Sharon Lacey is a painter based in Boston, MA. She is from Charleston, SC, and was educated in Washington, New York, Oxford and London. Lacey’s art training has primarily focused on traditional techniques and materials, with particular emphasis on the human figure. Her imagery is invented, yet informed by art history. She uses traditional techniques to explore ideas about cultural continuity and shared human experiences throughout history.
Lacey graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where she earned degrees in both Art and English. In 1995, she was accepted to study art and literature at Keble College, Oxford University. While there, she studied stone carving at Keble's Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, which bolstered her interest in traditional craft practices.
Lacey moved to New York in 1999 to pursue graduate work in painting at the New York Academy of Art. In 2001, she completed her MFA degree, with Eric Fischl as her thesis advisor.
She also earned an MA degree at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, where she studied painting techniques used in medieval manuscripts, under the instruction of Dr. Michelle P. Brown. Lacey’s research focused on the tinted drawing techniques used in the Tanner Apocalypse, a thirteenth century manuscript at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Other research interests include early craft treatises, paint technology, and the history of artists' studio practice and training.
From 2003-2010 she taught painting, drawing, and contemporary art theory in the Studio Art Department at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. While there, she also co-created and co-taught a course in the history and techniques of manuscript illumination. Currently, she works as the Arts Research Writer at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).
Lacey has exhibited work throughout the US, including Washington, DC, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Charleston, SC, New Orleans, LA, Portland, OR, Omaha, NE, and Augusta, GA, and in the UK, in London and Oxford, and in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. She has participated in art residencies and cultural exchanges in Barcelona, Spain and in the Yunnan and Sichuan regions of China and Tibet. She has also been a resident artist at the Contemporary Art Center Woodside in Troy, New York and at Arteles Creative Center in Haukijärvi, Finland.
Lacey is a recipient of two Somerville Arts Council artist fellowship grants (2013, 2016) and a grant from the MIT Council for the Arts (2014) for the creation of a new series of work based in her manuscript research. Her studio is located in Somerville, MA.