"Art has always been important to me. As a young child I remember my teachers giving me Prang Watercolors and I would paint outside during recess and take the set home to paint. My artistic desire was the impetus to take art classes in college, explore different mediums at CSUN and CLU and earn a Masters in Education and minor in Art. I’ve enjoyed years of teaching and sharing my enthusiasm for art mediums with children in public school, the Santa Barbara Art Museum, education department, and the Fowler Museum. Presently I work in my studio mosaicking sculptural pieces and imprinting textural plates onto clay.
Being selected as one of the artists for the Public Art Conejo Cottontails Project gave me another opportunity to express myself artistically and emphasize the oaks in our beautiful landscape. Ancient Oak Lore symbolizes the tree as having attributes of “Courage, Strength and Protection”. It seemed natural to me to visualize the Conejo Cottontail encircled within the oaks making it’s home under the spreading branches of the majestic oak. The word “Enchantment” inscribed on the rabbit has a history in literature for children and adults reading fairytales, myths and folklore. Enchantment inspired my imagination to choose mixed media for mosaicking the rabbit using hand cut stained glass, gold smalti, handmade ceramic leaves and several colors of paint airbrushed for an ethereal expression. I believe this Public Art Cottontail and the other Cottontails will be viewed with pride in our community." - Sharon Riley