It can be said that Sharon Wolpoff, who began her art training at age five, has always been an artist.

Wolpoff’s undergraduate work at American University, in Washington, D.C., began in 1970. She spent her junior year abroad, studying painting and printmaking at the Tyler School of Art, in Rome, Italy, and subsequently developed a love of Italy and a passion for travel. In addition to receiving in 1974 her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts, she was honored with the Art Department’s Elizabeth VonSwinderen Award for excellence.

An apprenticeship as a silversmith in Tucson, Arizona in 1975 led to Sharon Wolpoff’s work as a designer of fine jewelry, as well as her appreciation for the craftsmanship of ritual objects. Working for jewelers in the Washington, D.C., area, she specialized in designing wedding and engagement rings. In 1980, she was awarded a patent for one of her jewelry inventions, a piece originally created as a ritual object in celebration of a wedding anniversary.

Wolpoff began work in 1979 on her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Painting at American University. That summer, to enhance her understanding of color relationships, she studied tapestry weaving at the Penland School of Crafts, in Penland, North Carolina. While in graduate school, she continued to design jewelry (an article about a piece of her jewelry appeared in Playboy magazine). She also taught horseback riding to special needs children. Upon graduation, she was awarded American University’s David Lloyd Kreeger Purchase Prize.

In 1991, she returned to Penland to continue her exploration of color relationships, this time through a course in bead weaving. In 1992, an article about her beadwork appeared in The New York Times and, in 1993, she began teaching bead weaving at the Smithsonian Museum through its Resident Associates Program. In 1995, The Artist’s Magazine published an extensive article by Sally Faulkner about Sharon Wolpoff’s approach to painting.

During the summer of 1996, she traveled to Italy and thereafter returned regularly over the next five years. In 1996, she received an Arts & Humanities of Montgomery County [Maryland] Fellowship and, in 1997, 1998, and 1999, she received the Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award. The 1999 award provided her with the opportunity to take a month-long monoprint workshop at the Santa Raparata Art Studio in Florence, Italy. She continued to develop her love of printmaking in workshops in 2006 at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado. Today, Sharon Wolpoff is one of the artists regularly doing printmaking at Susan Goldman’s Lily Press in Rockville, Maryland.

Throughout her career, Sharon Wolpoff’s paintings have been exhibited extensively. Most recently “Recollections” has filled the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, and “Wherever I Turn I See Light” at the University of Maryland’s Global Campus Gallery and “Sharon Wolpoff & Tammra Sigler: Geometry and Other Myths” at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. both offered beautiful accompanying catalogues. In addition, her ongoing commitment to the connection between healing and the arts was affirmed with the 2017 exhibition of her paintings of Italy, “Thresholds & Sacred Spaces: Glimpses of Italy,” on view at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Several of her paintings and prints have been acquired by the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities and can be viewed on the commission’s eMuseum Website. Another of her paintings was acquired by Paul Reiser, for use on the set of his NBC hit series “Mad About You.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Wolpoff maintains a studio in Kensington, Maryland.



The effect of the light, rather than its source, is what I’m interested in exploring.

—Sharon Wolpoff

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This