Sharif Bey [b. 1974, Pittsburgh, PA] lives and works in Syracuse, NY, where in addition to this studio practice he is an associate professor in arts education and teaching and leadership in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Syracuse University’s School of Education. Bey earned his B.F.A. in ceramics from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, an M.F.A. in studio art from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in art education from Penn State University. He has participated in many artist-in-residencies and fellowships to hone his craft, and is included in numerous public collections including: The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, Washington DC; the Columbus Museum of Art, OH; and the United States Embassies of Khartoum, Sudan; Kampala, Uganda; and Jakarta, Indonesia. His forthcoming exhibitions include solo exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA and the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY in 2021.
Bey’s sculptures reference the visual heritage of Africa and Oceania, as well as present-day African American culture, exploring the significance of traditional beads and figurines through contemporary reinterpretations of these forms. He works primarily with ceramics, a medium historically used by communities to create both functional objects and objects of worship.