Sheila Lanham started out as a poet in Baltimore, and quickly gravitated towards painting. She studied at the School of Visual Arts, and then as a Painting Major at The Maryland Institute College of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited in New York and Baltimore. She was a 2020 recipient of an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation grant.

My paintings consist of an ongoing interest in our culture of accumulations. Previously, in my World View series, collages were made from fragments of landscape photographs and assembled into monumental stacks, and then made into oil paintings. In the next series, Profiles, I began stacking preliminary sketches. The resulting abstract forms were then transformed through image association into objects and figures, to create a colossal, centralized, accumulated form.


An early theme in my work was the reorganization of landscape space. Early works consisted of minimal compositions with stacked multiple horizons, centralized spatial concepts, illusory light sources, and patterning found in the landscapes. Current totemic accumulations have evolved from those early stacked compositions. 


I like to think of the accumulations as being similar to a list poem, where seemingly unrelated fragments, forms, patterns or images ultimately create one idea, or in this case, a cohesive form.