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Sarah Bartolotta

Sarah comes to the TCC from Hartford, CT where she recently completed a post baccalaureate program at the University of Hartford Art School. She is a native of Hudson, NY. After graduating from Arcadia University with a B.A in Art History in 2018, she apprenticed for a year under artists Gregg Moore and Polly Apfelbaum where she researched clay, slip, and glaze. Sarah was accepted as an AiR at the Worcester Center for Crafts for the academic years of 2019-2021. During her residency, Sarah taught several hand-building classes and various workshops in wheel-throwing, surface design demonstrations, and supplementary educational lectures. In 2021, she relocated to Allston, MA to teach ceramics at Shady Hill School, Umbrella Arts, and Harvard Ceramics Program before attending the University of Hartford Art School. Sarah has shown in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Ireland. 

Artist Statement

In a moment either planned or unplanned, situations are forever altered. These actions cannot be undone; like a stain on a white surface, the mark remains. The wild and exuberant action of splattering the pigment is countered with the ceremonial act of reconciliation through the circling. Held in a moment of reflection, I am forced to look closer and analyze: the relationship between the microscopic and cosmic scale, the irrevocable action that was committed, and the process of resolution that remains.

   Through repetition and contemplation during the circling process, I am working toward understanding what has happened and preparing for what is to come. Stories are overlapped, beginnings are elusive, and ends fade out long enough to begin something new. Events in time do not wait for previous events to resolve, nor do they exist in a vacuum. But this is not something I am able to take in all at once. Though I cannot help but react from instinct and feel overwhelmed at first glance, my art challenges me to push on; always asking more of me.

    As a ceramic artist, I am working with a medium that effortlessly leads this continuous pattern of creation and destruction. Ceramics appeals to this practice in that there are many steps that must be taken until the work is finished, and each step leaves the work vulnerable to elements, sometimes, outside of my control. At certain stages, I am working so intimately with the clay, whereas at other points, I must let go of control and expectations. This echoes the pendulum swing that occurs throughout nature; on both a microscopic and cosmic level in order to maintain homeostasis.

   My art is a mentor and meditation for me to deal with loss and disappointment, while the circling is a way of imprinting my own will on the permanent record and refusing to be lost to the grief. I work with the duality of life, flirting between the chaos and calculated to find balance. Previously, I (somewhat foolishly) believed I wished to exert control over the chaos. It has been said to me by many others as well when they first see my work. But I don't wish to control chaos, I am simply learning to live amongst it.

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Click here to view Sara Jensen 

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