Sarah Conarro is an artist and educator. She works in her primary mediums of painting, collage, and drawing to create mixed media works, large-scale installations, and community based / social practice projects. Sarah is a Georgia native and until recently was based in Alaska for nine years. She now resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Sarah designed a community arts project focusing on cross-pollination between the Gustavus community & professional artists from in and out of Alaska. The project consisted of a series of smaller projects each with the goal of creating contemporary work through investigating Gustavus experiences/hobbies/professions. Through this project the artist collective Link:Link Club was born. This project was funded by a Community Arts Development Grant through the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
A body of over 100 small works from fully realized to sketches, this showing transformed a very small ice cream shop in a temperate rainforest into a warm tropical you-want-to-eat-icecream space. The pieces ranged from 4x4 inches to 11x16 inches.
This is a positive rap loop-based video combining analogue title makers, traditional stop motion, rotoscoped appropriated images, and music to express nine “positive personality traits.” Made in collaboration with Julian Bozeman, Sarah received a Career Opportunity Grant through the Alaska State Council on the Arts for this project.
Beginning with multiple brightly colored canvases across the full lengths and widths of the walls, Sarah spent the months of November and December installing 32 sand and mirror wall sculptures. By covering the entirety of the walls with angled out mirrors and bright colors, she changed the entire feel of the capital's most well-trod cafe, adding an element of warmth and surprise for all who entered the space during these darkest months of the year. Julian Bozeman collaborated by installing multiple projectors and creating a video and sound piece specifically for the culminating event week of the installation.
2014 The Alaska Experimental Video Mapping Project (Master Works Series) - Gastineau Edition
Sarah and Brooklyn-based artist Julian Bozeman lead one hundred and fifty K - 1st grade students in answering the question “What is one important place to you in Juneau?” Students created individual collages to represent each place and added these collages to a live video format for public use. This project was funded by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
2013 The Alaska Experimental Video Mapping Project (Master Works Series) - Dzantik'i Heeni Edition
Sarah and Brooklyn-based artist Julian Bozeman lead two hundred 6th - 8th grade students in answering the question “What is one important place to you in Juneau?” Students created individual collages to represent each place and added these collages to a live video format and internet map for public use. This project was funded by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
2013 Everything Does Something
This project is a traveling pop-up community engagement project that toured along the East Coast through the summer of 2013. Sarah asked participants approaching the pvc-pipe roadside stand to share advice through writing and pin their advice to the stand. Cities included: Hammond, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; New Orleans, LA; Dahlonega, GA; Asheville, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, ME; Providence; RI.
2013 Tsu Heidei Shugaxtutaan
The Sitka Native Education Program invited Sarah to lead eighteen classroom teachers in creating a collaborative mural for the Tribal Youth Center in Sitka, Alaska. The team finished a twelve-by-twelve foot painting titled Tsu Heidei Shugaxtutaan (translation: We Will Again Open This Container of Wisdom That Has Been Left in Our Care) by working with the Tlingit community and considering important cultural questions. This center is dedicated to Tlingit culture learning. Sarah designed this project for schoolteachers to learn in-depth strategies for visual arts integration and collaborative community projects. This project was facilitated by the Alaska Arts Education Consortium.
This performance installation created in collaboration with Ryan Conarro is a meditation on the Moments When Something Happens: shared memory; first-hand experiences; and spaces between. Joining forces with a team of designer-collaborators, Sarah and Ryan crafted a visual-sonic world with performance and visual components. This project was hosted by Generator Theater Company. Collaborators = Ellen Reid, J Bradley, Flordelino Lagundino, Kevin Riordan, Katie Basile, Giselle Stone.
2012 No Situation Just A Series of Choices
This series consists of paintings, drawings and collage incorporated with wood in various forms — from recycled fir floor boards to pieces of charred cedar. This project was made in collaboration with Matt Davidson.
2012 These Are the Paintings that Hang in My Living Room
For this project Sarah flipped her apartment walls inside out, recreating her own home onto the walls of both downtown Juneau Heritage Cafes.
Sarah designed a glittery visual art and live music experiment with the public radio station KXLL/Excellent Radio in Juneau, Alaska. This three-part community project included: an all-ages event to play with glitter on canvas and bubbles to live found-instrument percussion; musical invention on an in-the-round stage by Playboy Spaceman and Tiger Pilot; and installation/continuance of the glitter project on the side of KTOO radio in downtown Juneau.
2012 "Boys' Dleigu: Haandéi ax choonéitk'i" Window Painting
Sarah collaborated with Musician/Teaching Artist Ed Littlefield to create a window painting/backdrop in the Thunder Mountain High School commons in Juneau, Alaska. The visual component was designed to relate to Ed's three musical interpretations (one Tlingit, one jazz, one contemporary/body percussion) of the traditional Tlingit lullaby "Boys' Dleigu: Haandéi ax choonéitk'i" by Charlie Joseph, a Tlingit elder from Sitka, Alaska.
