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 Sharon Brening  (20/21st Century)

About: Sharon Brening


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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: Photo-real Indian child figure and portrait painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Sharon Brening, a member of Western Artists of America, has been painting since she was eight years old. At an even earlier age, she was introduced to the Southwest and the cultures of Native America. She has a rich body of work unrivaled by many artists and her paintings hang today in museums, galleries and private collections around the United States. She is a member of the Western Artists of America, a prestigious invitational member group of artisans dedicated to preserving America's Western heritage.

In 2011, Sharon won the gold medal award for oil painting at the Annual Western Artists of America Show and Sale in Texas. 2012 brought two more awards from the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas. ASTA (American Society of Traditional Artists) had their first show in Scottsdale, Arizona, which shows a diversity in Sharon's work.?? Charles Pearce, chose her life-size painting "Wrestling with Innocence" for the Pearce Museum 's permanent collection in Texas.

"Native American children melt my heart," shared Brening. "When I travel to photograph my models, many times in their homes, or on the reservation, I spend days getting to know the rhythm of their lives. I realize how precious they are and how fragile their traditional lifestyle is."

Each time and for each painting Brening documents all that she sees. Using her photographs for reference material, capturing the details of the traditional dress and other artifacts, Brening gathers informa­tion to accompany each piece of artwork.

"I feel driven to continue painting the stories of the Native Americans that I have come to know as friends and help to preserve their rich heritage," Brening explains. "From the beginning, I felt the need to preserve these cultures. Their rituals and traditions deserve to be saved and revered. To understand the signifi­cance of tradition in daily life adds more than just paint on the canvas. "?

Her sons now grown, Sharon and her husband make their home in Desert Hills, Arizona where her art studio in the desert proves for her to be the perfect creative surroundings for her talent.

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