Clark Atlanta University

Equipped with new heart, Baltimore's Amy Sherald gains fame with surreal portraiture

Equipped with new heart, Baltimore's Amy Sherald gains fame with surreal portraiture

At one time, the Baltimore artist Amy Sherald intended to paint a portrait of herself as the Tin Man from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

At age 39, Sherald, a person who stops to talk — really talk — to panhandlers and who recently raised $1,600 for a friend's rent, found herself desperately in need of a heart.

"I blacked out in a Rite Aid," she said. "The doctor told me my heart function was at 5 percent. I spent two months in the hospital waiting to have a transplant. For me, that was the end of the world."

It was also a beginning of, if not a new world, at least a new way of living in the old one.

Now, on Sherald's coffee table...

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