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Faculty & Staff Profile
Arts Building 203
207-602-2613 (w)

Sarah Roberts Gorham, MFA, MAT
Assistant Professor, Lecturer
sgorham@une.edu

Biography

Following studies at Wittenberg University in Ohio I studied painting, Italian, photography and art history in Florence, Italy for over six months. My experiences in Italy led to study Art Education at Tufts University upon my return. Since then I have been teaching for over 20 years in various settings from elementary to the college level. I have received awards for my landscape paintings, and have participated in group exhibitions in the New England area. I am very active in the college advising students, serving as Vice-Chair of CASFA, and an active participant in the Core Curriculum review. My personal interests include kayaking, raising two children, utlizing her art studio in the North Dam Mill in Biddeford, and teaching yogadance.

Scholarship Interests

I have begun to explore my painting not as a means for simply creating a likeness of nature, but as a path to discovering a new way of looking at landscapes and myself. Paintings of landscapes and water-scapes in a serene if not almost melancholy style that captures an extreme moment of stillness has been my focus for nearly 20 years. Reflections have been my main interest as I am intrigued by the dynamic quality of water and the difficulty of capturing this in paint.The images that brought me the greatest amount of peace and affirmation were those that depicted nature at its most peaceful; water resting still after a storm has passed; a pond stagnant and passive in the early morning light; a puddle filling a dirt roadside; reeds reflecting in a still lake. These images were my muse. Painting images of water is an analogy for me to our emotions and the way we live our lives. It is my belief that the image that we project to the world is often a guarded one, which we provide for ourselves to shelter a deeper emotional self. My paintings are about finding the integration between surface and depth. It is my belief that the shadow that rests beneath the surface is as beautiful as the reflection on the surface.

Expertise

Landscape painting, art historical knowledge prehistoric to contemporary, commissions of home, boat or landscape portraits


Education

MFA, Painting, Maine College of Art, 2001

MAT, Art Education, Tufts University, 1991


Research and Scholarship

Research Interests

I traditionally work with acrylics, oils and watercolors to paint landscapes and abstract representations of nature. Photography also is an important medium and informs my painted compositions.
The IRB has recently supported my new research connecting art with sciences in measurable quantitative data. My study entitled "The Psychological Effects of Art-Making" will determine how art-making effects mind and body related to anxiety.
I continue to do research on my graduate school thesis entitled "Ritual Liminal Expressions" which explores the connection between repeated visual imagery and emotional growth.

Current Research or Scholarship

My recent work has become more cropped and separated, focusing less on a whole scene and more on a close up detail. It interests me to challenge the viewer to interpret the landscape based on an abstract perspective. Moving towards an abstraction is challenging. The need to accurately record a likeness of a scene takes a back seat to the importance of shapes and how they relate to one another. The resultant composition begs for your attention as you try to simultaneously see the stillness and the energy of the water as it is depicted in paint.

Recently Funded Grants

2008 Provost Scholarship Grant