Shari Wilkins

The Artist

Shari Wilkins is a Cleveland-based photographer and mixed media artist who focuses on film and alternative photographic processes. Wilkins holds undergraduate degrees from Kent State University and Cleveland State University, with a Master of Arts degree from Ursuline College. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Ohio and New York City. Wilkins founded the Cleveland Print Room in 2013, creating a community darkroom, photographic gallery and education center.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” —Jane Jacobs, journalist, author and activist

Follow Wilkins on Instagram: @shari_wilkins


“This quote from Jane Jacobs’ book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, served as my touchstone during Cleveland 20/20. This text, first encountered in an Urban Studies course at C.S.U., left a lasting impression on me, and inspired my approach to the task of documenting Cleveland. I am an artist using photography to define relationships between individuals and things. In this project, the city itself served as the subject for my exploration of narrative. Born in Slavic Village in the early 1960s, I moved with my family to Lakewood when I was one year old. My family was part of that flight to the suburbs at that time, which left large populations of African Americans and ethnic whites in a deeply segregated city, divided by design. In this project I hoped to contribute a dispassionate visual snapshot of Cleveland alongside the other photographers on this group assignment, in hopes of representing our city in all its contradictions.”