Sara Shepherd Edgar unveils new solo exhibit
Terzian Galleries will host reception
Visual artist Sara Shepherd Edgar is known for creating symbolic work that interpret experiences and stories from her life.
Last September, she and her husband dropped their youngest child off at college, which came on the heels of her oldest spending a semester abroad.
“At first I didn’t think those two experiences would affect my work, but they did,” Edgar said with a laugh during an interview with The Park Record. “There’s a feeling of nostalgia in the new works, and I think because I sent my own kids away that I felt that nostalgia.”
The new work is already on display at Terzian Galleries, 625 Main St. The gallery will host an artist reception at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7.
The exhibit features at least 14 new pieces, Edgar said.
“[Gallery owner Karen Terzian] has some other pieces of mine already hung in the gallery,” Edgar said. “So, we’ll see if any of those will work with the new ones.”
Edgar started working on the new pieces in September.
“Since I didn’t have any kids in the house, I could focus,” she said. “That’s when I put my nose to the grindstone.”
Most of the new pieces feature a child or children.
“I think the nostalgia I was feeling is symbolized as kids in the paintings,” Edgar said. “I like painting kids because they also seem to be symbolic to a blank slate. You can see so much opportunity in their faces.”
The biggest challenge Edgar faced was finding a new way to paint children.
“Painting the people is hard because the human form is so recognizable,” she said. “I had to paint them and put my own mark or spin on them.”
Edgar began painting relatively late in her artistic career.
“I was intimidated by two-dimensional art and I never even took a painting class when I was in college,” she said.
Instead, she set up a metal studio.
“It’s funny because I never thought about becoming an artist as a career until I was in college,” she said. “I met a professor in a drawing class who told me that I was going to do art and got a BFA in metal design.”
After Edgar had her second child, she stopped making metal sculptures so she could raise her family.
“At that time, I still felt I needed art in my life,” she said. “My husband’s sister was a painter and I thought that I should try that out because it wasn’t as obtrusive as metal sculpting.”
Edgar found she enjoyed painting.
“Painting uses a lot of right brain because there is so much thought that goes into a work,” she said. “I found it easy to get lost in a painting.”
Edgar’s medium of choice is acrylic paint and for a long time used the medium to create textured collages.
“I have a giant drawer that is filled with doodles by my kids and a bunch of grocery lists and to-do lists that I have saved,” she said. “I would take those lists and doodles and wallpaper them on a canvas and paint over them.”
While some of the works in the new exhibit are collages, the rest are works of acrylic on canvas on panels.
“It’s funny because as I’m painting, the work kind of tells me what it wants to be,” she said.
An artist reception for Sara Shepherd Edgar will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Terzian Galleries, 625 Main St. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.terziangalleries.com. For more information about Sara Shepherd Edgar, visit http://www.saraShepherdedgar.com.
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