Sara Shamma was born in Damascus, Syria (1975), to a Syrian Father and Lebanese mother, a family of intellectuals. They encouraged her love of painting which she developed as a small child, and by the age of 14, Shamma decided she would train as a painter. Shamma graduated from the Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus in 1998.
Following her graduation, Shamma participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions including (solo): “World Civil War Portraits” curated by Sacha Craddock at The Old Truman Brewery, London, UK, “Diaspora” Art Sawa Gallery, Dubai, UAE, 2014, “Q” Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2013, “Birth”, Art House, Damascus, Syria, 2011, “Love”, 360 MALL, Kuwait, 2009, and (group): The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, London, 2013, Nord Art 2012, Annual International Exhibition, organized by KiC – Kunst in der Carlshütte, Büdelsdorf, Germany, Art Prize 2010, Kendall College, UAE Through Arabian Eyes, the International Financial Centre, Dubai, UAE, 2008, Syrian Artists, Souq Wakef Art Center, Doha, Qatar, 2008, The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, South Australia and the National Archives of Australia in Canberra, Australia, 2008, Panorama of Syrian Arts, Catzen Arts Centre at The American University Washington, D.C. USA, 2007, International Painting Prize of the Castellon County Council, ESPAI (the Contemporary Art Centre), Castellon and the Municipal Arts Centre of Alcorcon, Madrid, Spain 2005, Women and Arts, International Vision, Expo Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE, 2005, BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, 2004.
Shamma was invited to join the teaching staff of the Adham Ismail Fine Arts Institute in Damascus, where she taught for three years from 1998. Besides her own practice and her involvement in the education of young artists, Shamma has been consistently active in the Syrian art scene. She was a member of the jury for The Annual Exhibition for Syrian Artists held by the Ministry Of Culture, Damascus, Syria in 2006.
Shamma has been the recipient of various regional and international art awards including First Prize (The Golden Medal) in the 2001 Latakia Biennial, Syria, Fourth Prize in the 2004 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK and First Prize in Painting, The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, The South Australian Museum, Adelaide, Australia in 2008, Fourth prize in painting, and Special Mention, Florence Biennial, Florence, Italy 2013.
Shamma's works can be found in public and private collections in different countries including: Austria, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
In 2010, Shamma was invited to become the United Nations World Food Programme 'Celebrity Partner'. In 2010 she created a painting for them entitled: Fighting Hunger (2010). impressed and touched by their work she continues to support them as her chosen charity.
She moved to London in September 2016 under the auspices of an Exceptional Talent Visa.
She now lives and works in London, UK.