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Artist Profile Series: Sarah Fetterman

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Sarah Fetterman, Past Selves, 2017. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Fetterman

Sarah Fetterman is a Seattle-based welder, woodworker, and visual artist specializing in performative sculpture. Her work has been performed at Hybrid Arc Space and Center on Contemporary Art, and in 2017 she received a GAP award to help fund the production of Past Selves and the Past Selves Tapestry.

Sarah first discovered performative sculpture while using flour and nylon stockings as sketching tools for a sculpture project. She had been struggling with the project and recalls that, “It wasn’t until my hands found their way inside the stockings that the piece found its right movement.”

In 2017, Sarah continued to explore flour’s artistic possibilities through Past Selves. The performance, which premiered at Center on Contemporary Art last year, used black tar paper to record a flour-covered dancer’s movement across CoCA’s gallery walls and offered visitors an opportunity to watch the live performance as well as clips of past performances on closed-circuit television. The project grew out of a collaboration with Hannah Simmons and Jack Christoforo, as well as Sarah’s fascination with memory.

Sarah is currently working with the Jacquard loom operators at Magnolia Editions to weave a life-size tapestry re-creating the patterns made during the Past Selves performances. She found inspiration for the project while erasing the markings left after each performance and says her plan is for the finished piece to be displayed at a memory home.

In addition to helping her fund new projects, Sarah says the 2017 GAP award opened new doors for her as an artist. “The GAP award is the first grant I have ever received,” she explains. “With its presence in my life and on my resume, I have started receiving other grants propelling me forward. The GAP award has given me an enormous first step toward making my practice as an artist in Seattle financially possible.”

Asked if she has any advice for artists currently applying for awards, Sarah says, “I’d recommend timing the grant to hit when you need the actual heart of your funding […]. This allowed me to give a fully developed description of the final piece and demonstrate my commitment to the panel, as well as giving a clear indication that I honestly couldn’t fulfill the next stage of my project without their help.”

To learn more about Sarah’s work and current projects, check out her website.

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Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.