Baltimore city born, Sheryl Farmer, was a special education teacher in the Howard County Public School system at Swansfield Elementary School for just over 15 years. She retired from the school system in 2003 to focus on the care her youngest child. This provided her the opportunity to explore her love of art. Between volunteering in the school’s art room and plenty of household art projects to tend to, she has kept busy. However, at the age of 42, she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Retinal Myopathy, a condition in which the retina begins to detach from the eye. Farmer's ability to see is severly impaired in the left eye and glasses provide some relief for the right. She began to create mosaics because she loved how they looked. “My vision started getting bad on me, but I realized while the little details were hard, I could see a big picture. I started drawing by the square so to speak, building up the images with different shades until it looked right big-picture wise. I draw the image on plywood, then I just go for it.”
She has completed commissioned pieces, given some away as gifts; but she definitely has a favorite piece. Out of her love for children she created a beautiful bear for Bryant Woods Elementary. From adversity, she has created beauty and given joy to others in the process. Thank you for the work you do, Sheryl. Columbia is just a little more beautiful because of you.