Sharon Stewart, a resident of Chacon, has exhibited her photography in shows throughout the United States.
In 1987 through 1989 her pictures were shown in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Charleroi, Belgium and Frankfurt, Germany
Currently her photos are being exhibited at the exhibit ‘Earth Now,’ American Photographers and the Environment at New Mexico Museum of Art on the Plaza in Santa Fe. The exhibit can be viewed through Oct. 9.
Her photos are being featured among the work of other famous photographers from all around the country. The titles of her photographs exhibited at the New Mexico Museum of Art are: Mayordomo, Acequia Madre, Tarea and Walking the Ditch, images of the acequia culture of Northern New Mexico. Later this year — opening on Oct. 21 at the New Mexico History Museum — four of Sharon’s photographs taken in the Mora Valley will be shown in The Contemplative Landscape exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe.
Sharon has been doing professional photography for 30 years. She has had her photos shown in different exhibits in Houston, El Paso, Lubbok and Austin and at Harvard and Radcliff Universities, Corpus Cristi State University, American Photography Institute in New York City, University of Arizona, New Orleans Museum of Art, Humbodlt State University in Eureka, Calif.,and Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.
Sharon has collections in museums and public libraries and university archives including the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico. She also has a Southwest special collection in the library of Texas Tech University and at George Eastman International Museum of Photography and Film. She has received grants and a fellowship for her work and studies.
Sharon works to show the cultural landscape portraying the life and traditions of the area in which she finds herself.
In the past few years she has been showing the agrarian life in New Mexico as in her El Agua es La Vida, A Village Life Portrait of El Cerrito, N.M. portfolio.
In living the rural life she understands the environment, culture and community she portrays. She attends different events in the community and takes many pictures to show the way of life where she lives.
Her long term project has been Toxic Tour of Texas focused on the efforts of grassroots activists to protect their land, air, water and families from exposure to hazardous waste creation and disposal. Photos from this project were used for front covers of three Texas magazines in 1991 and 1992. She was featured in five different publications from 1991 to 1997.
She is concerned about the environment and the everyday lives of the people. She shows people at work and the beauty of their faces and the landscape and love of the land and culture.
She has been featured in different magazines as well as putting up exhiibts.
Sharon was born in Edinburg, Texas. Her mother and father were hard workers and believed in education They were also very active in community service.
Her mother did fundraising and established a library in Edinburg. After Sharon graduated from high school she studied finance at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a bachelors with honors and spent the summer studying economics at Harvard University.
She found that she was really not happy in the corporate world. She was more interested in photography and taught herself the skill and art of photography.
When she was 11-years-old she was in 4-H, and she says that she did not have a cow but had a camera so she took sewing, cooking and photography. At this early age she found a project that she enjoyed.
She also comes from a long line of photo enthusiasts. Dating back to 1880’s her Q˘aker great- great-aunt and great- grandfather had photographic studios in Iowa.
She is now an expert and a well known professional photographer with her photographs shown in many places.
Sharon has followed her parents in being active in community service. She is currently a member of Chacon’s Agua Pura Mutual Domestic Water Board. In the past she has been a member and an officer of nine different community and service organizations.
She is a member of the Water in the West Project and Sierra Rose Biodynamic Collective. In the past she was a member of photographic groups, served on the Texas Environment Magazine Editorial Board and she sang Heartsong in the Texas Womens’ Choir
Sharon continues to do her work in Chacon, photographing the life of the people she has contact with in her concern for the environment and the simple life. She is a good neighbor and one who is interested in other people and their lives.
Ruth Fort is a Mora County correspondent. She may be reached at (575) 387-6523 or email@example.com.