A photographer, animator, and graphic designer, Sharon Hoogstraten is best known for her portraits of Potawatomi Indians in regalia and for her Emmy award-winning animated openings for television news programs. She received a BS in Professional Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago where she taught Graphic Communication at UIC as an Adj. Assoc. Professor. A graphic designer for WLS-TV in Chicago, she received an Emmy award for an animated editorial open in 1983. Moving to WTTW-TV, the Chicago PBS station, she received an Emmy for two animations in 1985—a wire-frame computer animation of the city (collaborating with programmers at Skidmore, Owens, and Merrill), and a sunrise to sunset 360 degree time-lapse of the Chicago skyline. In addition to her Emmys for Individual Achievement in Graphic Design, she has won Gold and Silver Broadcast Design Association awards, and a Birmingham Children¹s Film Festival award as the producer of several animated short films. Sharon has served as a judge for the Chicago Book Clinic annual awards and worked on numerous award winning educational and trade books. Major clients have included McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Brace, Scott Foresman, Contemporary Books, National Geographic and Illinois Institute of Technology.
Closing her commercial photography practice in 2017, Sharon is concentrating on those projects of particular importance to her. She has campaigned for the preservation of Chicago’s Boulevards through photography and is currently at work on her book initiatives, The Green City Farmers Market, Window on the Square, and Dancing for my Tribe.
Hoogstraten’s large-format canvas portraits of Potawatomi Indians have been exhibited in numerous museums and institutions, and are included in the permanent collection of the Citizens Band Potawatomi Cultural Center in Shawnee Oklahoma, Trickster Gallery, and Eagle Staff Grand Entry is currently at the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of the American Indian. A major contributor to the group show, “Footprints Through Time” at the State Museum of Illinois, she opened two one-woman shows in the soaring atrium of the Helmut Jahn designed Thompson Center, Chicago, in 2015. Future exhibitions are scheduled in Michigan and Illinois for 2018.