Sarah’s non-portrait show at ACAC: Homecoming
Robyn’s show at ACAC: Reunion
Sarah’s portrait show at the Majestic and Grant Building: The Carnival
Sarah’s Workshops at Gettysburg High School: May 16 – 17
Sarah’s Workshops at Littlestown High School: May 18 – 19
All Exhibition Openings: June 3, times TBD
Artist Lecture: June 9, times TBD
We may also be in the Arts Council Juried Show. We haven’t heard back yet.
Sarah Jacobs, daughter of Robyn and Andy Jacobs, granddaughter of Harry and Dodo Badders and Judy and John Jacobs, grew up in Littlestown and has much in common with her family members. Harry hung patterned wallpaper for a living, John was a builder, Judy decorates her home with a more-is-more aesthetic, Robyn is an artist, and Andy a creative thinker, so it is no wonder Sarah makes busy, pattern-heavy, symbolic paintings and usually builds her own stretcher bars. Dodo built streetlamps at Hadco, so if this trend continues perhaps Sarah’s artwork will soon incorporate neon!
After graduating from Littlestown High School Sarah attended Gettysburg College to study Art History and went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting from MICA in Baltimore before moving to the UK for over three years following a now ex-husband. There she became a naturalized British citizen before returning to the US to pursue her art career and teach. She is writing her tenure application this summer for her teaching job at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, so please send her good vibes.
Her work has been exhibited in the US and in Europe and she has taken part in artist residencies in Germany, Colombia, and New Mexico. She has won multiple grants, including the Arts Council England Grant, and her work can be found in public and private collections in the US, UK, and Hong Kong. She has had solo and two person exhibitions in New York City, London, Wrocław, Poland and Bristol, England, among other cities.
Sarah lives in Pittsburgh with her partner, Shawn, who is an ICU nurse and their cat, Leonidas (Leo for short). She loves coming home to Littlestown and Gettysburg to spend time with family and see friends, including her godchild who lives in New Oxford. She is very honored to be invited back by the Adams County Arts Council to exhibit, lecture, and teach.
Overall Artist Statement (not for any particular series):
My multi-media paintings play with the figure/ground relationship using design principals. That means that the visual depth in my imagery is often confusing. It’s difficult at times to tell what is in front and what is behind in my compositions. Patterns, which normally flatten an image, are at times manipulated to appear to have volume. At other times patterns’ flatness contrasts with the visual volume of realistically rendered figures, or the figures are painted with colors relating to nearby patterns to blend in, like camouflage, or subjects overlap in nonsensical ways.
I am interested in patterns for what they represent metaphorically, and for what they can do aesthetically. I see visual patterns as representing modes of thought or patterns of living. We each categorize and frame the mystery of existence in unique ways. We tell ourselves stories about ourselves and the world that can be expressed with symbols. These patterns are imbued with meanings relating to the subjects of the paintings. Sometimes that may be based on flowers’ traditional meanings in Western cultural history, at other times the portrait subjects’ tastes and personal histories, and at other times they simply create a mood.
To design an artwork, I embark first on research of the concepts I will address and then search for imagery that I believe can be used symbolically to get those ideas across. I then design patterns incorporating some of this imagery, some of which may be rendered in a stylized, graphic, or cartoonish way, depending on the meaning I am going for and how I hope those patterns will play off more realistically rendered patterns that I will include in the same composition. Some patterns, however, are extremely realistic. Some of my research goes into the larger focal points, which are not included in a pattern. Then I engage in design play where I determine how I want to manipulate space using design tricks. These may include the use of gradients, nonsensical overlapping, the inclusion of pattern forms that appear to jut forward (called metric projections), warping, nonsensical use of drop shadows, etc.