Long one of Taos’ most colourful characters, Sharon Millstein is a world renowned Psychic and Numerologist who has lived in the Land of Enchantment since 1985.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., she and her two young daughters moved upstate to Woodstock in 1976.Soon after moving to the rural art colony, she auditioned for a small part in a locally produced play. She not only landed the role but the writers rewrote the play in order to give her more time onstage. The character she played was named Zelma Lou and for the next few years, while she remained in Woodstock, that small role became her alter ego and an unexpected career.
Zelma Lou appeared all over Woodstock and the surrounding areas in cabaret shows at clubs and theaters, and even filled in for Miss Vicki a few times, when Tiny Tim’s future wife, couldn’t make a performance.
After Woodstock, she and her daughters moved to San Diego before coming here in the mid 80’s, and here Sharon turned her natural clairvoyance and her lifelong study of Metaphysics and Numerology in particular, into a second career that has thrived and sustained her ever since.
For several years, Sharon had her own radio show and continues to do occasional radio broadcasts both here and abroad.
Uncannily accurate in both personal and global predictions, over time Sharon has built a loyal following of clients who seek out her counsel for all and any important decisions they are making in their lives.
In years past, she’d see a lot of people in the home she built during the late 80’s, where she still lives today, but these days, since transforming her living space into an art studio, she prefers to consult with most of them by phone.
An incredible cook, for a time she even hosted an informal restaurant (Sharon’s Bootleg Cantina) in her home. It was a favourite lunch spot for the late Navajo artist R.C. Gorman and his entourage, among others. She’s no longer cooking for the masses but she does continue to make the most delicious goat cheese in town, which she sells to a few people now and then, along with the eggs her chickens produce.
For a few years during the 90’s, she went bach to school, and attended UNM, taking courses in art and psychology with the intention of getting a degree as an Art Therapist, but once her kids moved on, she began to travel, for a while even entertaining the idea of a move to Israel. Upon returning to Taos after her last trip, she began to paint in earnest, something she’d done since childhood but was never able to fully focus on until now.
This Sunday, May 31st from 3-5pm, a show of her new work – whimsical and impressionistic depictions of her beloved chickens – opens at Magpie, Georgia Gersh’s gallery in the Overland Sheepskin Complex, where Sharon is one of the artists Georgia represents.
Earlier this week I met Sharon at Magpie before visiting with her at her home, which is where I took these photographs.
For more information about Sharon Millstein you can visit her site linked below and for details about her show at Magpie, I’ve included a link as well.
Photographs of Sharon (and her paintings) at Magpie and at home with her chickens, by Lynne Robinson
Photograph of Ebony by Chaya Vance