REpurposing Text and Textile

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 Sarah Simmons

Sarah Simmons is an artist and literacy educator.  Verbal, visual, and written communication lie at the heart of all her work.  Her sculptural work incorporates recycled materials with a focus on using fiber, including the reuse of books and clothing.  Sarah has always incorporated text and recycled materials in her creative practice.  Growing up in Rockville, Maryland, she learned to love to sew and read looking over her mother’s shoulder.  She graduated with an Associate of Arts in Studio Art from Montgomery College in Maryland.  She moved to Pennsylvania to attend Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a BFA with a concentration in metalsmithing and art education.  After graduation, she moved to Pittsburgh and was employed in soul sucking management positions to pay the bills for far too many years. Sarah finally returned to her art practice after her children were born and she was able to redirect her career and rekindle her love of books and art.

Sarah has exhibited as a member of Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors and Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, as well as in exhibitions at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and as a part of the Anthropology of Motherhood.  Her first solo exhibit of her work was fittingly at Sewickley Public Library in 2014.  How we communicate and how we are perceived, especially as women and caregivers, are common themes found in Sarah’s work. 

Sarah currently lives and works in Moon Township Pennsylvania, where since 2017 she continues to grow her Bookgarden, a place where discarded books go to decay and transform. She works at Moon Township Public Library as a children’s library assistant and resident artist, and always finds too many books to read. Sarah is also a certified Orton Gillingham tutor who teaches dyslexic children to read and hopefully love books.  She believes that words matter, how we communicate matters, and that literacy is a basic human right.