About Shari Albers
I grew up near the Mississippi River, within valleys and upon bluffs of rural southeastern Minnesota. While earning a B.S. in art education from the Minnesota State College system, I developed a passion for figure drawing. Delineating other people’s bodies prompted me to focus on my own shapes and features. Feminist luminaries Frida Kahlo, Judy Chicago, and Alice Neel inspired my thinking. I illustrated myself in journals and found that intimacy key to valuing my physical being while studying my states of mind and changing body. As a teacher, I encouraged self-representation as means for young art students to connect with and treasure themselves.
Teaching art at Centennial Junior High (1973-1979) led to a Minneapolis Public Schools artist-in-residency (1980) and then a short-term contract at St. Paul Central High School (1980-1981). I loved interacting with kids of all ages but I yearned to make art, no longer teach it. Joining the art department of a multi-media company in 1981, I designed visual presentations, illustrated, built sets, and art-directed photography before establishing Shari Albers Illustration & Design (1986-2013). My work included corporate and nonprofit presentations, theme graphics for local and national events, illustrations for children’s stories, and pictorial maps of Minneapolis business nodes and downtown St. Paul.
I was focusing on writing and illustrating picture books and had just completed a Shabo mentorship with Susan Marie Swanson at the Loft, when my husband suddenly died. Writing and making art became instruments to come to terms with my grief. Three self-portraits created during the 2018 Women’s Art Institute (St. Catherine’s University) launched “The Widow Series,” seventeen self-portraits expressing the aftermath of loss and grief.