Ceramicist and professor Sharif Bey (born 1974, Pittsburgh, PA) produces both functional and sculptural works, using a variety of forms and textures. His body of work reflects his interest in the visual heritage of Africa and Oceania, as well as contemporary African American culture. He explores the cultural significance of ornamentation with colorful large-scale beads that he assembles into adornment pieces. Also an active scholar, Bey regularly publishes in academic journals on art education.
Dr. Sharif Bey is an Associate professor of art at Syracuse University. Bey earned a B.F.A. in ceramics from Slippery Rock University, an M.F.A in studio art from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in art education from Penn State University. He is a teaching artist with extensive experience in ceramics, sculpture, art community programming and art teacher training. Over the past 15 years, he has served as a resident artist at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia, The McColl Center for Visual Art, Hunter College, the John Michael Kohler Art Center and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Bey is the 2017 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship awardee in the Crafts/Sculpture category and the 2018 recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant. Bey’s work is featured in public collections including: The United States Embassies in Khartoum, Sudan, Kampala, Uganda, Jakarta, Indonesia, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Renwick Gallery-Smithsonian American Art Museum, and The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art. His body of work reflects his interest in the visual heritage of Africa and Oceania, as well as contemporary African American culture. With his colorful large-scale bead sculptures, Bey explores the cultural and political significance of ornamentation and adornment.