Mon. - Closed

Tue./Wed. - 10am - 5pm

Thurs. - 10am - 7pm

Fri./Sat. - 10am - 5pm

Sun. - Closed

*Closed City Observed Holidays

Sharla Cotton - Ceramics

A non-profit community art center located in Norfolk's NEON District  ---  740 Boush St. Norfolk, VA 23510  ---  757-625-4211

Sharla Cotton was born in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas, and still considers the gentle hills surrounding her families fann as "home". She spent her teenage years in the rolling plains of the midwest; Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. For college she moved on to the Great Lakes area, attending Elmhurst University where she studied creative writing and communications. As a young wife and mother she fell in love with the oceans and beaches of Florida and Virginia. Whether it was mountains, plains or oceans Sharla always found creative inspiration iri the world around her, and explored a variety of mediums to express that creativity. In 2016 she was introduced to ceramics and fell in love with clay. She began her study of ceramics at Tidewater Community College, and continued during Covid with on-line classes and workshops with well known potters from around the world. Sharla is currently creating, exhibiting, teaching and studying the art of clay, She plans to keep her hands in the mud for years to come. 

Artist Statement: 
"The artist statement is meant to provide a glimpse into the heart of the artist. It helps the viewer to see the why and the how of the artist's work; to understand what motivates or inspires the artist, and how that is manifest in the pieces they create. For me the first question 'why do I create' is easily answered. I make things because it makes me happy. I was created with an innate need to create and if I'm not expressing myself in some tangible way that can be shared with others I'm miserable. The second half of the question is a little more complicated. What inspires me, as an artist, to make the pieces that I create? Inspiration generally comes from the things you see around you. I have always been drawn to, and fascinated by the contrasts I see in nature. All around us are elements of vast diversity combined to achieve a beautiful unity: The sharp stony cliff set against a soft blue sky slashed with white. The fierce tumble of waves against the calm stability of a sandy beach. The tart taste of hot blackberry cobbler combined with sweet creamy ice cream. This element of beauty in diversity often shows in my work: In some pieces the stark reality of a primitive stone texture is off-set with an unexpected waterfall of color or string of whimsical beads. Naked clay will be contrasted with sculpted highly glazed flowers. A very ornate and intricately carved vessel is actually a chamber pot. In my pieces I'm inspired by the beauty of our world and work to achieve that same unified beauty created by elements of contrast. Sometimes it takes a minute to see it ... and that makes me happy." 

Contact: sharlalcotton@gmail.com