About this Event

Photo of a Black man with a mustache and goatee wearing a grey head covering and a blue striped collared shirt

Artist Sharif Bey

Born as one of twelve children, Sharif Bey was raised in a large African American family in Pittsburgh. While many of the men in his family left school for jobs in industry, Bey had a pivotal experience as a high schooler at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG), a community center that inspires creativity, learning, and personal growth through the arts. MCG played a formative role for Bey throughout his teens, giving him a foundation of skills and extensive ceramics-world connections.

Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, Bey studied sculpture at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Later, he earned his BFA from Slippery Rock University, his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and PhD (in art education) from Pennsylvania State University.

Inspired by modernism, functional pottery, Oceanic, African art, and Art of the African diaspora, Bey’s ceramic/glass/mix-media works investigate the cultural and political significance of adornment and the symbolic and formal properties of archetypal motifs, while questioning how the meaning of icons and function transform across cultures and time. WAM recently added Bey’s sculpture to the collection with a 2021 glass work titled Nestle III.

About WAM Nights: We’re open late on Fridays until 9 pm! Get your weekend started with after-hours access to the galleries, dinner at 1400 by Elderslie or shopping in the Museum Store. WAM Nights will include programs with artists, musicians, and performers–don’t miss your chance to see the art at WAM in a new way!