Sharon Carlisle


I was born in Tarentum, Pennsylvania in 1954.  A lifelong interest in art and creating led me to attend college as an art major, graduating in 1989 from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor degree, summa cum laude, and with distinction in my major.  During my time as a student at UCSB I was introduced to installation art.  I quickly took to the creation of environments as a way to address my curiosity about the world and give it form through creative expression.

My work is based in ecology, social issues, and simple material exploration.  It is incubated within many fields of study including: science; sociology; history; art history; astronomy and world cultures – especially various Japanese art forms.

I create installations both large and small – indoors and out.  I also create components that can stand alone – painting & sculpture.

I have exhibited in shop windows, galleries, schools, a city park, friend’s gardens, where ever and whenever possible, in order to connect with people where they are.  My installations may include painting, drawing, found objects, sculpture, light, sound, surfacing, movement, smell; visitor interaction components – whatever is needed to best express and communicate with the visitor. I favor materials both precious and mundane.

I consider myself a visual storyteller and strive to engage as many of our five senses as possible.  My goal as an artist is to touch visitors on levels that are visceral, emotional, spiritual and cerebral.  I work to enter into an interaction with the viewer that is felt as well as seen, heard, smelled…

I have lived and worked in Loveland, Colorado since graduating UCSB in 1989.

Artist Statement

Carlisle’s sculpture and sculptural installation work is based in two main classifications or subjects: the construction of human history and focused, in-depth material exploration of bodies, environments, and planetary matter.  Exhibitions have included two and three-dimensional works utilizing various mediums as well as surfacing, sound, light, smell, movement, and performance.  Current work expands the geopolitical scope of past projects, with a particular focus on the climate crisis.

Materials are chosen with consideration to intrinsic information/associations as well as the visceral response they evoke.  Carlisle gleans elements and objects found in nature, such as tree, rock, leaf and mud, then “skin” them with fabric, leather, fur, and other found and recycled/repurposed materials.  Her installations then evolve from the world of these artifacts to create a narrative environment that visitors can interact with (through story-telling, performance, and ritual) but also experience directly as a set of indelible images that combine lavish beauty with decay.