Past Exhibits


Roots, Knots & Burls

In the mid-1980s, Charles Medlar began gardening. When some of the trees and shrubs on his property died, he kept pieces, hoping to someday find another use for the roots and branches. One day, he had the idea to create “root people” and a new hobby was formed. Over the years, Medlar has tried carving with a variety of...

Learn More ≫

Departing Tradition: Art Quilts by Deb Hyde

While quilting has a long history in the United States, artist Deb Hyde moves well beyond traditional patchwork and calico. Her intricate works use pattern and color to show the human figure in new ways. As she explains,  “I want to represent the beauty of the figure in my own style, imbued with my own emotional response. This medium...

Learn More ≫

From Kitchen Floors to Gallery Walls: Introducing the Linocut

Linocut is a relief print-making technique in which the artist carves a design into linoleum, inks the surface, and then presses the image onto paper or fabric. This exhibit features the work of Laura DeLind. Her prints explore themes of spontaneity, honesty, and boldness using elements of negative space, strong composition, and imagination. Laura has been cutting and hand-printing linocuts...

Learn More ≫

Jackson & The Great War

Although central Michigan was thousands of miles from the battlefields of Europe, the people of Jackson played an important role in World War I. Jackson residents fought in the armed forces and Jackson-area manufacturers contributed mightily to the war effort. Join us for an exhibition highlighting World War I artifacts from the museum’s permanent collection. "Jackson & the Great...

Learn More ≫

Star Wars Pop-up Exhibit

Excited for the new STAR WARS movie? So are we! Submit artwork for possible inclusion in a pop-up Star Wars themed exhibit at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, MI. Artwork for the exhibition will be selected by the folks from Court of Nerds podcast and exhibited at the museum beginning in November. Then, join us...

Learn More ≫

Journey: Watermedia Works by Joyce Grace

Joyce Grace works in watermedia and colored pencil, creating colorful, whimsical works on paper. Her paintings have been shown in numerous national and regional exhibitions and are featured in Northlight Books “Splash Five,” American Artist Magazine and Rockport Press “Best of Watercolor: Painting Composition.” Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from the University of Michigan and is a...

Learn More ≫

Objective / Reflective

Objective/Reflective features the mixed media artwork of Cynthia Foley. “With pen, with scissors, I draw myself into another creature and look outward. Objects appear as in a diorama that has compressed very nearly to two dimensions. I begin each work with a specific configuration in mind, but always experience upheaval in the process as the outcome changes...

Learn More ≫

Home is Where the Senses Are: a House Full of Memories

Families can maintain connections with loved ones experiencing Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or Memory Loss associated with aging through storytelling, reminiscing, and engaging the five senses. Home is where the Senses are tells the story behind a miniature house in the museum’s permanent collection while exploring how memory is uniquely tied to the five senses.

Learn More ≫

Art á Loan 2017

The Art á Loan program is designed to encourage young artists to share their talents with the Jackson community. Artworks from students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are selected by a committee to be professionally framed and displayed at the museum. Following the exhibit, the artworks are rented and displayed in public locations around Jackson for one year. Pictures are listed...

Learn More ≫

"Didn't I Have a Good Time" -Young Victorian Life through the Eyes of Tracy Merriman

This exhibit brings to life the diary of Tracy Merriman, Ella Sharp’s younger brother. From 1876 until 1879, Tracy recorded his thoughts in a simple notebook. Tracy’s descriptions of family time, everyday chores, traveling, social gatherings, and drama in romantic relationships will be illuminated through 19th-century objects and photographs. Visitors will get a glimpse into the days of a young...

Learn More ≫

Intricate Beauty: The Paintings of Craig Cossey

Craig Cossey paints ordinary items in great detail and intensity. His paintings are layered with intricate and colorful abstractions, and his work reveals the aging of objects with textures that are vivid and complex. Cossey’s paintings allow us the opportunity to slow down and value the simple beauty that life and change provides. Gallery Talk with the Artist...

Learn More ≫

A Wild Life: Works by Pauline Pierce-Harmon

"I have a deep love of nature and a passion for animals. Wild, remote places and the beautiful creatures that inhabit them have always drawn me to them. It was only natural therefore, when I really began to paint in earnest, that I paint what I love. I cannot imagine a world without animals but unfortunately we are ever encroaching...

Learn More ≫

Charting the Wolverine: Works by Elaine Wilson

A series of prints created to map the Wolverine train from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek and on to Chicago. It is inspired by a 17th Century scroll map from Japan, the artist’s research into historical maps and atlases of Michigan, as well as her love of riding the train. In an age of GPS and Google Maps, this...

