sarah meyers brent - abstract upcycling

Upcycling modern art 

Birdsong Sculpture 

Mixed media

48'' h x 30'' w x 30'' d 

2020  

Courtesy of Chase Young Gallery

 

Born in Hadley, NY, Sarah Meyers Brent received her BFA from Skidmore College, her Post- Baccalaureate in Studio Art from Brandeis University, and her MFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire.

The artist maintains a studio at Waltham Mills Artist Association in Waltham, MA.

Brent was featured as a 2016 Best of Boston artist by The Improper Bostonian and received the Fay Chandler Emerging Artist Award that same year. Twice resident at the Vermont Studio Center, Brent has also been a recipient of an Artist Resource Trust Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, who designated her a 25 at 25 Fellow. She was also featured in Volume 16 of New American Painting Northeast edition.  

Represented by the Chase Young Gallery in Boston, Brent has exhibited widely.

Her solo exhibition 'Seep, Spill, Grow' appeared at Danforth Art Museum along with her recent exhibit Beautiful Mess at Kelley Stelling Contemporary. Reviews of her numerous exhibitions have appeared in Artscope Magazine, Art New England, the Boston Globe, Sculpture Magazine and other publications. Her work is in the permanent collections of Danforth Art Museum/School, Liquitex Corporation, and in numerous private collections.

Tell me something about you, how did upcycling become important to your art practice?

I am drawn the richness of the upcycled materials along with the history of the items.

Originally my work started off using the overflow of materials from my house and studio (paint shavings, paint rags, and fabric).

After having kids, I collected their old ripped clothes and broken toys to make artwork (like Mommy Loves Me III). At a certain point I ran out of material and put a call out to my community.

I was getting (pre-Covid) donations which I have been creating sculptures with. 

I make these mixed media works to take the craziness of motherhood (and life in general) and to create something beautiful out of it. 

Why do you think up cycling is important? 

Although my main interest in repurposed materials is the visual richness, I am very concerned about the environment and like that I am using objects that otherwise would have ended up in the landfill, giving them a second life.

As a mother I am worried about what kind of a world we are leaving for our kids.  

I am, also, striving to make my sculptures more sustainable, and have been using less store bought materials, adhesive, and more repurposed material.

 

 

How do you create your designs? 

 

I often sketch out a number of ideas for sculptural forms, which are often inspired by looking at the materials and the shape of their forms. In Birdsong Sculpture, for instance, I had a general idea to create an irregular hanging sculpture with a mass of debris. As I was taking out the material and working with it, I loved how a huge pile of material looked on my table so I glued it into place and went back in with paint to enhance it. 

Other times, I do installations inspired by architectural spaces. I am making a piece for an upcoming show that was supposed to have been in April (now moved to July) at Chase Young Gallery in Boston. They have a narrow eight foot wall jutting out, so I had the idea of the material coming over the top of the wall and appearing to be dripping down. I set up a mock-up wall and have been working on the piece to in my studio to transfer in July.

I also make paintings which are a very different process, as I don’t sketch beforehand. I am similarly inspired by forms, either in my sculptures, around my studio, or from the environment.

I work on the paintings in a very process oriented way where the composition and ideas are evolving as I go.

 

 

How can quarantine be a good moment for becoming more conscious and sustainable? 

 

For me the quarantine gives a taste of the kinds of world-wide problems that we will continue experiencing if we don’t get our act together on climate change. It also reminds us how the world as a whole is connected.

For me personally, I had already been getting involved in a local Mothers Out Front group within my community, and I think that this will inspire me to get more involved once the Stay at Home order is lifted. 

I am currently home with two young boys and believe that I have learned a lot about time management during the quarantine.  Hopefully once they are back in school I can use these skills to make some time.

I continue to make personal changes but want to start getting more involved in more systemic actions.

https://sarahartist.com/home.html

Hot Mama II 

Acrylic, fabric, frame, and mixed media 

34'' d

2020 

Courtesy of Chase Young Gallery

Mommy Loves Me III 

Fabric, mixed media and canvas 

77.5” x 50” 

2017 

Courtesy of Coastal Contemporary Gallery

Archway 

Fabric, mixed media, and repurposed metal arbor 

106”h

2019 

Courtesy of Coastal Contemporary Gallery

Chase Young Gallery  @chaseyounggallery

http://www.chaseyounggallery.com

 

Coastal Contemporary Gallery @coastalcontemporarygallery

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