Sarah Gorham, M.F.A., M.A.T.
Assistant Academic Director, School of Arts and Humanities
Teaching Professor of Arts
Teaching Professor Sarah Gorham studied painting, Italian, photography, and art history in Florence, Italy following her BA in Fine Arts at Wittenberg University. Her experiences in Italy led to graduate study to attain certification for K-9 Art Education at Tufts University, Medford, MA, where she received her Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in 1991. After a decade teaching arts at the elementary and middle school level, she returned again to graduate school to obtain a Masters of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree from Maine College of Art, Portland, ME in 2001. Gorham has received awards for her landscape paintings, has participated in group and solo exhibitions in the New England area. In addition to her scholarly program Gorham has worked on an interdisciplinary research program connecting art-making and anxiety relief and has co-authored two scholarly peer reviewed journal articles from this research. Beyond the classroom and her art studio, and research program Gorham pursues personal interests that include raising two children, hiking, kayaking, and yoga.
Painting: Gorham explores themes in her acrylic paintings which not only create a likeness of nature, but also draw connections between interpretation and self awareness. She paints landscapes and water-scapes that are both serene and melancholy that seek to illustrate and extreme moment of stillness. She is intrigued by the dynamic quality of water and the difficulty of capturing this in paint. She is drawn to the water's edge and seeks scenes that depict 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. Gorham investigates the connections between human emotions and lived experience. Her paintings focus on the dichotomy between surface and depth. She likens her images to works in history that were created simply about color and form such as the work by Piet Mondrian and Mark Rothko. Their work was devoid of content in the traditional sense. Devoid of references that would remind you explicitly of world troubles, but alternately draws you away from them towards color, shape, and application. Gorham's work aims to calm and bring peace to the viewer.
Sandmire, D. A., Gorham, S. R. Rankin, N. E., Grimm, D. R. (2012) The Influence of Art Making on Anxiety, Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 29(2):68-73, 2012.
Sandmire, D. A., Rankin, N. E., Gorham, S. R., Eggleston, D. T., French, C. A., Lodge, E. E., Kuns, G. C., & Grimm, D. R. (2015). Psychological and autonomic effects of art making in college-aged students. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal, doi:10.1080/10615806.2015