A Pinch of This, A Pinch of That. Mixed Media Collage from Sarah Shoot.

Artistic passion can erupt at any moment, even in a college class. Sarah Shoot, the Alliance Art Gallery’s September guest artist, discovered that while taking a fiber arts class at SIU Carbondale, Illinois. Working with paper and cloth, she began to “collage her way” into a whole new career—full-time artist rather than art teacher. Winning her first award from a well-respected judge in a juried show provided the tipping point.

As she recalls, she told herself, “I’m going to go for it. That’s what I’m going to do.” And since 2000, that’s precisely what she’s done. Not surprisingly, one medium led to another. Today she works with fiber, paper, found objects, and metal, creating 2D pieces on wood. And repurposing itself can sometimes become repurposed. Popping a piece of metal off a barn, she saw its potential as jewelry, thus opening a whole new venue for her art.

The daughter of a talented crafter, as a child she often found herself in her mother’s and aunt’s booth at fairs. Though she did flower arranging in 4H, no spark ignited until that intoxicating college moment.

Today she lives with her husband and two daughters on a five-acre sustainable farm with free-ranging chickens and turkeys. She shows up regularly at the local farmers’ market with organic produce, poultry, eggs, baked goods, and of course … art.

As she says, “I am not a perfectionist. My work has a real chaotic side to it, abstract, organic, rough.” As her collages have evolved, she admits, “I am also drawn to color, bright color, but I balance it with fabrics like tea-dyed silk to bring earthiness.” The results often strike the viewer as playful, whimsical, unique, and yes, colorful! She seems to take the real world, twist it a bit, add a hint of laughter, and creates a piece that delights the heart.

Over the years, she has exhibited and continues to exhibit in galleries and shows in Columbia, New Harmony, Springfield, Chicago, and Paducah, among other places. Recently she’s arranged a wholesale agreement in Door County, Wisconsin.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 5 until 8:00. This reception coincides with Hannibal's monthly Second Saturday Gallery Walk and is free and open to the public.