Sarah Burns is a longtime resident of the Rogue Valley and an established artist who also runs a small local studio venue for people who want to learn the basics of painting or take their technique further. She will have a significant show of new work beginning in September, when Burns and other regional artists will host a new series at their space in Talent, a quick stone’s throw from Ashland and near the popular Camelot Theatre. I caught up with Burns to chat with her about her plans.
JG: Sarah, tell us a little about your background as an artist.
SB: Since I was very young, I’ve been serious about making art. I make representational paintings (art that represents some aspect of reality in a straightforward and uncomplicated way). When the weather is bearable outside, I paint landscapes, but when it is miserable — for example, when smoke refuses to leave the area and stays for weeks! — I paint figures or still life in my studio. The use of traditional methods and materials is important to me; I want to make work that outlasts me because I appreciate old things. After I am gone, I want to leave behind objects people will hopefully enjoy long into the future.
JG: What brought you to the Rogue Valley?
SB: I’ve lived here for most of my life. I went to high school in Ashland, then decided to attend college in Portland, and after school I returned to the area in 1997, and have remained here to raise my daughter. I have always loved having the Rogue Valley as my home base. It’s a unique and special spot.
JG: Tell us about the evolution of your art space, “Project Space”?
SB: In May of 2017, I opened Project Space, an education art space for all ages, where we hold anything from children’s art classes to gallery shows. I teach older teens and adults academic drawing and painting, including figure drawing with a healthy dose of anatomy. A few times a year we hold more exhibitions, especially pop up exhibitions. Our next show is opening from Sept. 14-16, and it is a group show that will be showing paintings created in the last year or so by local talent.
JG: Please share with us any upcoming events or projects that excite you.
SB: I always have something planned — visit www.artprojectspace.com or www.sarahfburns.com to find out more. At the moment, I’m very excited about our new Teen Studio Program. We will cover all of the essential techniques and creative strategies for drawing and painting, but also for showing work in the proper context, among other things. This program is designed to give teens who are serious about becoming working artists an opportunity to build skills that are vital in art school and for their future careers as artists. I liken it to ballet or classical music lessons for visual artists. These foundational skills carry over into all types of art, whether realistic or illustrative — whatever.
Project Space is at 106 Talent Ave. in Talent. Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.