Photo of Sarah Schlomer

Sarah Schlomer

Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Perspective is everything! I never thought of myself as an artist. I was a musician. I played the oboe, then taught myself the bassoon along with all of the clefs. I was one of the very few who went to the Indiana State University music clinics for free for 4 years. (My synesthesia greatly helped in this area of my life.) From there I went on to play the drums. "Art-wise," a fish that I drew and painted traveled to Japan and back when I was a child in elementary school. In high school I had one class with Cat Timermanis as my art teacher. She didn't realize it but she helped shape and mold me and I will forever be grateful to have met her. I worked for ArtExpress for 6 1/2 years where I got to see more art than anyone my age through this job! Previously I had been working construction since 6th grade. I did not see myself as an artist. I wake up with songs I have never heard in my head and I wake up with things I've never seen in my head and then I make them, yet, I didn't associate myself with being an artist. It wasn't until my coworkers told me that I was too sick to work anymore that I came home and start creating fine art. As it turns out I have one out of the 300+ connective tissue disorders out there called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, (E.D.S.) and it has affected every part of my body, every part of my life. I have been diagnosed with well over 40 conditions since high school. EDS has taken away all that I planned in life and all that I thought I could do. But it taught me that I could do more with my life than what I thought. I have learned so much that I wouldn't change my life. I wish I wasn't sick but I'm grateful for what I know. I'm grateful for my new perspective on life. It has been my motivation. Now I live each new day as though it may be all I have. I look to find something that will show me beauty, something new to try, and something new to learn. Each metal wire piece I've created was made with beads and wire meant for jewelry, yet because I don't function properly, I repurposed them, creating these metal sculptures that I call "immobile mobiles." Then I worked on creating a way to represent connective tissue in an auto dormant fashion. This is why I chose a 10-foot tree to wrap in copper and beads. I cope with what life has thrown at me through art. "Dripping Metal Energy" is something new and beautiful, an original thought whose pieces are not typical and speak of my life's journey. 4 1/2 years ago I started hosting a weekly art group. It was suggested as a form of pain therapy by one of my doctors. There, friends and artists have come together to create, socialize, and support one another. A majority of "Dripping Metal Energy" was created there. Over the years I've learned you'll never know what you can do until you push yourself during the worst of situations. You CAN find something worth living for. Hundreds in Michigan are suffering, even dying from complications created by the E.D.S. connective tissue mutations. Tens of thousands have been diagnosed around the world. There are as many people with Ehlers-Danlos as people who have muscular dystrophy yet the doctors and the general public have very little knowledge about it. I'm not alone. Ehlers-Danlos needs awareness because it is not rare. It is on a scale, like autism. This piece is not just about accepting and coping with a lifelong chronic painful syndrome, but it's also about raising awareness. I have had the honor of having my art displayed in such places as Merizon Studios, Richard App's gallery, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. I am a very lucky girl. I am not my sickness but I am in my art.

Sarah's ArtPrize Entries

These are Sarah's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of Dripping Metal Energy

    Dripping Metal Energy

    2018 ArtPrize Entry Sarah Schlomer
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  • Photo of My Family Photo

    My Family Photo

    2013 ArtPrize Entry Sarah Schlomer
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Sarah's Past Work

These are images of past work that Sarah has done.

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