Sarah Meyers Brent is featured as a 2016 Best of Boston artist by The Improper Bostonian magazine. Brent has exhibited works in numerous venues, including her recent exhibit, Seep, Spill, Grow, at The Danforth Art Museum in Framingham, which was featured in Artscope Magazine. She was the recipient of the 2015 Walter Feldman Fellowship, culminating in an exhibit at the Walter Feldman Gallery in Boston titled Primal Garden, which also received critical acclaim in Artscope Magazine and The Boston Globe. Brent was awarded the Fay Chandler Emerging Artist award through the City of Boston.
Twice awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Brent is also a recipient of an Artist Resource Trust Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, who designated her a 25 at 25 Fellow. Brent's work appears in collections at The Danforth Musuem, The Liquitex Corporate Collection, and numerous private collections. She was also featured in Volume 16 of New American Painting Northeast edition. 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 from the University of New Hampshire at Durham. The artist maintains a studio at Waltham Mills Artist Association in Waltham, MA.
I am drawn to how dried flowers decay and wilt, while maintaining such beauty. The gnarled, intricate, masses look a lot like how life feels to me. They mimic what I’m thinking about while painting, be it concerns about the state the environment or the intensity of motherhood. I want to create larger than life gardens that are strong and layered, growing and coming apart.
I want a physicality to the paint and materials: to preserve some of the rawness of the canvas and the original drawing, while working with a range of thick and thin on top. For example, in FloralExplosion II, washes fluidly explode out from the center of the canvas with globs of “paint flowers” growing on top. In others pieces, like Falling Flowers, it appears as if the painting itself is dripping and falling down. Some of my works use actual flowers fixed in various states of decay with plastic mediums and paint. In all my works the compositions are simultaneously blooming and breaking apart.
In parts of my process, I am recording observations of the dried flowers, while also leaving a lot to chance. At times I place paintings on the floor, allowing the paint be thin and fluid. Other times I work on them upside down, looking at the painting’s abstract forms. I go back and forth between bringing the floral imagery up to be more life-like and deconstructing it.
I use my artistic process to work through the mess of life, and ultimately arrive at a form--simultaneously growing and decaying-- that I find really beautiful.
Catalogue Text from the Primal Garden “Walter Feldman Fellowship”
By: Katherine French
“Flowers are dangerous subjects for painters. In the wrong hands, they are cloyingly sweet or blatantly sexual. They recall a kind of feminine delicacy that belies tough-mindedness. They avoid swagger and strut. We do not expect to be challenged by paintings that reference flowers, but artist Sarah Meyers Brent is quick to set us straight. In her mysterious gardens of growth and decay, we see evidence of hard intellect. There is nothing overly pretty about gnarled and twisted roots, or in the ooze of rotting plants. But Brent transforms decomposing muck into a thing of beauty, convincing us of her ability to make paintings that are sublime.”….
… “Brent invites viewers to a visionary garden, but then leads us past its deceptive tranquility to explore primal fear, anxiety, and joy—all the basic components of an emotional life that inspires us to look beyond ourselves.”