Shar Coulson

Shar Coulson

born 1955, American
lives and works in Chicago, IL


Shar Coulson has been a painter for over 20 years. She recently shifted her focus to organic abstraction, a transformative culmination of study and experiences in classical figurative realism and abstract expressionism. Her sensibility is also deeply informed by a successful career as a graphic designer and advertising executive creative director. Shar is a founding member of the Chicago Art Salon and has exhibited internationally. She currently lives in the Near West Side Market of Chicago.

Artist's Statement

“When I paint today, I consider a form, idea or concept from every angle. I realize that my formal training has given me a unique way of approaching abstraction. Organic abstraction is a recent style of painting for me. I was schooled in atelier-style realism and spent many years painting and drawing from life and studying the human skeleton by drawing, carving and sculpturing bones. On an artistic retreat, I read Erosions, a book of poetry by Mariano Zaro. These poems have an emotional tone that embodied the transitional moment I was in. My classical training and years of working in design came together in a totally new way, guided by honest emotions sparked by the poems.”

–Shar Coulson

Selected Exhibitions

2016Cedarburg Plein Air Competition, Cedarburg, WI
Chess; Water Street Gallery, Douglas, MI
Agape; Artspace 8, Chicago, IL
2015Artspace 8 Gallery Group Show, Chicago, IL
2013Cedarburg Plein Air Competition, Cedarburg, WI
2012Hiding In Clear Sight, North Shore Art League, Chicago, IL
Centered States, South Haven Center for the Arts, South Haven, MI
Cedarburg Plein Air Competition, Cedarburg, WI
2011Reassembled Group Show, South Shore Arts, Munster, IN
Compilation 2011 Group Exhibition, The Art Center, Highland Park, IL
2010North Park Art Walk, Chicago, IL
Shared Visions Group Show, The John Almquist Gallery, Chicago, IL
Serves. Beyond Blue, Brickton Arts Center, Chicago, IL
Improbability, Chicago, IL
2009Kunst10daagse: Art Unites, Bergen, Netherlands
2004Objects of Nature, Helsinki, Fish Creek, WI
Two Schools of Thought, Felter School, Chicago, IL
2002Group Figurative Show, Aron Packer Gallery, Chicago, IL
2001Tradition and Innovation, The Three Arts Club, Chicago, IL
2000Alumni Show, School of Representational Art, Chicago, IL
Foot in the Door, Art Institute, Minneapolis, MN