Shara Hannah Shadowspeaker

Shara Hannah Shadowspeaker explores the nuances of person and place. Shadowspeaker looks at our desire for preservation and the individuality of personal experience via memory and storytelling. A mixed media artist, Shara works with drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, found object, and installation.

Shara studied a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Cal State Fullerton, a semester abroad at The Sorbonne and Otis Parsons School of Art and Design in Paris, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Art Education at the University of New Mexico.

Shara has exhibited her art work in Southern and Northern California, Paris, Chicago and New Mexico. She currently lives and works in Oakland, California as an artist, art teacher and happy home maker.


9 Girls

The artwork in this portfolio is all connected in some way to a film slide I found in a second-hand shop many years ago. The original image is a black and white slide of 9 young women posed together in their parochial, high school outfits circa the 1950's. This image has captivated me since about 2003 when I first started making art about it, and continues to draw me in. I am intrigued by their body language, the facial expression in this one instant, what are their individual stories, what precipice are they standing at the brink of? I am compelled to dramatize their inner worlds, to superimpose my own memories upon them and to explore larger themes of womanhood and body language through the little hints I receive from this single moment in time.

Pillowfaces “Pillowfaces”

This is the first of many incarnations of the 'Pillowfaces' installation at my 2004 graduate show at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I made a Plexiglass etching of each of the girls' faces, which I then printed onto second hand pillowcases and finished with a bow and a pin in their hair. It is a slumber party taken out of the context of a private space; their facial expressions are frozen into a soft, comforting and familiar material. When I see this piece I hear their laughter and conversation.

I Remember “I Remember”

This installation is a diptych of two second-hand, white bed sheets with pencil drawing and text. This is a direct transfer of the original image enlarged to float inside the bed sheets. The form of each girl is defined by her inner thoughts and memories, questions and concerns.

I Remember (detail of faces) “I Remember (detail of faces)”

The bed sheet on the left side of the diptych has only their faces, posed and floating.

The Promise of Perfection “The Promise of Perfection”

Mixed media collage, 2011

Strength in Numbers “Strength in Numbers”

Pencil on paper, 2012

Five young women with hairstyles removed “Five young women with hairstyles removed”

Installation of varying numbers of framed, mixed media drawings


One of my first loves was figure drawing. Sometimes I have the privilege of drawing from a live model and other times I reference my own body to locate a concept, feeling or shape.

Finding Center “Finding Center”

Pencil drawing and printmaking, 1997

Mary “Mary”

Pencil and turpentine with oil paint wash on paper, 1998

Growth “Growth”

Pencil, spray paint and oil bar on gessoed paper, 2001

You're Such a Diligent Lover “You're Such a Diligent Lover”

Pencil and oil wash on paper, 2001

Fresh and Natural “Fresh and Natural”

Pencil and watercolor on paper, 2003

Max “Max”

Pencil on paper, 2012

EyeBody “EyeBody”

Pencil and strained tea water on paper, 2012


Working in three dimensions, in the realm of the installation, is an exciting medium of endless possibilities. Installation can address all 5 senses and can be a unique way to respond to the environment itself where the piece is being installed. There is a particular freedom that I really enjoy.

Curriculum Vitae

Shara Hannah Finerman Shadowspeaker

December 2008 UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO, MA Art Ed K-12 licensure
Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio
and Painting

2009 10 C / Oakland CA / Shadowspeaker Services / Lecture and slide
presentation for art collectors
2008 The Cradle Project / The Banque / Albuquerque NM
Fundraiser to benefit orphaned children of sub-Saharan Africa
2008 Thesis exhibition / Masley Gallery / UNM Albuquerque NM
2003 Drawings and Paintings / Buzz Gallery / Oakland CA
1997 Source d?Experience / EXIT Gallery / Fullerton CA

2011/2012 Shine / Berkeley Art Center/ Berkeley CA
2010 Better Than a Lump of Coal / The Compound / Oakland CA
2008 Artist/Educator / Juried Exhibition / Masley Gallery / UNM
2008 Feminists Under Forty / Juried by Judy Chicago / Through the
Flower / Belen NM
2007 430/530 / Juried Exhibition / Masley Gallery / Albuquerque NM
2005 Salon de Sally / Two person show / Salon de Sally / San Francisco
2004 G2 / Graduate show / School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2002 LocalPatron / Group show / New Langton Arts / San Francisco
1999 The Brewery ArtWalk / Group show / Los Angeles
1998 The Brewery ArtWalk / Group show / Los Angeles
Dialectica / Two person show / 8th Annual Pacific Southwest Women?s Studies
Assoc. Conference / CSU Fullerton
1997 The Brewery ArtWalk / Group show / Los Angeles
1996 Night in Fullerton / Group show / The Hub Café / Fullerton CA
1995 Crosseyed and Didactic / Group show / The Hub Café

May 2008 THE magazine / Review of Feminists Under Forty show

2008 Creativity Workshop / Prague Czech Republic
1996 Otis Parson?s School of Design / Semester intensive
Paris, France
1993 Workshop with Jim Morpheses / Artist in residence
(by invitation) / Fullerton College CA
1992 Workshop with Miriam Schapiro / Artist in residence
(by invitation) / Fullerton College CA
1991 C.C.A. Award of Excellence / Pre-college program / Oakland
1988 Idyllwild School of the Arts / Summer intensive
Drawing and Painting

2008 Journal of LGBT Youth / Translating Memories: How do you read me now?
The Art and Teaching of Angela Piehl / Volume 5, Number 4
Sept 2007 Invited participant in Art Educator Panel Discussion for Americore
volunteers at VSA Very Special Arts / Albuquerque NM
Nov 2007 Co-Presenter at the New Mexico Art Education Association Annual
Conference / “The Cradle Project: Bringing a Social Awareness Art Experience to
Your Classroom