2012 Quanemciput Pilialput-llu
One hundred and fifty middle and high school students travelled from rural villages into Bethel, Alaska, to participate in the culminating grand theatrical performance based on cultural storytelling. Sarah worked with Juneau Theater Artist Ryan Conarro and Brooklyn Photographer Katie Basile on this project as the third and final phase of the Pilinguat arts-based education project investigating local history and current stories. Sarah lead students in creating the set for their performances in collaboration with Hood River Teaching Artist Shelley Toon Hight. This project was designed to increase relevance and motivation for students in cross-cultural classroom and was funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum and the Rasmuson Foundation.
2012 Heroes and Talents
Sarah lead with educators and students in grades 9-12 at Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School in creating six panels of paintings for the exterior of the school along the entrance walkway. The project received funding from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and The Alaska Association of School Boards for building community and assets through art.
2011 Words of Advice
This letterpress mixed media project consists of thirty different lines of text printed on an Original Heidelberg Letterpress at Alaska Litho in Juneau, Alaska. The four by four inch prints are all hand-stained as well as have individually done drawings.
The advice/opinions/demands on the cards falls (loosely) into five categories — kitchen, relationships, personal hygiene, active randomness and miscellaneous. This project was made in collaboration with Giselle Stone.
2011 I Choose Respect
Sarah was invited by teenagers to coordinate the creation of four 5 x 8 foot panels for the Nugget Mall in Juneau, Alaska. After completing the y0uth leadership in Anchorage “Lead On! For Peace and Equality in Alaska”, the teen group wanted to incorporate simple imagery integrated with local student response on how they choose and show respect, how they ask for help, how they set boundaries as well as why they love Juneau. Sarah ran the open-to-public painting sessions at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and at the University of Alaska Southeast.
2011 Swapping Fish Tales
Sarah coordinated visual design for Dear Fish, a project coordinated by Annie Calkins and funded by the Kennedy Center Partners in Education grant. For this project, schools in Alaska and Maine explored fishing cultures of both communities using integrated technology. Research collected from trips out in the field and interviews with local fishermen formed the basis for a play written by Dave Hunsaker performed by elementary and high school students in both communities in Spring 2011. Collaborators include = Brice Haberger, Ryan Conarro, Sarah Doremus, Lorrie Heagy.
2011 This is Who We Are
Over one hundred middle and high school students travelled from nine rural villages into Bethel, Alaska, to participate in the culminating interview-based theatrical performance based on cultural storytelling. Sarah worked with Juneau Theater Artist Ryan Conarro and Brooklyn Photographer Katie Basile on this project as the second of three phases of the Pilinguat arts-based education project investigating local history and current stories. Sarah lead students in visual components of the performance incorporating Yup'ik elders' portraits. This project was funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum and the Rasmuson Foundation.
2011 Complements Grid
Sarah painted fifty-six 2x2 ft panels with 375 K-5 students at Mendenhall River Elementary School for permanent installation on their school's outside covered play area in Juneau, Alaska.
2011 Patchwork Collage Grid
Auke Bay Elementary School invited Sarah to work with their 150 K-2 students in painting and collaging thirty two-by-two foot wood squares for permanent installation in the school interior. With Sarah's lead, students created individual drawings, tore their papers and shared the remnants with one another to begin the process of collage. Students painted the boards together to provide a home for the individual collages they had created earlier in the process.
2010 The Great Lessons
The Montessori Borealis School invited Sarah to work with their 120 K-8 students in Juneau, Alaska. Together they painted, collaged and wrote a continuous narrative of 'The Great Lessons' for permanent installation reaching from the entrance to the building, through the hallways, and up a stairwell. Chris Trostel, upper elementary teacher, lists the` lessons within the theme as the following: 1. The Creation of the Universe 2. The Coming of Life to Earth, 3. The Emergence of the Human, 4. and 5. The Human Gifts: The Story of Invention/Math & The Story of Communication in Signs (our alphabet).
2010 Sketches for Okie Pie
Dubbed 'Okie' by his almost 3-year-old sisters, Sarah's unborn yet-to-be-named son was coming in only a few short weeks. Sarah posted a grid on the walls of the Ruby Room Gallery for the city of Juneau to offer name suggestions. She surrounded the grid by sketches created each pregnancy trimester.
2010 Raven From Downtown
Sarah designed and executed a one-percent-for-art mural for the Zach Gordon Youth Center in for the City and Borough of Juneau in Juneau, Alaska.
2010 Art Shops
Sarah taught for an arts-in-education program for at-risk youth in low income housing developments. Her focus was student learning through art projects and field trips, community collaboration, multicultural awareness, and parental and familial communication and involvement. During this program, children created a backdrop for the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Savikko Park Concerts. This program is funded through a Drug Elimination Program Grant from the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. and facilitated by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council.
