Libby (Sharon E.) Clarke is an artist, designer, and educator living in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Designer & Communications Professional
Libby runs her own design studio that specializes in branding for community building organizations. She has most recently served such entities as the Global Learning Lab and the Diocese of Newark. Libby served as co-chair of the Communications Committee of SOMA Action, a progressive political group in New Jersey. She served as the Publications and Information Manager at the Gowanus Studio Space.
Professionally, Libby has been an art director for over 17 years for such companies as Agency.com and Scholastic. She is an accomplished designer, producing websites, apps, print pieces, exhibits, and wayfinding systems.
Libby is in the midst of establishing Go High Signs, a project born out of her need to protest the current political climate while staying positive. She has produced conceptual products under the name Monstress Productions since 1996. In 2000, she won a project grant through the Women’s Studio Workshop from the NEA to produce the first major showcase of these, the Monstress Activities Box. She has exhibited and sold her work internationally. She enjoyed a week-long artist’s residency at Central Print in Arpil 2019, making work and teaching letterpress.
Libby has taught the making of protest posters, leading workshops at places such as Pyramid Atlantic and California State University at Northridge. She focuses on printmaking as a form of democratizing art and art making. She has given lectures on her work at the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, California State University, the Southern Graphics Council International Conference, Zeebelt Theatre (in the Hague) and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Educator & Arts Administrator
Libby currently serves as an instructor for Middlesex County College, NYU’s School of Professional Studies and at the SOMA Adult School. She is the chair of the Exhibitions and Programming Subcommittee for the South Orange Arts Advisory Council. She served as the Director of the Studio School at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. She was an Assistant Professor at the New York College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York. She worked for years as a part-time lecturer at Parsons the New School and as an instructor at the Brooklyn Brainery. She has taught topics such as web design, typography, drawing, branding, and printmaking.
Libby researches theories of agency, persuasion, and subversion of mass marketing tools in order to teach metacognitive skills to others. She creates works steeped in lettering, declarative graphics, and collaborative art practices. She derived her research from an impulse to include others in the creative act so they find lasting empowerment and confidence.
Libby comes from a small family farm way back in the woods of Allegheny County, Virginia. She can make butter faster than most. Libby was lucky enough to be a graduate of Stuart Hall School in Staunton, Virginia. She has had many day jobs to keep her art practice going including: vacuum cleaner salesman, museum guard, print puller, roadie, Chelsea nanny, caterer, face painter, veal farm worker, burger joint mascot, art handler, and telemarketer. As such, Libby has an alarming amount of anecdotes for just about any situation. She lives in Maplewood with her wife, daughter, and Beatrice the Cat.