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March 16, 2017

Joe Verkennes, Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161
(734) 384-4207 (O), (419) 343-3063 (M) 


Synthesizes Art, Science, Nature and Conservation

MONROE, Mich. – Monroe County Community College will host a lecture and display in April by fine artist Sharon Bladholm, who synthesizes art, science, nature and conservation in her work and has expertise in a variety of disciplines, including cast glass, bronze, and ceramic in the sculptural realm, as well as stained glass, printmaking and works on paper.

The lecture will take place April 5 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Room 173bcd of the Audrey M. Warrick Student Services/Administration Building on MCCC’s Main Campus.

In addition, Bladholm work will be on public display from April 3-30 in the MCCC Library, which is located in the Campbell Learning Resource Center. 

Both the lecture and the display are free and open to the public. 

The MCCC Library is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday.  It is closed on Sunday.

Samples of Bladholm’s work can be found on her website at   

The recurring theme in Bladholm’s work is the interface of people with the natural world, integrating the sciences of anthropology with biology and botany from the plant world.  Her lecture will bring together art, science, nature and conservation topics while showing diverse images of her art.  She will also discuss her participation as artist on scientific expeditions to isolated areas of South America and other remote areas.

Bladholm, who is based out of Chicago, has participated on expeditions with The Field Museum in Chicago, Conservation International and the Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program to the Brazilian, Venezuelan and Peruvian Amazon, documenting the life ways of the Yanomami people through her art and exploring conservation of endangered plant and animal species in isolated communities.

She has run Opal Glass Studios in Chicago since 1983 and continues to complete many important commissions and show her work in galleries and museums, as well as create public art such as installations at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux, France and the Garfield Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  

This year, she is working on a public art piece for greater Chicago’s Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, which is one of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation.  She is also creating new works of art based on her involvement with the Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program in 2009.

“My sculpture is a response to a long term investigation into the transient nature of the human figure and the natural world, especially botanical forms,” Bladholm said.  “My starting point in the creative process begins with simple materials such as wax, plaster and clay, and, after a process of maturation, is finally formed into glass, bronze and ceramic.  I believe that the figure and organic form become an appropriate vehicle allowing me to address the larger concerns of the human condition. It is very important that my work reaches across social, economic, and cultural barriers reaching back to that time when art was not a separate function of life and spoke a more universal language.”

About Monroe County Community College

Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition.  

The college’s mission is to enrich and transform lives by providing opportunities and excellence in higher education.  The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit.  The Whitman Center is located at 7777 Lewis Ave.,Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border.  Detailed information about MCCC is available at