My first memory is of standing in the blazing Texas sun in my grandfather’s garden. I still vividly remember the way the hot, dry soil was itchy on my bare feet. My love of nature came easily and I began collecting specimens early on, filling my pockets with rocks and tin cans with sweet gum seeds.

Through painting, I interpret the landscapes around me and from my past abstractly. The dripping, oozing fields of color celebrate the ever-changing and sometimes messy process of growth and death. The layering of colors and textures evokes the expansive tapestry of light, the complexity of form, and the subtlety of change that surrounds us in nature.

My sculptural work deals specifically with the impulse to catalogue, classify, and collect nature. I often work in the tradition of field naturalists, gathering artifacts and specimens outdoors, transporting them inside for closer observation and study, re-creating, transforming and displaying them as pseudo-scientific objects.

The objects and images that I create are often the by-products of tedious repetitive actions done in the studio. As materials are coated, destroyed, and altered, their history informs a new meaning. Time and place become palpably embedded in the layers of material.

Shara Appanaitis was born in rural east Texas, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that continues to inspire her artwork today. Using a variety of media and processes, she explores the environment both seen and unseen.

In 2006, Shara was featured in Sculpture magazine as a recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture award. That same year, she spent a semester at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia, studying new media, installation, and video work in the sculpture atelier. That semester strengthened her love of both travel and photography.

Shara received her M.A. in Studio Art from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2013. She currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.