American contemporary painter Shari Erickson gained early recognition as a figurative muralist in her home town of Atlanta. After graduating with honors from The Ringling College of Art and Design, she became an accomplished drawing instructor, potter, and jewelry designer.

From early on, this artist’s personal focus has been the creative contemplation of the human form. This remains at the heart of her authority, while the exploration of light and bold color always infuse her work

“Erickson’s uncluttered island vignettes are characterized by an assured use of color, an elemental grasp of human movement, and her deceptively straightforward painting style that achieves an elegant simplicity.”


Erickson’s love of figurative painting was renewed on her first visit to the West Indies in 1979. She was beguiled  by the magical, unsinkable Islands. The saturated colors and swaying people inspired a new rhythm in her work. Her vision of island society, distinguished by her ‘coup de crayon’, has quickly brought her numerous exhibitions and international collectors.

The U.S. Department of State honored Ms. Erickson by selecting her work for the global ART in Embassies Program.  The Minister for Development for the American Territories chose Erickson’s work for its Virgin Islands Park Service publications. She has designed book covers for Macmillan-Caribbean Publishers. And recently she is translating her tropical designs into textile applications.

Although she spends much of her time exploring the Caribbean with artist husband Douglas Kahle Gifford, many of her Alkyd-oil, A la Prima studies are completed in their Smoky Mountains studio. Shari Erickson’s images of the tropical kind are currently exhibited throughout the Southeast and the Antilles Archipelago.