Learn More ≫

Works of Art from the Prison Creative Arts Project

Opening February 11, Works of Art from the Prison Creative Arts Project will be in the Pyron Gallery till May 27. Featuring a selection of prints from 20 years of the Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners, an exhibit organized through the Prison Creative Arts Project.  Join us March 9 at 6:30 p.m. for a conversation with community leaders as they discuss...

Learn More ≫

SONS: Seeing the Modern African American Male

How would the Black American male be best described? If the images currently flooding popular media were relied upon he might be described as menacing, comical, volatile, hip, urban, oppressed, or a victim of the legacy of slavery. The image that springs to America’s collective mind when the subject of the African American male is raised is probably not...

Learn More ≫

100x100 | 100 Sculptors, 100 Sculptures: A Survey of Contemporary Sculpture from the Midwest

"100 x 100 is the third installment of a thirty-year project for me in which I try to take a comprehensive look at sculpture being made at this time in the Midwest. The premise for this exhibit: It is to seek out a diverse group of 100 sculptors that represent as many approaches to sculpture as possible." -Ken Thompson, Curator Please join us...

Learn More ≫

A Walk in the Park: Jackson’s Green Spaces

Inspired by the centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service, A Walk in the Park: Jackson’s Green Spaces celebrates the county’s  local parks and recreation areas. Photographs, and objects from the museum’s collection will highlight well-known parks and recreation areas in the area.

Learn More ≫

Luminous Vessels: Works by David Huang

David Huang's hammered metal vessels concentrate on form, color, and texture. He strives to create works that beg to be held and glow with and inner light. In short, Huang's vessels are about things he treasures; the natural, sensual world, skilled labor, timeless beauty, and the inner spirit made visible. The exhibit will be on display from October 22, 2016-January 28, 2017.

Learn More ≫

Art à Loan

Entering its 10th year, the Art à Loan program is designed to encourage young artists to share their talents with the Jackson community. Artworks from students in Kindergarten through 12th grade were selected by a committee to be professionally framed and displayed at the Museum. Following the exhibit, the artworks are rented and displayed in public locations around Jackson County for...

Learn More ≫

Jackson Civic Art Association Biennial Exhibition

The Jackson Civic Art Association (JCAA) has served the Jackson area since its founding in 1947. It is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and creation of fine art. The 10th Biennial Juried Exhibition will take place from October 1-November 5, 2016 and features work by members of JCAA.

Learn More ≫

Accumulated History: Recent donations to the Ella Sharp Museum permanent collection

The Ella Sharp Museum collects to preserve the history and culture of the Jackson area. This summer some of the most recent donations to the collection will be highlighted in the Pyron Gallery. Enjoy learning the stories behind the objects and become more familiar with the museum’s collecting process.

Learn More ≫

Statewide Fine Art Competition

The 2016 Statewide Fine Art Competition represents 38 regional artists, and features over 50 works in photography, painting, sculpture, textile, and other mediums. The exhibit was juried by Bill Hosterman of Grand Valley State University. Best of Show, Exceptional Merit, Merit, and 3D Awards were awarded at the opening reception, Saturday July 2, 2-4 p.m.Awards and the opening reception...

Learn More ≫

Behold Revelation: The Fairy Tale Paintings of Katherine Ace

Featuring the conceptual, figurative and still-life paintings of Katharine Ace. Working in oil on canvas, Katharine Ace’s paintings have a magical quality and are intended to transport us to hidden places within ourselves. Dreamlike; her works often allude to stories or myths.

Learn More ≫

Art of the Brick

Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist who creates awe-inspiring works of art out of some of the most unlikely things. His recent global museum exhibitions feature large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks, LEGO® bricks to be exact. The Art of the Brick  will be on display at the Ella Sharp Museum beginning January 30, 2016. This award-winning exhibition created...

Learn More ≫

An Eagle’s Eye Perspective of Jackson County

This exhibit will celebrate Dale Fisher’s latest book: “Jackson County: Visions of the Eagle.” Many photographs in this exhibit were taken from Dale’s helicopter. “Although the images in the book are beautiful, when the photographs are enlarged and framed they are spectacular!” states Fisher. In a career that has spanned more than half a century, Dale Fisher has...

Learn More ≫

Michigan Water Color Association 2016 Juried Exhibition

The Michigan Water Color Association will host their 2016 juried exhibition at the Ella Sharp Museum. The exhibit will feature an incredible variety of water-based paintings from top Michigan artists.

Learn More ≫