A Short Biography
Previously a community organizer in the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio, Sara Stevenson has called New Orleans her home for almost 40 years. She created events and programs for the New Orleans Arts Council, the Children’s Arts Council, and the Contemporary Arts Center before she founded The Country Day Creative Arts Program at Metairie Park Country Day School. Recently retired, she was director since its inception, 35 years ago.
Sara graduated from Friends World College having studied painting and silversmithing through apprenticeships in Zuni, New Mexico, Mexico, England, and Spain. Once in New Orleans, she attended the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts for 10 years where she received honorable mention for her drawings of the human form. When she discovered clay, she immersed herself in intensive study under sculptor, Evelyn Jordan. She continues to explore this medium vigorously, still concentrating on the figure. Sara has shown and sold her work throughout New Orleans.
Ten years ago, I felt my drawings of the human form were missing something: was it substance? presence? the ability to offer different perspectives? From that “missing,” my affair with clay was born.
I was thrown into an unexpected frenzy of what represented to me inner power: the Buddha, the Ganesh, ancient Chinese Warriors. The new work hinted at my own experiences with grief, steadfastness, and courage set within these ancient icons, somehow assuming that these power figures, too, must have been utterly human.
Meanwhile, a respect for the unity of Pre-Columbian, African, and Asian art, mythology, and spirituality was coupled with my on-going rejection of taboos and rigidity. This meant I could blend my life’s experiences with ancient perceptions to make blended narratives.
How can I respectfully make identifiable and majestic expressions of icons of divine power that more readily connect to our shared human reality?