Salvador, currently on display at the People’s Gallery

Primary Medium
My primary mediums are glass, neon, aluminum and steel.

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition (if applicable)
Currently on display at the People’s Gallery in City Hall, are two of my most recent pieces: Salvador, a 12’ tall, long-legged steel and neon elephant, and Fern, a 7’ aluminum and art glass fern. This fall we will be presenting an immersive neon art show and interactive celebration of illumination we call The Surreal Sea.The event will be held at Ion Art on November 9, 2019.

What are you working on now?
Recently, my primary focus is on my Arts In Public Places piece commissioned by the City of Austin. We’re in the final design phase and hope to have it up by the end of the year. It will be permanently installed downtown off of Colorado and 8th.

What draws you to your medium?
Neon and glass are my main mediums, with aluminum and steel as support. Neon, in both its modern and vintage form, draws me because of its luminosity. It’s an old art form that’s both challenging and dangerous to work with.

How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?
I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. When you’re young you build what you think people want you to build. As I’ve gotten older, I have become more comfortable with my own style and feel free to explore that without the boundary of others’ opinions of ‘what art is.’  

In your opinion, what does the Austin arts community need as the city continues to grow?
Providing artists with something as simple as affordable studio space to create and show their work, would help the art community flourish. The city would also benefit from more art events and festivals because they add uniqueness, enhance creativity, and encourage connectivity in the community.

Submit a short bio of yourself and your social media handles
After moving to Austin, Texas, in the early 80’s, Sharon got a job making stained glass for a well-known local sculptor, Damian Priour. Although working for Priour was a great educational experience, she sought to start her own company. Throughout Sharon’s life, she’s always been fascinated with the bright colors and light. This interest was furthered when she met a couple of neon artists who were willing to teach her how to bend glass. From then on, Sharon has included neon as a component in her own art. Now, she’s trying to change the way people think about neon and show them, through her work, that neon is so much more than sayings and signage.

Keep up with Sharon Keshishian through social media: