Musings | Mar 26, 2021
Dear Usdan Community,
Today, as part of our focus on youth creativity, I am excited to introduce you to a 13-year-old visual artist named Sarah. Last Sunday, I enjoyed a happy hour with Sarah and her parents, as I showed them the Usdan campus during a sunny day of socially-distanced private tours for new and prospective families.
The more Sarah and I talked, the more excited I became that Sarah found Usdan. I have a sneaking suspicion that this summer Sarah will experience two qualities that an alumnus recently told me were the hallmarks of his years at Usdan in the 1980’s: the happy sensation of freedom and the chance to “find your tribe.”
Most of Sarah’s art training to date has been through her own exploration of materials, particularly materials she repurposes or finds, whether it be fresh snow — see below the snow person walking a dog — or shipping packaging that her siblings’ clothes arrive in — see below the snazzy yet functional handbags.
At Usdan, Sarah will be taking four different Majors in our Art Department. When we spoke about how she preferred that those Majors be sequenced, Sarah specifically wanted Metalsmithing to precede Sewing & Fashion Design, so she could make the jewelry and then make the clothes to wear with the jewelry.
Being deeply committed to youth creativity is an honor for all of my colleagues and me. I hope you feel the same. As you learn about Sarah’s work, and on the eve of what for many is a week of holidays and school breaks, I hope Sarah inspires you to upcycle found objects in and around your home and turn them into art.
Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director