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Sharon L. Bjyrd, Local Artist Expressing Blackness

A portrait of Sharon L. Bjyrd

Sharon L. Bjyrd is best known for her vibrant portraits celebrating the beauty and diversity of the Black experience. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Sharon went to school for social work and Afro American studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and then went on to work in the domestic violence field. It was only after a slowdown due to lupus and sickle cell disease that she rediscovered her passion for art. We are thrilled to bring her work to you today.

“I seek to honor the individuality of people of color…and to depict the different ways we go about expressing our Blackness.”

We first met Sharon when she entered and then won our 2021 UMOJA Impact Award from our Onward & Upward Artist Showcase Contest.

Artwork featuring a Black woman in a headwrap looking into the distance

Sharon’s Winning Artwork: Untitled. Brown #3

“This painting is third in a series entitled “Brown” that I’m working on. All of the pieces are monochromatic with different shades of our brown skin tone and feature a colorful head wrap representing our continued ties to African culture.”


Sharon’s *NEW* Ashro™ Collaborations

A canvas featuring five young Black girls with varied shirts and hair

Strong Family Ties Wall Art

This textured-print canvas with hand-painted accents features a celebration of Afro-American girlhood.

The Strong Family Tie wall art canvas featured in a colorful room

“A celebration of Afro-American girlhood with an intentional nod at the diverse beauty of the Black experience.”


A Black woman wearing a black shirt featuring artwork of a Black woman facing away, showing only her headwrap and earrings

Back to Africa Tee

Honor your African foremothers in this screen printed, jersey-knit tee with long sleeves and stylish shirred sides.

More About Sharon

Sharon’s work has been featured: in the book “Let’s Talk About It, The Art, The Artists and The Racial Justice Movement on Madison’s State Street” 2021; as a mural at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art during the George Floyd riots 2020; “Bohemian Black” solo exhibit, Roberta Gallery, UW-Whitewater 2020; as an emerging artist at MMOCA ‘s Art Fair on the Square 2019; “Flowers in the Garden Exhibit” The South Side Community Art Center 2019, Chicago; Hatch Art House, Madison, WI and the Silver Room Block Party 100 Canvas Event in Chicago. She is currently one of four artists in the BridgeWork art accelerator program at Art Lit Lab in Madison.

Sharon was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, moving to Madison in the early 90’s. She attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, studying Social Work and Afro American studies and went on to work in the domestic violence field and serving women in poverty at organizations like the YWCA of Madison and the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Self-taught, with a few classes along the way, Sharon entered the art world as a second passion after a life slowdown due to Lupus and sickle cell disease created the space to re-discover her love of art in the form of painting. Her medium of choice is acrylic paint, though she’s known to dabble in mixed media. 

Sharon’s Prior Ashro™ Collaborations

A painting featuring a Black woman wearing a headwrap

Untitled. Brown #5

The Brown series illuminates the pearls and gems that can be found in the black community when one takes a moment to connect individually and not see all BIPOC people as a mass of Brown. The series features a monochromatic background and skin tone and a vibrant pop of color with African print.

A photo of the Anikka African Woman Canvas

Anikka African Woman Canvas

A compelling celebration of Black culture and beauty!


An ode to African diaspora, natural hair and mud cloth.

Ashro staff wearing the caftan while visiting the original artwork at a showcase
Suzanne, Ashro’s Sr. Merchandising Manager, wearing Sharon’s artwork on a caftan!

Stay tuned for more from Sharon in our Artist Series!

“I seek to honor the individuality of people of color and to depict the different ways we go about expressing our Blackness.”

-Sharon L. Bjyrd

Comments (5)

Will any past catalog item be available?
Item from spring 2020: PB758922 -DAMITA KNIT DRESS..

Thanks for the comment Deborah! We will pass along to our Merchandise Team to consider.

Hello all, I’m an artist out in Houston, Texas and I was wondering if you all was going to do another art contest, I’d like to enter? Thank you in advanced.

Hi Sonya! We hope to continue our artist showcase contest in 2024, however, we are not sure yet if we will. Please stay in touch on our blogs and social media so you’ll know as soon as we announce it!

I love ASHRO style. SOME items better than other. We want the classic design look &; quality of material is MOST important quality,quality,quality BAM- bam!

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