For Evergreen native, art is about life

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By Sara Miller

Art and dance have always been a part of Sarah Wallace Scott’s life. The Evergreen native grew up studying ballet and theater but ultimately found her life’s work in visual art. It is no surprise that this emerging artist leapt at the chance to erase the boundaries between visual and performing art. Her work will be featured this month in a unique collaboration between the resident artists of Denver’s Redline Gallery and Ballet Nouveau Colorado.

Scott grew up in Evergreen and attended Marshdale Elementary, West Jefferson Middle School and Evergreen High School. After graduation, Scott moved to New York City to pursue a career in dance. Her adventures took her from New York to Los Angeles, and along the way Scott discovered a passion for visual art. She landed in San Francisco, where she received a degree in fine art with a focus on printmaking.
Scott’s love of printmaking led her to pursue a master’s degree at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.
“My work is very focused on environmental issues. I loved etching, but I started to feel like a hypocrite because in etching you use some chemicals and techniques that aren’t very good for the environment,” says Scott.
She began exploring non-toxic printmaking techniques and eventually discovered an affinity for paper-making. Today she uses discarded proof sheets from her printmaking friends, repurposing the sheets into handmade three-dimensional sculpture.
“It’s rewarding to be able to reuse materials to create innovative art. It feels like it is more in line with what’s important to me in my work and my life,” say Scott.
After completing her degree in 2009, Scott moved back to Evergreen and took a job as director of educational programming and community outreach for the Center for the Arts Evergreen. At the same time, she discovered the artist-in-residency program at RedLine Gallery in Denver. RedLine was founded as a gallery to support emerging artists and to build community and civic awareness through the transformative power of art.
“The Center for the Arts was very supportive when I decided to apply for the RedLine residency. My work is rooted in these same core values that RedLine was founded upon. I think we are at a point where everyone’s work should be placed inside something greater than just the actual visual art,” says Scott.
Scott’s work, with its carefully crafted paper branches and birds, creates a narrative about the environment and humankind’s trepidation about its disappearance. These thematic interests are what drove her partnership with San Francisco-based choreographer Maurya Kerr in the upcoming collaboration with Ballet Nouveau Colorado.
The production, “A Shared Experience,” grew out of BNC artistic director Garret Ammon’s continued interest in how artists can inform and inspire each other through collaborative processes.
“By creating together, we can deepen and broaden the conversation about the world we live in and gain greater perspective on our common existence,” says Ammon.
Five contemporary choreographers and six local visual artists have converged to create five original works. Each team worked together to explore their collaborative vision and to create a performance-based piece for the dancers of Ballet Nouveau Colorado. Scott and Kerr found a mutual connection through exploring ideas of love, loneliness and longing. The resulting work reflects on these concepts through the inspiration of literature and myths of human and animal relationships. Scott’s handmade paper sculptures and animated films are present throughout the piece as the dancers move in both primal and sophisticated ways.
The world premiere of Scott’s and Kerr’s piece “Groundling,” along with the four other works, will open on Nov. 4 as a featured event of Denver Arts Week.
“This collaboration has pushed me to new places as an artist,” says Scott. “I hope that some of the Evergreen community will come out to see the work. RedLine and the Ballet Nouveau Colorado are doing some truly innovative things.”

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.

RedLine + BNC: A Shared Experience in Art
Nov. 4-6 and 11-13, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Location: Nov. 4-6, RedLine Gallery 2350 Arapahoe St., Denver; Nov. 11-13, Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School, 1001 W. 84th Ave., Denver
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.bncdance.com" www.bncdance.com.
For more information on Sarah Wallace Scott, visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.sarahwallacescott.com" www.sarahwallacescott.com.