Alison Saar discusses art "Wither, Hither and Yon" Nov. 4

MOUNT VERNON –Distinguished American artist Alison Saar will speak at Cornell College on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. in McWethy Hall.

Brood.A.SaarSaar will deliver the lecture “Whither, Hither and Yon” in the Keyes Art History Classroom, room 222. The lecture is free and open to the public.

This distinguished artist lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.  Admission is free and open to the public.

Saar’s sculptures, mostly carved of wood and covered with copper, make use of found materials from the street. At first this was all she could afford, but now she does it as a way of recycling, as well as for the history it brings.

“One piece (of ceiling tin) I really adored came out of a phone booth across from Madison Square Garden,” she told “There were layers and layers of paint, and where some had chipped off you could see phone numbers–really cryptic because they didn’t look like contemporary phone numbers. I love to think about the conversations that were had in that phone booth.”

Her work combines artistic skill with multicultural references, revealing empathy for the harshness of life and a passion for the mythic.

Saar was born in 1956 and grew up in Laurel Canyon, Ca. She sees her upbringing as rural and her understanding and love of nature are rooted in that experience. At Scripps College, she studied with Dr. Samella Lewis, a noted scholar in the field of African and Caribbean Art. Having taken more art history courses than studio classes, she graduated with a thesis on Southern African American Folk Art. Saar did graduate work at Otis-Parsons Institute.