Sophomore portfolio

SARAH KACZKA | ARTIST STATEMENT

A few observations:

My art is often circular, heavy-handed, and in a world of muted color.

It is driven by a desire to feel what I feel but also to see what I see.

And, finally, the rich greens and browns of the Pacific Northwest often find their way into my work.

Initially, my interest in creating art stemmed from an overwhelming need for self-expression and desire to be heard. In high school, my art was an explosion of the inner chaos of my anxiety and depression: it was often unapologetically needy and, honestly, teeming with self-pity. Now, after a long process of healing and growth, a process I am by no means finished with, my approach to art-making is less frantic and more thoughtful. Less desperate and with more intent. Less ‘look at me’ and more about our Creator’s invitation to be in relationship with Him.

In their collaborative book, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, David Bayles and Ted Orland write: “The need to make art may not stem solely from the need to express who you are, but from a need to complete a relationship with something outside of yourself. As a maker of art you are custodian of issues larger than self.”

I believe that it is our responsibility as artists to look up and out, to notice what we notice, to seek out the overarching narrative of God’s creativity and goodness.

We don’t have to look hard to find it.

Whether I’m standing in front of van Gogh’s self portrait from the spring of 1887 at the Art Institute of Chicago or in front of a mural of a sailboat painted on the side of an office building in the small beach town of Edmonds, art reminds me that His Spirit is omnipresent. I cannot look at good art and not see Him.

Art is a healing balm for a bruised world, and it is an absolute privilege to be studying it at Wheaton College.

As a newly declared art major, I hope to continue to grow in confidence as well as have the courage to ask questions without simple answers. To learn to thrive in the tension of not knowing.

To be a creator that, as Professor Hooker puts it, dares to live with raw nerve-endings, and to be brave enough to feel everything as it comes.

Sophomore Portfolio

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