Paper collage of Esther and Haman

Meet Sally Bowman Gordon: Studio #1 at FYACS

By Sally Bowman Gordon

My artistic interest and abilities came from my parents. My dad, a sculptor and art professor, encouraged me to “Draw your own lines, Sally. You don’t need a coloring book.” My mother was a creative sewer and needlepoint artist. So, my experiences began very young!

I began making my own paper in 2005 when I was working as a Preschool Teacher at Artisan Childcare Center, Woburn. I made cards for my co-workers with my sculpted paper images. They were a hit! I have been honing them ever since.

My current art is a collage where I add my homemade paper to the collage creating a special effect. I either sculpt the paper pulp for a specific shape or I make a sheet of a color and then create the image from that. This process is really fun; sometimes I just break off a piece of the sheet of created paper and it is an image! I then plan the background scene and go from there.

I have been a teacher for many years and have mostly worked with preschoolers, where the art process is a natural exploration of the world. When pursuing my master’s degree, I searched everywhere in the Boston area for a school that would honor my B.A. in Communication, but would help me pursue my life-long dream of teaching art. I received a Master of Education in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley College (now Lesley University). Since then, I have kept engaging in educational development and artistic endeavors to enhance my skills in both teaching and art. I’m happy to say I’m still learning! For the last 20 years I have been a Jewish Educator at several Temples in the area, where I teach Judaica to 4th and 5th graders and Art to grades 3-6.

Just as shut downs came into place because of COVID, I became a studio member of the Follow Your Art Community Studios. For years I worked in our basement with no heat. Sometimes I worked at the dining room table which had me moving my creations-in-progress for meals. The studio has been perfect, especially during the pandemic as it has allowed me to escape the house for a couple of hours here and there. As we slowly open up, I am beginning to enjoy the value of being part of the creative community at FYACS as each artist in residence shares their process.

My dad’s spirit of art is present with me today. His sculptures were mostly religious; I, too, am drawn to creating pieces that reflect Torah/Old Testament stories. I know these are for a specific audience, but I do value the process of visualizing the ancient texts. My art has evolved over time, and still is evolving, which is an exciting process.

Sally Bowman Gordon is an artist in residence at Follow Your Art Community Studios. She creates religious art, paperscapes, and sculpted canvas. Follow her on Instagram @sallybowmangordon and see and purchase her work here: https://www.sbg-designs.net

Read more stories on Palette.

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