We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Bricke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what principle do you value most?
In terms of my work, the most important value for me is connection. In essence, art is a communicative tool. It is a means of fostering beauty in the world, but is also a tool for interaction. I don’t consider my work static, I always hope that it will speak to the viewer, provoke dialogue between viewers, and serve as a vehicle for communication between myself and the community and culture that I am part of. Art is not only a communicative tool though – it is more. It is a birthright that we all share. Throughout time and place, even prior to recorded history, humans have been art makers. This connects us all, it can connect us even when we are physically seperate, as we are now during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Although I am always at work on multiple things simultaneously, the bulk of my work and time continues to center around my long term project at the Salton Sea. I document the site and surrounding environs through photography and writing. This work has also taken the form of installations, consisting of figural forms and shore debris. I have not been abler to work at the site since March, due to shelter in place order. But I’m using this time to write: I always envisioned a book being part of this project, and now I have time to work on that. I’m currently revisiting research regarding Leonard Knight and the construction of his visionary environment, Salvation Mountain. I’m interested in how the scale and shape of that work changed over time, and the parallel changes in scale and size that have taken place at the sea. I’m most proud that I’ve continued making art, no matter what else happened. There were days, weeks, and even years where I struggled. But art and art making has been a constant in my life. I believe that art is a lifelong practice. As artists we should never stop learning, never stop seeking ways to expand our comfortable limits and make our work increasingly skilled and conceptually relevant. I think it’s important to always seek mentorship. Feminism and feminist theory are important components of my work in general, so I particularly look for ways to collaborate, work with, and learn from other women. It can be challenging to pursue a profession in the arts. People are not always encouraging. Like anything else, you have to filter out the negativity. Goal setting is important, education is important. Clearly articulating and writing down your goals will direct your energy towards what you want. Education will open doors for you. But you get what you’re willing to work for – it’s important to remember that it’s called art”WORK” for a reason. I’m in my studio every day. I write every day.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely show a visitor some of the incredible art we have in San Diego. I’d start with Nikki de Saint Phalle’s last major work, the sculpture garden “Queen Califia’s Magical Circle.” The sculpture garden is in Kit Carson Park in Escondido, so we’d have to make a long day of it and visit the Wild Animal Park too – also the museum at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido! They always have incredible exhibits. I love San Diego’s museums. I always like to take visitors to Balboa Park and have dinner at the Prado. We’d have to spend a night downtown – I recently discovered the Porto Vista Hotel in Little Italy and I can’t wait to stay there! They have an amazing collection of art and murals, curated by Lauren Siry of 1805 Gallery, which is right around the corner… the gallery also hosts wonderful openings and events in the hotel’s lobby. And the Museum of Contemporary Art is just a few blocks away. We would go to North Park too, there’s a gallery there called Art Produce that I love. And we’d have to eat at the Mission. The beach is a must of course … we have so many beautiful beaches here in San Diego but my personal favorites are in Carlsbad and Encinitas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I recently completed my BA degree in Visual Art after a long break in my formal education. I am so thankful for the incredible faculty of the Art, Media, and Design program at California State University San Marcos, in particular Professor Judit Hersko, Dr. Kristin Moss, and Professor Siobhan Arnold, who have each helped me in many, many ways to become a more skilled and disciplined artist. I am deeply grateful for their mentorship, which has profoundly influenced my art practice.
Facebook: Sarah Bricke