A local artist, who might be a familiar face to many in Ardmore, will have paintings on display in town.
Sharon York, a self-taught painter and former Plainview Elementary art teacher, has a series of still life and landscape paintings on display at Champion Public Library in Ardmore until March 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
“Some of it is within the last month and some of it was made over several years,” York said. “I guess you could consider it a body of work.”
York taught for 18 years, and taught elementary art for the last eight. She said even for students who don’t go on to pursue art, learning those skills at a  young age is beneficial in other ways that can last a lifetime.
“I wanted them to appreciate their surroundings with more of an artist’s eye,” York said. “Sometimes, you don’t notice the light, the trees, the sky, the clouds.”
York has studied with a variety of artists over the past 40 years, and attended Quartz Mountain, a retreat for artists from around the country that offers scholarships to teachers.
“You got to be exposed to things that maybe you weren’t familiar with, like maybe photography” York said. “It was useful to me, both in the classroom and in my personal life, but I’d never done it before.”
York said as a painter she aims to capture specific moments with her paintings rather than trying to perfectly recreate something from real life.
“I like the way the light plays on it,” York said. “That doesn’t mean I’m going to copy it literally, but it inspires me. It’s the same with still life.”
Her artwork has been viewed at art shows at the Goddard Center, Artists of the Arbuckles, and in Ada, Durant and Duncan.
“I’ve never won first, doggone it, but I’ve won awards,” York said.
In addition, she’s sold a fair number of paintings over the course of her career in Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Oregon and Oklahoma. York said library employee Rudy Ellis approached her about putting her art on display at the library.
“He’s an accomplished oil painter, along with whatever else he wants to do,” York said.
York said she advises anyone interested in taking up art, whether it’s painting, photography or sculpting, to be ready to learn and grow in order to improve.
“Find some good teachers and don’t give up,” York said. “And don’t ever expect to know it all.”