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Pop-up Exhibit in the
Art Produce Community Room
Saturday, August 17th 6-8pm
Mantra is a series of botanical sculptures and cross-stitched affirmations, inspired by Sarah’s experiences with gender-based trauma and healing. Two different colors of growth represent a time in her childhood when she split herself in half in order to both stay connected with family and survive the world outside her home. Sarah’s healing journey has been one of moving toward reintegration, of embracing the idea that her two selves can coexist and even be friends.
The cross-stich hoop and embroidery thread are a nod to Sarah’s heritage. She comes from a long line of Midwestern farm women who sewed and quilted. Sarah seeks to honor parts of them that live on in her while re-contextualizing parts that no longer serve her. The affirmations came out of Sarah’s EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. These pieces act as sacred, healing meditations while she is designing and sewing them. They are a reimagining of a tool used in the education of her foremothers: the schoolgirl sampler.
About the Artist:
Sarah Cusey’s work has always focused on storytelling, specifically the telling of women’s stories. Through a variety of media, Sarah seeks to highlight the unique struggles and triumphs of those who identify as female. Sarah draws inspiration from the natural world, especially local flora. She employs lines, shapes, colors and textures found in nature to give voice to the feminine experience.
In her most recent work, Sarah delves into her own story. Sarah came of age in a severely rigid, religious culture, where the male voice was king. In response, Sarah notices and calls attention to the She that is present in nature, in the Divine, in everyday human experiences and in herself. Sarah strives to create her own definitions of strength, beauty, power, confidence and womanhood through her work.
Sarah lives in San Diego and exhibits her artwork throughout the County. She teaches residencies, workshops and camps for youth, adults and families through ArtReach, Arts for Learning San Diego and San Diego Museum of Art.
FREE Public Workshops*:
Wednesday, July 31st 6:30-8:30pm
Collaborator Carolyn Klusmeier, Registered Associate MFT #100568 (supervised by E. Ruby Tovar-Morin, LMFT at The Soul Care House) will be presenting on trauma, its effects on the body, mind and spirit and current approaches to healing in her field. Sarah will give an artist talk and lead a conversation about trauma. Powerful healing words generated from the discussion will be used in subsequent workshops. Appropriate for ages 14 and up.
Wednesday, August 7th and 14th 6:30-8:30pm
Sarah will facilitate a sewing circle, teaching participants the basics of cross-stitch. Each person will have the opportunity to stitch a healing word and simple design. Participants will also collaborate on a large paper sculpture. All work created during the workshops will be displayed at the culminating show on August 17th and then returned to participants. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.
*Workshops have been created with women at the center. Anyone who identifies as female, or as an ally of women, is welcome.