Amy Sherald

“What was so shocking when I first went to a museum, was to find out that art wasn’t something in a book, in an encyclopedia, that people did a long time ago, that it was real life. And then, when I saw an image of a person of color, it all came together in that moment-that this was something real, that somebody created this who was alive at the same time that I was alive.”

  • Name: Amy Sherald
  • Born: August 30, 1973
  • From: Columbus, Georgia
  • Occupation: Artist
  • Known For: Official Portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Awards: Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition
  • Fun Fact: She is known as the painter of the official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama – the first African American ever to receive presidential portrait commissions from the National Portrait Gallery.

Sherald was born on August 30th, 1973 in Columbus, Georgia to dentist Amos P. Sherald III and Geraldine W. Sherald. As a schoolchild, Sherald had an early interest in art, staying from recess to draw. When she went on her first trip to a museum, she learned art could be a career, but her parents were against it.


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