Oklahoma Arts Council board chair James Pickel said Sharples’ experience as assistant director and visual arts director made her an ideal candidate for the position.
“Amber brings a broad range of experience to her new role,” Pickel said. “In addition to overseeing the Council’s curatorial and education staff, she has written successful grants, managed significant art collections, and served as the agency’s liaison on boards and commissions such as the State Capitol Preservation Commission, Friends of the Capitol, and Friends of the Mansion.”
As assistant director Sharples spearheaded the agency’s strategic planning process, managed staff evaluations, and developed policies and procedures.
During her stint as visual arts director, Sharples’ efforts earned the agency a grant for assessing the conservation needs of the Oklahoma state Capitol and the Capitol artwork. Sharples managed the commissioning and dedication of several new works for the Capitol Art Collection including a portrait of civil rights historian Dr. John Hope Franklin, a mural commemorating the state’s centennial, and a bust of Governor Brad Henry for the Hall of Governors.
Sharples holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Oklahoma and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Collections Management and Care from The George Washington University. Prior to working for the Council, Sharples served in the public affairs office at the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Culture in Mexico City.
Sharples was selected after a nationwide search.