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Student Perspective: Sarah Valeri (CERT 2023)

It is impossible to pinpoint a moment when I noticed a significant change in my work over the past four semesters that I have been at the New York Studio School. Actually, I had not really come with the intention to change anything about the way I made images. After years of painting in relative isolation, the idea of school was sort of a Pandora’s Box. I wanted to be open to all the sensations of influence and resistance that would come up, but I had no idea what would actually happen. Because of the focus on discovery of form, perception, and light within the coursework, I felt whatever I found that resonated or created conflict could be used to develop and investigate these more empathetic languages in my work and I would just make them mine.

Through the Certificate Program, I have had the time and independence to explore these properties according to my need. Even though painting is my home base, I have been touring the Sculpture Department, working in clay, paper, and metal. These practices have naturally brought a new structure and dynamism into my imagery as well as future plans.

While it has been more or less an ongoing truth that I have found an evolving language, what I did not expect was that my former sense of isolation has nearly melted. It no longer seems necessary to “protect” my work. It has been a great pleasure to work alongside some very dedicated artists. I have been just as excited to see their work develop as I have been to find new ground in my own studio. I feel that my mentors and collaborators understand that it takes a curious period of time to find a purpose in the melee, and I am very thankful to have spent this time with them at the Studio School.

Snapshots From NYSS

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