Sally Sheinman

Currently based
United Kingdom

I am a prolific painter with an interest in contemporary technology and its potential uses in art production. I am conscientious artist with a deep concern for communities (past, present and mythical), people, science and the role of the individual as a contextual starting point for creating accessible but thought provoking work. I am an American and grew up on a dairy farm close to the Canadian border. I also previously worked on Wall Street. I have lived in England for over thirty years.

• I like to work on a BIG IDEA which is made up of many parts.
• I am a painter but I like to push the boundaries of painting.
• I always start small and work towards the larger scale.
• I like to think that my work is about giving.
• My work is about being positive.
• I like to involve people, especially the general public, within my work so that they form an intrinsic and vital element to a finished piece.
• I don’t like to repeat specific ideas or subjects but all my work is connected. One piece has always led on to the next in a continual artistic exploration.
• Trying the new, both in terms of my own artists exploration and new technologies is extremely important to me and interpreting that in my work, vital.
• I really dislike the belief that every piece of art work requires an explanation. If most people do not get it, then I believe you have failed as a visual artist.

My current project is: WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU?

This virtual visual interactive art project is online, ongoing, and digital. The answers to this question act as an inspiration for me to do a unique iPad image – a new kind of portraiture. The answers are submitted via:
twitter #WhatMakesYouYou
Creating each individual and personal portrait on my iPad - using the Brushes app – now takes me several days. You might imagine that the iPad is fast but actually it takes many hours to draw in fine detail. What makes using digital technology such an exciting medium for me is that I literally have my canvas with me. I can work anywhere in the world and anyone can connect with me from across the world. What MakesYouYou? is an online meeting place, connecting individual souls through digital technology. I have so far completed over 300 images for this project.

Digital and social interactivity are crucial to the project. I am motivated by the infinite scope of the question, ‘What makes you you?' and the opportunity to capture what makes people different. I am fascinated by people, their similarities and differences genetically, culturally, socially, and individually. I have always been interested in drawing people into a dialogue with me and my painting practice, through simple yet big questions.
It was made possible by an Arts Council England grant and won The Lumen International Founder’s Prize. It is an intimate quiet project even though it is public. It involves new technology and social networking and yet it is still has a traditional tangible
Carla Rapoport is CEO and Founder of the Lumen Prize
said, “I am particularly taken with the open and engaging way that you are connecting with the subjects of your art, the nature of the work itself and your interest, as an artist, in exploring and visualising such personal themes. Your goals also reflect my goals when launching the prize - that is, to promote the engaging and enabling aspects of digital art as well as the art itself.”

Sally Sheinman

2013-ongoing WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU? an interactive ongoing, online digital project. The answers act as an inspiration for me to do a unique ipad image - a new kind of portraiture.

2011 BEING HUMAN – a commission for the National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey. Created in conjunction with and supported by The Sanger Institute of Research, Cambridge

2010-2012 LET’S CELEBRATE - a nation-wide touring exhibition with the National Trust England

2008-2009 COUNT ME – a touring exhibition to East Midlands Airport, The Richard Attenborough Centre and Sudbury Hall & The National Trust Museum of Childhood

2009 ARTDNA - a commission for Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

2007 ARTNAOS - an interactive touring exhibition exhibiting at five hospitals in London and Birmingham and at The Collection, Lincoln.

2006 ARTKACINA - a commission for firstsite @ The Minories Art Gallery, Colchester celebrating the experiences and achievements of firstsite

ARTBAWEDJIGEWIN - a project commissioned for BBC Birmingham at the Mailbox.

2005 ANNOUNCEMENTS - a commission created for South and East Belfast Trust, working closely with staff and users of this Trust.

2004-2005 WISHING CEREMONY - an interactive touring exhibition realized in association with the University of Hertfordshire, Leicester City Council and mac, Birmingham, and with funding from Arts Council England. The project has received wide coverage in the press, including a special Woman's Hour feature broadcast on Radio 4 on Boxing Day 2005.

2003 SACRED VESSELS - a touring exhibition in association with and utilizing the permanent collections of Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

NON-ESSENTIAL SIGNAGE – an Arts Council England commission.

2002 DAYS - a touring installation in association with The Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon, subsequently showing at Angel Row, Nottingham; Solihull Art Complex; and The City Gallery, Worcester.

2001 THE NAMING ROOM an interactive installation created after receiving the Arts Council, England Year of the Artist Award

2000 FRAGMENTS OF TIME AND THOUGHT One-Person Show consisting of 2000 named paintings A Millennium Projec selected as the
inaugural exhibition for the new Gallery at Liberty PLC, London and sold to raise funds for the Red Cross.

1999 ARTJONGG (installation piece based on an artist’s game) exhibited at University College Northampton
1997 One-Person Show for Ikon Touring, Birmingham
Group Show University of Dundee
1996 Group Show, West Midlands Arts
Group Show, UCE, Birmingham
1995 One-Person Show, City Gallery, Leicester
One-Person Show, Castle Museum, Nottingham
Group Show, Royal College of Art
Group Show, Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
1994 One Person Show, Leicester Museum
Group Show, Royal College of Art
1993 Group Show, Leicester Museum
Short Listed, Hunting Observer Prize
1992 One-Person Show, Milton Keynes Gallery
One -Person Show, Broham Mill Gallery, Bedford

Professional Positions

2009 – present Steering group member of EMVAN (the East Midlands Visual Art Network)

2012-2013 Advisor to the Institute of Physics in the artist in residency program

2013-2014 Member of Spending Review External Reference Group to
Arts Council England

2010-2012. Chair of air, a membership scheme for 16,000 practicing visual artists.

2014 Founder Member of Artists Union England


Hunter College, New York City MA Program
State University of New York at Albany BA Fine Art and History of Art

2014 Lumen Founder’s Prize (International Digital Prize)
2013 Grants for the Artist Award Arts Council England
2010 Cultural Olympiad Award
2008 Grants for the Artist Award Arts Council England
2004 Grants for the Artist Award Arts Council England
2000 Year of the Artist Award
1995 Major Bursary Award, East Midlands Arts
1992 Major Award, Dowty Group - First Prize

Lost and confused

What Makes You/You? at Nottingham Prison

5 May 2019 – 29 March 2020

48 Digital Images

Numbers 553 – 600

This collaboration with the National Justice Museum and Nottingham Prison is unique. A prisoner at Nottingham responded to the question ‘What Makes You/You?’ and Sally created a digital image inspired by the response. The result is an interactive, social media, digital art project involving people who are seldom involved in the contemporary art scene and who are usually just forgotten. Like no other artist, Sally makes the individual the center of the work where both the individual and the artist are their own feedback loop.


The following is a comment received from a follower of the project on social media:

‘I really love your Nottingham Prison collaboration as a lot of people in my social circle over the last few years have become men and women who’ve spent time in prison for drug-related crimes. I think it’s really important for other people to see convicts and former convicts as people who can be every bit as emotionally intelligent and aspirational as anyone else, and not just write them off as criminals who live in boxes that have bars on them. So what you’re doing is bloody brilliant as far as I’m concerned, thank you! Xx’

Lost and confused
Exhibitions & Events