ALEXANDRIA, VA – The work of a great local artist is now available for all to see. Historic Alexandria announced that 23 paintings by Sherry Z. Sanabria are included in their online portal.
Sanabria’s family donated the paintings to the Alexandria Black History Museum in 2016, two years after her death from cancer. Many of the paintings were part of an exhibition called “Before the Spirits are Swept Away,” which highlighted important Black historic sites in the South.
Throughout her career, Sanabria was respected nationally and internationally. Her paintings are in public and private collections around the world. Some pieces have been displayed in D.C. and New York City museums and have been a part of 40 exhibitions.
Her official website states that “her luminous paintings focus on the spaces and locales where people have experienced profound moments in their lives, places that seem to hold the spirits of those who inhabited them.”
While she was interested in African American heritage, Sanabria also painted concentration camps, prisons, and mental health hospitals.
The artist herself, who was a native Washingtonian, once wrote of her work: “I am drawn to the walls and spaces… [of buildings]… by the magic of light, the organization of architectural elements, and the perception that these spaces are filled with and colored by the spiritual remnants of the lives lived in them.”
You can view the Black History Museum’s Sanabria collection HERE.