Sarah Sutton

Sarah Sutton

Associate Professor, Department of Art
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Specialty:Painting, Drawing, Interdisciplinary Curriculum
Office: Art Studio
Ithaca, NY 14850

My painting process begins, like many of our processes do today, with an Internet search through which I collect images in real time. It may be a search about a particular sweatshop- who benefits, its environmental impact, whether or not I have a connection to it, etc. It is typically something I am trying to understand and a topic that is complex and composed of ‘parts’ that do not add up to an accessible whole- capitalistic enterprise, sweatshops, products we are attached to, climate change or - from production, product lifespan, to environmental degradation. It is often things I am coming to terms with in myself- how do I go sweatshop free? How do I stop buying plastic? How do I live without these products that I grow attached to?

I am interested in the cognitive dissonance between the economics built into every sphere of life and our planet in peril. In my opinion the very evolutionary limitations that make it difficult to consider multiple places, contexts and viewpoints at once- also make it difficult to implement long term, multi generational actions that climate change requires, into our everyday actions. In my paintings I try to consider the entire context of a topic in an image, I am interested in combining the database models of the internet with the human narrative, into an organismic intertwined image nerve center. As recent research in neuroscience shows, vision has a direct connection to thought.

Although primarily a painter, I also research the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, in particular the relationship between creative practice and ontology.  I have self-designed BA in Humanities from John Carroll University. My degree focused on 'Contemporary Thought', which allowed me to combine my interests in Continental Philosophy, Literary theory and Post-colonial Literature. I also have a minor in English. I have an MFA in Painting from Kent State University. My work has been represented by Leslie’s Art Gallery in Luxembourg, EU; and has been shown in Europe and across the United States. I attended the Millay Colony artist residency, as well as the Sante Fe Art Institute residency funded by the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

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