Sheena Rose (b. 1985) is a Barbados-based visual artist whose practice includes painting, drawing, performance art, new media, and mixed media. Rose is a Fulbright Scholar and holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was the recipient of the 2020–2021 UNC Greensboro Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Rose’s works, painted with her signature flat brushwork, bright colors and featuring retro graphic patterns, deal with issues related to politics, stereotypes, gender, and identity in historical and contemporary contexts whether she’s painting celebrated athletes, an intimate interior scene of two friends having a heart-to-heart, or a landscape featuring a vibrant sunset in Barbados.
She describes her works as light and humorous, mimicking classic patterns and colors from the seventies, that purposefully take up space. Rose’s current series for her exhibition ‘Born of the Sea,’ takes a look at sites, landscapes, and cultural motifs of her home country, Barbados. Her earlier series have explored travel, her personal struggles with lupus, as well as the world of sports.
During Covid, she took on the challenge of creating a series of paintings within the limitations of the travel restrictions. Using only paints that were locally accessible to her in Barbados, Rose unlocked a sense of imagination and freedom working within a color palette dominated by primary colors.
In 2022, the Welcome Wall Art Program of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City debuted a mural commission by Rose entitled Thoughtfulness — Hope, Journey, and Peace. In 2021, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro debuted a vibrant mural commission by Rose in its atrium. And in 2019, she designed a two-story mural at the Inter-American Development Bank Headquarters in D.C.