Tara Shannon is a mother of 3 who graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she earned her BFA -FAC majoring in painting and her Masters in EDLEAD. Tara has been working in the art field producing a diverse portfolio for over 3 decades. She is a Visual Arts instructor for the Erie School District where she teaches art studio classes, AP studio courses and animation at NWPA Collegiate Academy. Prior to teaching art, Tara was a freelance artist operating under “Portraits by Tara”, her work included portrait commissions and creating murals on interior walls.
Tara Shannon has displayed pieces at Mercyhurst Universities’, “Those Who Can Teach “ Exhibit, at local venues in downtown Erie, and the Erie Arts Festival. Tara collaborates with local colleges to promote the arts and has been published as a co-author of the “Dismantling the Deficit Trope” articles. Tara also writes grants and obtains funding through EAC and The Erie Foundation for Public Schools to work with our youth on projects that promote the arts and community involvement. “Digital Art on Display” is her most recent grant awarded in 2022. Tara wrote this grant to address the emerging need for technological integration in the arts. This was especially important to Tara, as currently, she has adopted a digital platform in her artworks and is taking entrepreneurial steps towards opening her on-line business.
My artwork focuses on what is familiar and has intrinsic value to me. I select my subject matter not just for its decorative qualities but for my appreciation of how it impacts my lifestyle. I may draw the tools used in my workshop, the utensils I cook with, plants I grow or the sunglasses I wear on my head every day."
I attempt to create art that is relevant and will remain so. Thus, I strive for clean, sophisticated and compositionally sound pieces that will stand the test of time. Currently, most likely due to the season and where I spend much of my time and energy, I have been creating artwork themed around outdoor growth.
My recent series capture subject matter in different moods, to portray “feelings”. I manipulate the medium and my mark-making as well as the color choice to lend a new light to each piece. I do this effectively by using a recently adopted digital platform; an I-Pad I received for Christmas! I always thought that this would be an easy platform but it is far more challenging and very time consuming! I find it, however to be so very worth it as what is produced will endure many lifetimes.