Sara Smith | Connecting to creativity

Artist Sara Smith was heading to Walker Lake to enjoy a weekend of ceramic making with a Raku Kiln.

“Ceramics are pretty predictable, but with a Raku Kiln the results are unpredictable. The smoke and wood adhere to the outside of the piece. What’s created is beautiful,” Smith says.

“I believe art has the power to open us up to things we might not see and back to connecting and thinking more creatively.”

Smith has created a life in which she lives and breathes art. She also shares her passion with others. Blue Wolf Studios in Kings Beach recently hosted Smith and her “Collaborative Live Artist Takeover Party.”

“Basically the show was an opportunity for people to create an art piece together,” says Smith..

Smith handed out paintbrushes, palette knives and sponge rollers for participants to get on their art groove. She wove a large canvas from strips of canvas for the event.

Mael Passanesi and Katie Kyler participate in community painting night.

“I invited people to play on the canvas. I like to get people involved. Every one of us is creative, but somewhere long ago, some of us decided we are not artists,” Smith says. She encourages people to become less intimidated in the realm of art.


“If I can help open the door wide enough for people to walk through it, more often than not they can get back to whatever age they were when they decided they were not an artist. Maybe they were shut down. If you ask a room full of kids who is an artist every one raises their hands,” she says. “I believe art has the power to open us up to things we might not see and back to connecting and thinking more creatively.”

Smith works with a number of different mediums. She paints and draws and creates large mural installations. She also plays with different types of materials and tries not to get stuck in one area of her work.

“I am inspired by nature. I am inspired by this beautiful place. There is inspiration right outside my window. I’ve been painting a lot of bears,” she says.

According to Smith, her art explores the parallels between relationships: “I am a mom and see familial relations, as well as mother and child relationships in the animal world. I look at how we nurture our children and what are we doing to raise our young and give them the tools to live in the world.”

“Mother and Child I”

Smith’s most recent mural project was a collaborative piece with Mountain Forge. The large installation was unveiled at the Truckee Donner Community Swimming Pool in September. She is currently working with the teens of the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe to create a mural in the lobby of the building.

“I am grateful to support the project,” she says, adding that the mural should be ready to unveil by the end of the school year.

Smith hosted another live art event with local artist Sara Zimmerman at Tahoe University.

“It was an intuitive process. We pulled together a 5-by-8 canvas and created a view of Squaw Valley,” said Smith. High Fives Foundation auctioned the piece at its Silver Tie Gala on May 5.

Throughout May, Smith will be the featured artist at Riverside Studios for an exhibit featuring several mother-and-child-themed works in celebration of Mother’s Day (see Arts in this issue for details). She is also spearheading the “Community Tree” project, a community collaborative project at the third annual Truckee Maker Show on June 11. Community members will create individual leaves that will be sewn onto a large, painted grove of aspens that represent the Tahoe-Truckee community. And, on June 25, Smith will be teaching a fabric collage and surface design workshop at Atelier in Truckee. |