Sarah Stolar found her creative voice; you can too
Bill Knief, For The Taos News Sep 16, 2016
Sarah Stolar, the newly appointed director of the UNM-Taos art department, has been a practicing artist and art teacher for a good part of her life. Her mother, Merlene Schain, a college professor, holds a master’s degree and owns an art school in Cincinnati. Nevertheless, Stolar started out wanting to be a concert violinist – that is, until the day she came face-to-face with her true calling.
“I was living with my mom in Cincinnati, and one day I was walking through the lobby of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and I saw all of these amazing drawings on the walls and I had an epiphany,” Stolar said. “There was something about the energy of that building, and it kind of hit me all at once that I wanted to be there. I ended up getting my undergraduate degree in painting at the Art Academy and immediately went to grad school at the San Francisco Art Institute as a painting major.” Stolar said that, about halfway through the program, she changed to a new medium — new media, installation, performance and sound art — all mostly considered to be “non-traditional” forms of fine art.
“I’m a traditional painter in some sense, as I work with the landscape and the figure, but I make installations,” she said. “I do video art, sound art — I was a costume designer for a very famous artist named Annis Sprinkle and her equally notable partner Beth Stevens. So you could say I’m interdisciplinary and art has consumed my life.”
Artists draw inspiration from many places including the environment that surrounds them. The opportunity for a change of scenery can prove especially valuable. At the Art Academy of Cincinnati the Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship provides just that, affording art students of all disciplines the chance to explore the world around them as fuel for their creative expression.
A man of many achievements, Malcolm Grear, AAC alumnus, passed away on January 24, 2016. Grear will be remembered for his extraordinary impact on design education, in particular at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he was a devoted teacher and mentor for nearly four decades.
There are many things students would expect to gain during their time at the Art Academy of Cincinnati: knowledge, perspective, inspiration, life-long friends, a degree. But a surprising number of alumni also leave with something else — the love of their lives.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that over the 147-year history of the AAC, hundreds of couples have found their other half while attending the Art Academy. Even one of the AAC’s most distinguished alumni, Charley Harper, met his wife, Edie Harper, at the Art Academy, “in the same class, in the same row.”
Picture this: Giant. Beanbags. You read that right. This is the vision of Art Academy of Cincinnati grads, Amy Scarpello and Abby Cornelius. And thanks to grant from People’s Liberty, a philanthropic lab devoted to accelerating the positive transformation of Greater Cincinnati, soon they’ll be coming to a city park, a bike path or even the lobby of government building near you.
Plop! a project dreamed up by Scarpello and Cornelius, is designed to create engagement and bring an element of whimsy to the city’s public spaces. We recently caught up with Scarpello to chat with her about the project and what life has been like since graduating from AAC.
A hero takes many forms. There is the kind that saves lives, the kind borne out of quiet determination and advocacy, and the kind that exhibits bravery in the face of danger or adversity. Then there are those heroes that encapsulate a little of all of the above. Carson Smith was that kind.
Smith, an Art Academy of Cincinnati grad, arts advocate and World War II veteran, died December 1. He was 95.