GALESBURG — There likely will be a Galesburg connection in Season 7 of the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” but it will be very subtle.
Artwork by Galesburg artist Susan Sharp was recently purchased by the show's set decorator.
“There is quite a lot of orange and black in the piece, so that may be why they chose it,” said Sharp during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “I know that the set designer gets a lot of things on Etsy, and it might have been just that I got lucky. I’ve also done a lot of self-promotion lately, so I’d like to think it was a little bit of both.”
Sharp said the set decorator contacted her on Saturday through her Etsy store, asharpcontrast.etsy.com.
“They identified themselves in their first email and said they are finalizing the new set design, and said they really needed this piece for a scene they are shooting this week,” Sharp said.
The artwork is a mixed media work made from strips of old billboard woven with jute cord, vintage paper, mirror paper and satin cord. It’s called “Scordatura.’
“Scordatura is a tuning of a stringed instrument different from the normal tuning,” Sharp explained. “It typically attempts to allow special effects or unusual chords or timbre. Likewise, I want my art, different from the normal, to strike a chord in people.”
“Scordatura” was recently on display at the Lonnie Eugene Stewart Gallery on the campus of Carl Sandburg College, where Sharp is the director of the theater program. She’s been teaching theater and public speaking for 22 years and creating art in her spare time for many years. “Scordatura” was also displayed at The Midwest Collage Society’s show in Chicago last year.
After Sharp sold the piece, she decided to watch “Orange Is the New Black” for the first time.
“Women in prison is not a very glamorous subject matter — I usually go for a comedy over something dark," she said. "I watched three episodes, and it made me really nervous. It’s not my kind of show. But in the first three episodes I’ve seen some really cool pieces of art. There was a really cool painting in the bedroom that I just loved. It gave me goosebumps to think that my art might be showing up there.”
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