Sunday, April 29, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Sarah Johnson

Sarah is an artist who enjoys drawing and painting.  She has a fascination with people and with their basic foundation: the skeleton.  She takes old photographs and makes them new.  A photograph or painting that someone may discard; Sarah sees the beauty and possibility in recreating it or repurposing it. She wonders, who were the people in the photograph?  She imagines their lives and "plays" in a respectful way with re-imaging.   In the photograph of the Head Master with the Children, Sarah painted the headmaster’s skeleton, the foundation of all human beings.  She painted wings and horns on the students. 

She just completed an Artist Residency in the Winona Senior High School. She worked with HS students and the repurposing a photograph was upsetting to them.  They objected, saying that it was someone’s art.  It pushed their edges to embrace the idea of taking a photo or framed picture and painting over it to make it something of theirs.  The students were able to get past their discomfort to create some amazing pieces.  Some of these will be exhibitied in the Winona Art Center’s Senior High School Senior Art Show.  Opening reception is May 9th, 4-6pm.

Sarah works on multiple projects going on at the same time.  She works long hours out of town.  Fridays are a dedicated art day.  She does screen printing on t-shirts and ties.  She collects t-shirts and ties from second hand shops or auctions and then she recreates something unique.  All of her t-shirts and ties are one of a kind due to the variety of materials that she accumulates.  She makes jewelry which is totally for fun.  She calls it a color fix.  And it is different than her other art.  She considers herself a drawer and a painter.  

Each year she paints herself a new calendar. 

 "Now's the Time to go Hog Wild For Moderation"

Sarah has collections of rocks, sea glass, shells, feathers, nests.  Watching things change in their natural form is fascinating to Sarah.  One week, she and her father, in separate locations found a tea cup handle.

 A favorite shell with just a little shimmer

This gentleman looks so much happier with a few butterflies near him.  During Sarah's growing up years, her family lived next to a cemetery.  Life and death walk hand in hand.  When she was very young, her brother of 6 years died.  She was only 4 years old.  She's had to look at death.  She's more convinced than ever that "I'm a life liver."

If you would like to see more of Sarah's art work, you'll find her at Handmade Neighborhood.  Watch for signs for their autumn show.  She has work locally at the Bluff Country Co-op and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

Are there other artists that you'd be curious to know more about?  What questions would you ask an artist, if you had the opportunity?   

 Are you an artist that would like to be featured on Breeze on My Skin?    

Leave a comment below with a way for me to be in touch, such as your e-mail or phone number.  I'll be in touch soon.

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