Sheila Kollasch is a native of the Sonoran Desert and has been involved in the fine art community of Arizona her entire life. She told her kindergarten teacher that she would grow up to be an artist. Her teacher laughed at this little girl. Particularly encouraging, however, were her fifth grade, seventh grade and high school art teachers. Kollasch received many Scholastic Art Awards and a full four-year art scholarship to Arizona State University.
Her earliest artistic epiphany occurred at the age of seven when she applied pink and green lines of oil paint to her mother?s black 1940 Dodge. The vivid contrast of colors still burns brightly as an inspiration in her memory. The subsequent whipping from her father is also well remembered.
After dropping out of ASU to study with hand-picked teachers at various campuses of the Maricopa Community Colleges and the Scottsdale Artist?s School, she acquired what she felt was an excellent custom art education sans degree. Upon leaving ASU, Kollasch worked at the local art supply store, giving her the advantage to view famous local artists? personalities in action for a few years, while painting for her own exhibitions. She returned to school in the early 1990s to finish a Bachelor of Art degree with a minor in Museums Studies through Prescott College.
Beginning in the mid-1970s Kollasch has shown in galleries, in competitions (receiving several awards) and group exhibitions including the Tucson Museum of Art and Mesa Southwest Museum, now known as the Arizona Museum of Natural History. She and artist Jim Eder collaborated on a two-person exhibition for the Arizona Commission on the Arts Traveling Exhibition program. The exhibition, Arizona Landscapes: Prints, Pastels and Paintings, was one of their most popular exhibitions enjoying bookings nationally during its three-year tour.
Kollasch co-founded the Phoenix Artists Coalition in 1980 with artist Christine Dawson. PAC was a sometimes loose, sometimes tightly organized club founded to foster recognition of local artists. It provided regular meeting places to air creative ideas, nurture artistic growth and find peer support. She has participated in various community service roles as: artist-panelist for a City of Scottsdale Percent for the Arts Project; grants panelist for the Phoenix Arts Commission and Arizona Commission on the Arts; juror, speaker or demonstrator for many community art clubs and museum education programs throughout Arizona.
In January 1991, Kollasch accepted a two-month contract to install art exhibitions at Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona. She was then offered the full-time curator position and stayed for ten years reveling in gaining experiences not usually available to most artists. She had her first solo museum exhibition entitled Desert Textures, The Art of Sheila Kollasch, at Mesa Southwest Museum in 2002. After working as the Registrar for the Phoenix Airport Museum Kollasch retired to pick up her painting career full time in 2018.
Works by Kollasch can be found in the following public and corporate collections: Bank of Scottsdale, Central Arizona College, Century 21 Real Estate, First Interstate Bank of Arizona, McDonald?s Corporation, Arizona Museum of Natural History, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix Airport Museum, Scottsdale Memorial Hospital North and Valley National Bank of Arizona (now Chase).