Scroll to content
Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School home page

Holy Trinity Church of England
Primary School

Growing Tomorrow's Leaders

Term 1 - Amy Sherald

Amy was born in 1973 (49 years old) in Georgia, USA. She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 

Amy remembers being one of just a handful of black students at a private school she attended.

Race and identity issues she experienced in her early life, were a big influence on her art.

She says Art is something that she works hard at but comes easy to her.  Amy took Art classes in school and lessons after school.  Art was not very popular in her family and her parents wanted her to become a doctor. 

Amy studied and gained her degree at Clark Atlanta University.

It was during this time, she worked with artists and organised worldwide exhibitions. 

Amy uses African American cultural history and the representation of the African American body within her artwork.

Her style is simplified realism.

In particular, she is known for using a grayscale/neutral colours to portray skin tones as

a way of “challenging the concept of colour-as-race.” 

In her paintings, she works from photographs of strangers she encounters on the street in her community.

She also wants her paintings to be seen as Americans doing everyday American things.

As she was preparing to run a marathon in 2004, Amy Sherald, then 31, learned that she had heart failure.

Some people can live with congestive heart failure in its earlier stages and not know it.

In 2012, Sherald received a new heart.  Art is what got her through eight difficult years.

In 2018, Amy was commissioned to paint Michelle Obama.

She used oil paint on linen to create this portrait.