2010 We See Our Tundra
The White Mountain, Alaska community and school invited Sarah to fulfill a Cultural Collaborations Project Grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Sarah collaborated with elders in the community down to pre-K students in creating colorful shape cut-outs representing their community on the chain link fence that otherwise separates the school from the village.
2009 J'taime Mon Petite Chou
This project centered on spiritual vs. secular, busy vs. calm. Sarah created an atmosphere through arranging collages/drawings in a plant store, The Plant People, in Juneau. She provided fortunes and viewers brought offerings including written thoughts, oranges, apples, beads, and coins.
2009 Hands, Mud, Found
Sarah taught mixed media and painting to middle and elementary students during three summers in Sitka, Alaska. Every year, Sarah also coordinated a participatory/performance-based visual arts event for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp Teaching Artists and students as well as the Sitka community.
Sarah lead fifty 6th-8th grade students at the Anvil City Science Academy in the creation of a 320 square foot exterior painting. The painting served the role as a scenic backdrop in the interview-based production Nometown Tales and is now permanently installed on the exterior of the public swimming facility. Students designed the painting through reading interviews featured in the play.
2009 Statehood Celebration: Tundra Style
Sarah collaborated in an interdisciplinary performance project featuring students from nine villages in the Lower Kuskokwim district celebrating Alaska's 100th year as a state. Sarah lead visual design including preliminary work painting/collaging a 160 sq. ft. painting with 100 K-12 students in Kasigluk, Alaska. This painting was flown into Bethel, Alaska to act as the backdrop for the Statehood Celebration: Tundra Style production and then returned to Kasigluk to be permanently installed in Akiuk School lobby. Collaborators for this project include Stephen Blanchett, Ryan Conarro, and Project Pilinguat. This project received funding from the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
2009 Sea Creatures
Working with 200 K-1 students, Sarah created 380 sq. ft. of sea creatures for permanent installation on their chain link playground fence. This project included community involvement and students of Sitka's local alternative school, Pacific High.
Sarah guided the thirteen K-10 students in Klukwan, Alaska in writing and illustrating a continuous narrative about Xóots (bear). The group painted & collaged a 2’ x 45’ continuous narrative for permanent installation in Klukwan School's community room. Students translated character names into the Tlingit language.
2008 I Ate the Moonlight
This show at the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council gallery speaks to Sarah's first year as a parent, that her time to herself was at night. The show was complete with a hook for her daughter's johnny jump up.
2008 Thread the River Through
Sarah conducted a 500 square foot exterior mural for permanent installation on the community gym with Gustavus School. Approximately seventy-five K-12 students, teachers and community members participated and all participants had the opportunity to add their designs. This project received funding from the Alaska Brewery Company and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
2008 Between The Gastineau Channel And Mount Roberts
This project is a mosaic created in collaboration with 80 students in grades K-5 for Capital City Park, a public park in downtown Juneau, Alaska.
2007 Margot on My Mind
This project was a series of twenty mirrored carved paintings for The Canvas Gallery in Juneau, Alaska. Sarah created these pieces as a reflection of waiting for her first child, Margot, to be born.
2007 The Sea as They See It
In conjunction with 'Sea Week', Sarah worked with 350 students in grades K-5 to design and create an imaginative painting/collage for permanent installation in the school commons. This project received funding from the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
2007 Village by the Cliff
Sarah created 192 sq. ft. painting/collage for permanent installation in the Hoonah, Alaska cafeteria with 200 children in grades K-12. Imagery includes salmon trollers, fish and birds, all inspired by the place-based connection for students. This project was funded by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
2006 Outside the Box
Sarah consulted, curated, and taught with The Canvas, as they were getting their feet off the ground and determining aspects of their identity. This Juneau, Alaska art studio and gallery has since gained national attention for providing arts-based training for persons with disabilities. Sarah curated The Canvas's first exhibition, an interactive art, video and sound installation created by 30 REACH artists entitled Outside the Box.
2006 An Image You See When You Look in the Mirror
This project was a series of pencil/pastel/acrylic /ink portraits and self portraits shown in the Ruby Room Gallery in Juneau, Alaska.
2006 Kids in Movement
Sarah created a painted/collage piece for permanent installation of the exterior school entryway with 350 K-5 students at Harborview Elementary School in Juneau, Alaska. Students' design drawings were based on the school's theme 'Kids in Movement'. Design images were collaged into the final image. This project was funded by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
An arrangement of lithography, entaglio, and relief prints moving into paintings, drawings and an installation. This project was made in collaboratoin with Julian Bozeman.
2004 That Time
This project is a series of collages ranging from 3 x 3 feet to 4 x 5 feet. The pieces were included in a group show Public Space, Private Dynamic in Athens, Georgia.
2003 Because It's Beautiful
This project is a series of wood panel collage/carving/paintings ranging from 3 x 3 feet to 6 x 4 feet. The pieces were included in a group show Let Freedom Ring at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, Georgia.