Amy Sherald (American b. Columbus, GA 1973, lives Baltimore) received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004), BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997), and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama (1997). In 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Outwin Boochever Portrait competition grand prize; an accompanying exhibition, The Outwin 2016, has been on tour since 2016 and will open at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO in October 2017. Public collections include Smithsonian National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Columbus Museum, GA; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC. Sherald is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.
From the recent New York Times article, "Why the Obamas' Portrait Choices Matter":
"Ms. Sherald’s subjects...are mostly young and come in all shapes and sizes. Her images play black and white against color in different ways, most obviously in the skin tones, which are painted on the gray scale. This recalls old photographs but mainly gives the figures a slight remove from the rest of the painting, one that also signals their awareness of the obstacles to their full participation in American life. This simple device introduces the notion of double consciousness, the phrase coined by W.E.B. DuBois to describe the condition of anyone living with social and economic inequality."