Artist Profile: Sarah Holl
Growing up in an artistic family, Sarah Holl always intrinsically understood that she would be an artist. “In fact, one of my earliest memories is of throwing myself on the floor in a fit of frustration over a finger painting I was doing—I was 3 or 4!” she says. “I still do that, by the way,” she adds with a laugh.
The daughter of the late Harry Holl, creator of Scargo Pottery, Sarah Holl grew up surrounded by the beauty of Scargo Lake in Dennis. She began selling her own pottery—little ceramic houses—when she was just 5 years old, and she decorated and sold her father’s pottery throughout her teen years.
Holl considers herself lucky to have interned with her father; her sculptor grandfather, Arnold Geissbuhler; artist Cynthia Packard; and artist Sam Feinstein. “This is the reason why I take on so many interns now,” she says. “It feels like I’m giving back.”
For most of her life Holl has been a sculptor, doing some painting on the side. But in the past few years, she has focused on painting and collage, using acrylics and mixed media on wood panels. She creates large-scale, permanent pieces that can be displayed outside and last for generations. “They’re outdoors, and they’ll last forever, long after I’m gone,” she says. “I feel like that gives some purpose to my life.”
Holl uses an unusual combination of materials to create her paintings/collages on panels, which can be as large as 8 feet from top to bottom. She begins by applying acrylic paint to a wood panel, and then adds some reflective foils or cut-up pieces of paper, giving the piece a textured look. She finishes the work with an epoxy resin to seal it and add shine. Some of her large-scale pieces can be seen at Cape Cod Hospital and at The Naked Oyster restaurant, both in Hyannis, as well as Anejo Mexican Bistro in Falmouth.
Her relief sculpture can be described as representational, while her painting tends toward the abstract. She paints loosely representational horses, the female figure, or flowers in a vase, often using bright color for an accent and funky shapes in the background. “My goal is to revert back to the abstract,” she says, “like the kind of stuff you did as a kid.” – Marina Davalos
Sarah Holl’s main studio is at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth, located upstairs in the facility’s new wing. When the center is open, viewers are welcome to visit Holl’s studio and see her works in progress as well as finished pieces. She teaches figure drawing classes at the center as well as art at the Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis.