ARTworks – Profile on Sarah Curry


Sarah Curry was born and raised in Cleveland. She received her B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute with a major in Illustration. Soon after graduating, she returned to Cleveland and is currently living in Cleveland Heights. Her love of teaching both children and adults at The Cleveland Museum of Art inspired her to attain her Master’s degree in Art Education from Case Western Reserve University. She has since been teaching art to high school students for sixteen years.

Sarah works in a wide variety of styles ranging from realism to abstraction. Among many endeavors, she has established herself as a portrait artist as well as a freelance illustrator and muralist. She has spearheaded several public art installations in the Cleveland area collaborating with local artists, students and community members. Her personal work narrative revolves around storytelling that addresses women’s roles in society. This series of work revisits old stories and reinterprets the themes,imagery, and lessons through the contemporary eyes of friends and family. Each piece refers to a story from the past and is also biographical to the subjects depicted. She sees these works to be collaborative storytelling.

Her most recent work will be on display this summer: “Face Value” Opening July 15th from 5-9pm at The HEDGE Gallery, 1300 W 78th Street, suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44102.
Her work can also be seen on her website: www.pinchofcurry.com.

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
Do I have to choose just one?! Maybe it’s the fact that I can throw paint around and destroy the floor with no apologizes! And the homasote walls that allow me to tack up images and work directly on the walls. The view is pretty awesome as well. Its on the second floor of my house with tall windows that allow me to see the yard and the cats running around outside.

Is your studio a place to relax, get down to business, find inspiration, or something else altogether?
I think your studio must be a place for all of the above. Devoting your time to working in your studio is imperative so it must feel like a second home. We can all get down to business, find inspiration and relax in our homes so the studio must be an extension of your house.

If you could describe your studio in ten words or less, how would you describe it?
Filthy, but organized, crowded but plenty of room to make more messes. 

How or why did you decide to pursue your art?
I don’t think I had another option. It’s the only thing in my life that held my attention and became a tool to work out and explore my passions.  I began teaching art soon after graduating from art school because I wanted to share all the secrets I learned. Teaching
art makes you a stronger artist because you learn how to break down information it its simplest language. This forces you to investigate your own practices and hone your approach to art making.

Currently, what medium are you working in?
I’m a bit all over the place right now. I’m really enjoying the immediacy of working on paper with charcoal. My default button will always be thick, gooey oil paint on panels. The work in my series right now is figurative but incorporating symbolism and various aspects of storytelling.  I’d love to do a residency at Zygote Press and experiment with inking up objects, running them through a press and then work back into the image incorporating figures. Maybe next summer…

What is your process?
All my processes begin with an idea. The idea will usually tell me where it wants to go or at least hint at the media I need to use. If not, I have to coax the idea out with sketches before it dies on the vine. Sometimes that’s OK as well. Maybe it didn’t need to come to fruition, maybe it will lead me to another place eventually. Working on art is never a waste of time. Even if you make crappy work, it’s important to put in the time and pay your dues because there is ALWAYS a pay off.

How do you find inspiration? Or what resources do you take advantage of to assist you in the creation of your art?
I am honestly most inspired by the people in my life. I’m a pretty social creature and surround myself with amazing people. I love to listen to stories and explore imagery inspired by the stories and those telling them. When I saw Saul Williams speak a few months back I wept through his spoken word poetry because I knew I would never be able to paint anything as beautiful as the images he described. Traveling and going to countless galleries and museums also play a big role in my work. Seeing the work of both young artists as well as the old masters keeps my “well” full so I can dip in for some fresh water when I need it.

What is your greatest challenge when it comes to your art?
Time is my ultimate challenge. Making art requires so much time. It truly is a job. It is not relaxing or a hobby. It is hard work and requires time to fail and grow. All that being said,
I really suck at throwing pots and despite the fact that I am a painter I am most
challenged by clay!

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would that be?
Make mistakes! Make as many as you can by experimenting and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Play with new, unfamiliar materials and techniques because that’s when the leaning happens. If it comes easy, you don’t learn as much. When you destroy things or make mistakes, you remember that experience much more.

Do you feel your community is supportive of the arts and/or how can your community better support the arts?
Living in Cleveland Heights is pretty dreamy. Not just for artists but for all open-minded people. We all love seeing art everywhere. I don’t know anyone adverse to art. The best way to support the arts is to BUY ART!!! It’s an addiction but it is never an expendable cost. Living with art pays off everyday, both spiritually and emotionally. Who cares if the artist is well known, do you love it? Then buy it. You wont regret it.  I am fortunate enough to be represented by Hilary Gent of HEDGE Gallery in the W. 78th Street Studios so she personally supports me by doing the legwork involved in displaying, selling and promoting my work.

PHOTOS COURTESY STEPHEN CUTRI.

The artists are coming… THE ARTISTS ARE COMING!!

We are so excited to announce that we have secured a space for ARTFUL.

We have leased approximately 5,300 square feet of space in the Coventry School Building, located in the heart of Cleveland Heights in Coventry Village, a well known and loved business and arts community. The Coventry School building is home to many established area non-profits, and offers a large value allowing our donation dollars to go even further. Our prime location will be an invaluable tool that will aid us in creating powerFUL relationships within the local business and non-profit community, and is a central and accessible for those living in and around the Heights.

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In just under a year and a half, we hatched an idea, developed it, and are now making it a reality. We could not have made it to this exciting juncture without the continued support, enthusiasm and encouragement of our community. It has been a wonderful evolution with invaluable input from local artists, businesses, non-profits and the city of Cleveland Heights.

We now enter Phase II, thankFUL for all of the help and guidance we have received, ready and excited to move forward and create an ARTFUL space. We are thrilled to announce that John Williams of Process Creative is our architect, and he is currently applying his vast knowledge of working artist studios to our project.

Our space will house apx. 20 artist studios of various sizes and price ranges. All of which will rent for below-market prices. By giving artists affordable access to studio space and a creative environment, our community will benefit from their contributions to our local culture.

For more in-depth details on our plans, please download and read our prospectus.

Programs like ours only exist with the help and kindness of those in our community.

Without your steady, consistent donations we are nothing. 

Your immediate donation will help us cover the costs of the build-out for our artists studios and our lease for the first year, as well as initial programs to support our artists and engage the community.

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We have set a goal of $50,000, which will enable us to win a $25,000 challenge grant!

Founding donors will receive future benefits once our membership program has been developed and established.

In honor of your generosity, we are working with local artist, Steve Manka, to create a public sculpture that will reflect your kindness. Each donation will be represented in the final piece, and those giving at specific levels will have a say in the final design. This is our special way of saying thank you and making our community even more ARTFUL.

We are happy to be able to offer several donation optionsIf you would like to make a larger donation, but would like to spread your payments out over several installments, please consider choosing a monthly, quarterly, or yearly recurring donation.

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If you would prefer to make a donation by check, please see instructions on our donation page.

We look forward to the continued growth of ARTFUL and will continue to work diligently and intelligently to deliver programs that our community can be proud of. Over the next several weeks we will finalize our lease application process and update you via our website and social media. If you are an artist who is interested in renting studio space, please be sure to fill out our online form so that you can receive direct emails with pertinent information.

From the bottom of hearts, the entire ARTFUL board thanks you.

Below you will find a map showing our location and some rough photos of our new space. We look forward to sharing more photos as we clean up the space and begin the process of building the studios. For more information, or to join our mailing list, please be sure to fill out our contact form.

 

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Progress Update


Hey Everybody!  Thanks for being patient with us as we navigate our way through the Non-Profit maze.

Building Search Update

Sorry to be secretive, but we have been asked by the building owner to keep the plans quiet for a bit longer as we hammer out the details and propose our plans to the city.  I can tell you that it will be a fantastic first step and allow us to get started bringing affordable studio space and artist support to the community. As soon as we are allowed to announce we will be starting our first official fundraising campaign.

In the mean time….

We have been asked to be a part of LaurelLive. It is a special event filled with great musicians from all over. check it out here www.laurelive.com.  Much of our board will be out of town that weekend so Shannon will need extra hands to pull this off.  We are reaching out to all of you for your thoughts, ideas and assistance. The deadline is VERY tight – as the event is being held June 11 & 12. We have been given a lot of freedom, and have been told there are areas of fencing we could decorate, host live art projects, and play! If anyone has any clever ideas, would like to help or can offer any assistance, please email Shannon@artfulclevelnd.org, or comment below. This is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this event that will garner state and national attention.

Upcoming Events. Get these on your calendar ASAP

There are many sponsorship opportunities for these events so please get in touch if you are interested becoming an ARTFUL partner.

LaurelLive*
June 11th & 12th

playFUL: Kickball Tournament
September 18th

stART: Heights Music Hop
September 24th

Gods and Monsters (annual costume party)
October 29th

 

*This is an event we are a part of, but not directly hosting.


 

meaningFUL People :: Vivian interview with Ida Bergson :: ARTFUL March 2016


ARTFUL is excited to introduce our first installment of meaningFUL People! Art education plays a key role in the education and development of children. meaningFUL People is an opportunity for children, of all ages, to sit down with the teachers who help them express themselves through creativity and to show the world how their art education is an important facet of their lives.

Our first video features Vivian, a third grader at Canterbury Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. Vivian sat down with her art teacher, Ida Bergson, to ask her some questions about being a teacher.

Every Friday, students at Canterbury Elementary School practice “Creative Arts Fridays”. A unique collaboration between teachers allows students to learn in new and interesting ways. For more info, please read the article on the CHUH website.

If you are a student, or have a child that would be interested in making a video for meaningFUL people, please email us at meaningful@artfulcleveland.org.

 

 

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Concerned Parent in Regard to the CH-UH Reduction in Force


As an avid supporter of CHUH schools, as a mother and as an artist I feel that it is important to comment on the current art staff reduction at Cleveland Heights High School. The public statement  says that it is reducing the art staff by 1 positionThe reality is that two art teachers would be losing their jobs. Outside of elementary education, each aspiring teacher is qualified to teach specific kinds of art.  Ms. Raack is a ceramics teacher.  Ms. Skehan is a drawing and painting instructor.  
To the school board all the studio arts are lumped together, but I ask you, would you want to learn calculus from a english teacher? Or violin from a drummer? 
Some kids find their voice with a paintbrush, some on the pottery wheel, some with metal, others with wood.  As a budding artist myself, I sought refuge in the photography darkroom and behind a lens.
The tactile art forms help to shape a young persons view of their own world. Finding confidence in an art keeps kids interested in learning, and coming back to school.  I know for many young people the art room becomes a safe place to be different while still fitting in.
Cleveland Heights is the “Home of the Arts.” We must keep arts education strong so we can compete with other systems and keep the Arts here.
I encourage future parents, current parents and community members to engage in this conversation. Research the impact of the arts on young minds and learn more about the plans to continue to educate our children in the future.
Sincerely,

Shannon