Home: The Present, The Process, The Future
While creating this work, I witnessed my own personal journey to discover a new environment – a new future. At the beginning of the mural, I am standing alone in my present-day community, looking up toward this new future. The Caribbean, and all of the Americas, is a rich melting pot of cultures, languages, and traditions. My vision, manifested at the end of the mural on the second floor, is of a community united in understanding, identity, knowledge, equality, and energy. This mural is quite simply an aspiration and a wish to feel at home within a community that shares a common sense of equality, thought, and harmony.
Location: Inter America Development Bank
Headquarters, Washington DC
photo credit: Sergio Gonzalez
Acrylic on Dry Wall
9 Feet x 15 Feet
Location: Perez Art Museum Miami
"Compendious" ( 2019) is about self-discovery, I am removing the landscape and focusing on the beings, which makes me feel as ease as if I am not shouting " I am from the Caribbean!" I am curious about what happens when you remove the landscape. It feels as though landscape indicates a cultural identity. I believe it can become distracting, understanding where figures are located and where they are from. How do they relate to space? What is the connection to space? Does this space exist?
I hope in the future that I do not have to always show that I am from the Caribbean. I want to remove the cliche and stereotypes from the figures, therefore removing the space around them and making it neutral. The hair and strange devices are connected to them because I see them as special creatures and I feel as though the Caribbean is a very interesting, magical place. I am tired of this cliche that defines who we are. The Caribbean is full of layers and complexity, but the figure itself is complex as well.
6TH Avenue Corridor Bus Shelter Art Project
Des Moines, Iowa (February 4, 2020) – The 6th Avenue Corridor Urban Neighborhood Main Street Program and the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation have selected contemporary artist Sheena Rose for the 6th Avenue Corridor Bus Shelter public art project. This project is being implemented in collaboration with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) as part of a larger streetscape project. The 6th Avenue Corridor (6AC) is the longest and most environmentally sustainable streetscape project undertaken to date in the City of Des Moines.
The 6AC Bus Shelter Art Project will realize a series of seven designs digitally embedded into the glass panels of each bus shelter. The objective of this series is to create a collection with a common theme and inspiration to establish a distinct visual identity for transit in the 6th Avenue Corridor district. Each shelter structure features five glass panels and the designs will expand across the surface of each panel. In total, twelve bus shelters will be installed in three phases along this 1.2- mile district stretching from the Des Moines River Bridge south to Interstate 235.
“Public art, when most successful, is about taking risk,” remarked M. Jessica Rowe, Director of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation (GDMPAF), who led the art selection process. “GDMPAF has a track record of infusing innovative practices, new methods, perspectives, technologies, and fresh ideas into public art processes.”
To achieve the 6AC’s unique vision, a 12-member art selection committee was formed. It consisted of art, architecture, design and music professionals, artists, community & business leaders, neighborhood stakeholders, and commissioning agency representatives. Through a rigorous review process, the committee evaluated a large pool of eligible local, national and international artists. The committee prioritized artists whose work elevated creativity and enhanced urban identity by using criteria that included:
Artistic excellence is evidenced by images of past projects.
Professional qualifications and experience.
Demonstrated ability to successfully complete public art projects of similar scale, scope, and budget.
Three accomplished artists were chosen as finalists and commissioned to create and present their design concepts. In December 2019, the artist Sheena Rose was awarded the art commission for her concepts. In the first quarter of 2020, the artist be will develop her design concepts for fabrication and integration into the walls of the bus shelters.
Pause and Breathe, We Got This, 2021
Weatherspoon Art Museum
A homecoming is in the works. The Weatherspoon is excited to announce its commission of a major new artwork by artist Sheena Rose, MFA ’16. A multidisciplinary artist working in animation, drawing, painting, and performance, Rose’s vibrant and energetic work is at once anchored in her Caribbean heritage and expansive in its explorations of culture and human experience.
A native of Barbados, where she continues to live and work, Rose attended UNC Greensboro as a Fulbright Scholar from 2014 to 2016.
“UNCG gave me a place to think about where I come from—my race, gender, sexuality, and culture as a Black woman from the Caribbean,” she said, reflecting on her time in North Carolina. “It gave me a chance to face myself and move forward with brave steps and to take risks in the studio.”
Since graduating, the artist has had her work featured internationally and recently received the 2020–2021 UNC Greensboro Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
For the Weatherspoon’s atrium, Rose is creating a large-scale mural rich in colors and patterns, each of which she links to a particular thought about our current moment in time. While working on the commission, she said she’s been thinking about such concepts as: “reflection, future, new era, anxiety, fears, positivity, new movement, new language, innovation, creative, flexible, observant, listen, meditation, pause, and breath.” The last two words from this list provide the work’s title: Pause and Breathe, We Got This.
Due to the difficulty of traveling during the pandemic, Rose and the Weatherspoon staff worked together on a new creative approach involving the digital translation of multiple paintings and drawings. Rose says she is excited by “how the digital process is adding more to my concept and to my questions about this new era we are living in. It is like a new language, new habits, and a new norm. The work feels very relevant to this current time—from the painting and drawing in Barbados, to the emails and Zoom calls, to the computer programs and machinery that will allow the work to exist in North Carolina. #DigitalMagic.”
Thoughtfulness – Hope, Journey, and Peace. 2022
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
When I started the sketches, I started with pink, thinking of my own experiences in hospitals. I knew working on this project would be a sensitive topic. I thought of the patients and knew that each is in different stages and processes of their discoveries and procedures.
On the first side of the mural, I thought of the beginning of the patients' journey and the relationship between patients, the staff, and the laboratory of MSK. The mixed emotions of high and low of discovery and process. These are the colors and words that help build the mural:
Yellow - Process
Dark Blue - Staff and Laboratory
Pink - my own experience
Purple - Emotions
Red - Fighters
Orange - Balance and Peace
Light Blue – Inclusion
Green - Playful
On the second side of the mural. I listened to the experiences of patients, staff, and supporters at MSK. They all had positive and encouraging stories. I imagined a calming feeling that we can fight through this. I wanted to reveal healing, solutions, calmness, and peace. These are the words that helped create the second mural:
Dark Blue – Medicine and Healing
Light Blue –Process and Healing
Yellow – Calmness
Orange – Solution
Pink – Playful
Green – Nurturing
When the two works came together as one mural, I was happy with the reveal of a third piece. The emotions, shapes, forms, and colors overlap, intervene with each other, and become one mural. The words that mostly came to my mind are:
Process - Procedures - Hope - Peace - Playful - Fighters - Discoveries - Energy - Calmness - Journey
I hope this mural can bring some form of light and a smile to the viewers' faces.
Courtesy of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Courtesy of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center