Sharon Koelblinger

Art Museum of West Virginia University Purchase Award

Sharon Koelblinger (born Minneapolis, MN; lives Kent, OH) holds a BFA in sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA in photography from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Koelblinger’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at Cade Center Gallery, Annapolis, MD; ACRE Projects, Chicago, IL; The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Common Grounds Gallery at VisArts, Rockville, MD; and The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington. She has been awarded residencies at I-Park, East Haddam, CT; Kimmel Harding Nelson, Nebraska City; and ACRE, Steuben, WI; as well as an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award grant.

Statement from the Artist:
At a time when photographic imagery saturates our waking hours, the lamentation our shortened attention span has become a common refrain. I work to slowing down the process of looking and to draw the viewer’s awareness to their own gaze.

To slow the viewing process, I design sculptural frames to evoke the fragmented experience of peripheral vision. A photograph is mounted to the inside of a steel case which faces the wall, while a mirror reflects the photograph towards the viewer. The steel case obscures a straightforward viewing, so viewers must peek through openings, press their bodies against the wall or crouch below the case to glimpse the reflected photographic image. At the same time, the viewer may see their own eyes looking back in the mirror: intertwining the reflection of their body with the artwork and affirming their presence in that moment.