Festival   Bonita Springs  2001-2008, 2010-11, 2013 

Second Place  in Sculpture 2013

Art Expo Solo NYC,NY,   2011

Uptown Art Fair  Minneapolis,  Mn  1995-2000, 2005-7, 2018

Summerfair  Cincinnati, OH  2nd Place Sculpture 2006 & 2007, Honorable Mention                                              2005,   1999 & 2000 ,2nd Place

Jewish Arts Fest of Dallas  Tx 2011

Austin Festival of the Arts  Austin TX  2002, 2015              

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival,  Winter Park, FL  2003, 2005-06

Art on the Square  Belleville,  IL  2003-05,07

Plaza Art Fair  Kansas City,  MO  1999, 2004

State Street Area Art Fair  Ann Arbor, MI  2000-2004, 2012

Laumeier Contemporary Art Fair  St. Louis,  MO  2001-2, 2004

Cherry Creek Arts Festival  Denver, CO  2001

Sausalito Arts Festival,  Sausalito,  CA  2001

Austin Festival of the Arts  Austin TX  2002, 2015

Scottsdale Museum Arts  Scottsdale,  AZ  2001

Naples National Art Fair  Naples, Fl  2000 & 2001

Peoria Fine Art Fair  Peoria,  IL   2002 & 2006, 2012  2nd Place 3-D 2002

Magic City Art Fair  Birmingham,  AL 2001 Award of Merit & Collectors Purchase                                            Award

Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival   TX  2001

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts   Tampa,  FL  1999 & 2000

CWE Art Fair   St Louis, MO   Award Winner 1998

New Eastside Art Works   Chicago,  IL  1997                      

Affaire in the Gardens  Beverly Hills,  CA  Spring & Fall  1995     2nd Place Award

Lakefront Festival of the Arts   Milaukee Art Museum,  WI  1995

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