This collection of drawings represents 66 of 72 clam and mussel species currently listed as endangered. Despite the tenacity of these creatures, long term changes in the health of our waterways have caused massive declines in colony populations. – Sarah Kaizar artist statement
“I do these drawings on the train as a self discipline pleasure. It’s a solid hour, so, I get two hours a day to put into this work.”
What do the other passengers think?
“Most of them are sleeping.
What is your source material?
“I work from photographs to ensure accuracy and I do contact the photographers to get their permission to use them. Which, well, they’re endangered species, so they have done a lot of leg work to photograph them. Because they’re so rare and this is a mutual respect. Like, you have to. “
How long have you been working on the project?
“Since May of last year. I really, honestly, was just trying to make myself active everyday. I found this endangered species list. I don’t normally draw animals, I’m a painter. But this was a block of time I had and I wanted to be active and make myself do something.
So, I’m trying to work through the list. The project kind of emerged by accident because they really started to feel affective when you see them all together. It feels like a family. But I have an interest in Nature, things like foundations to conserve wildlife.”
When you draw on the train, do you draw attention?
“In the beginning I sat in the quiet car so the people wouldn’t talk to me. (Giggles) But I don’t mind people watching, it’s just when people start to have a conversation with me I feel like I need to stop. I feel really rude if I’m like. ‘This is what I really want to be doing right now, please, don’t talk.’ But, people are generally respective, they ask a few questions. You know. It’s really not too bad.
It feels important. When you work with these environmental organizations who do these specific species campaigns and view the scope of the whole problem. It is overwhelming, like, these clams aren’t cool if you only see three of them. When you see all of them they actually start to feel like it swallows you up.”
Sarah Kaizar lives in Richboro, Bucks County and works in Philadelphia as a web producer for WHYY. She holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art (2007), an Associates Degree in Marketing, and a Certificate in Web Design & Multimedia from Bucks County Community College (2009 & 2010). Sarah has been a full member of the 3rd Street Gallery in Old City, Philadelphia since February 2012.
Also, Natural Wonders, paintings by Yeoun Lee at 3rd Street Gallery
Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.
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