Sonya Clark

biography

“I was born in Washington, DC to a psychiatrist from Trinidad and a nurse from Jamaica. I gained an appreciation for craft and the value of the handmade primarily from my maternal grandmother who was a professional tailor. Many of my family members taught me the value of a well-told story and so it is that I value the stories held in objects.”                            

Sonya Clark is a Distinguished Research Fellow in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. From 2006 – 2017 she served as chair for the Craft/ Material Studies Department. In 2016, she was awarded a university-wide Distinguished Scholars Award. She earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and was honored with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. She has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her first college degree is a BA from Amherst College where she also received an honorary doctorate in 2015. Her work has been exhibited in over 350 museum and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. She is the recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner award, an 1858 Prize, Art Prize Grand Jurors Award, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award, a Red Gate Residency in China, a BAU Carmago Residency in France, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency in Italy, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Knight Foundation Residency at the McColl, a Civitella Ranieri Residency in Italy, a Yaddo Residency, and a VCUarts Affiliate Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Italian Vogue, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, Mother Jones, and Huffington Post.

“Clark’s work … is about identity-not just about race, but about the more universal identity of the soul.

—Beverly Gordon
Fiberarts