Portfolio of Sarah Sutro

Artist Statement

My current work of large overlapping marks of ink and acrylic creates impressions of flow and change in nature. Patterns and rhythms of the natural world are inspired by the vast expanses of rivers I experienced in Asia, and the wildness of forests in New England and California. With inks derived from natural ingredients of indigo leaf, bark, flowers, iron and molasses, I learned in Dhaka how to create natural colors from a small community organization. I ground and mixed these materials, eventually simmering them into ink and experimented with the natural colors as paint with a small group of South Asian artists, combining ancient practices of the natural dye industry with contemporary praxis. In my work, washes and layers of rich earth tones overlap to create patterns and layers of space, in a mix of organic abstraction and color field painting. Drawings and paintings are done on mulberry paper and raw linen. I also make black and white ink drawings and minimal watercolor landscapes that contrast vast landscape with human scale.


Sarah Sutro is an internationally known painter and writer whose work has been exhibited in the US and abroad. Her work has been shown in the US in Boston, New York, Berkeley, San Diego; and internationally in England, Thailand, Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Bangladesh and Nicaragua. She has been a recipient and finalist for many grants including the Pollock Krasner Grant, Mass Artist Foundation, CAPS, and NEA, and has held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Ossabaw Island Foundation, Millay Colony and Art Dulcinium in Montenegro. Selected collections include the artist book collection at MOMA and School of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Boston Athenaeum; Queen Sirikit Center, Bangkok; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell; Harvard University Art Museums; Boston Public Library Print and Drawing Collection; the Boston Globe; Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry; and Blue Mountain Center. Recently, in 2009, she took part in the "Water" residency at Blue Mountain Center in the Adirondacks, where artists, writers and filmmakers came together to share and work on the issue of water conservancy and the environment. A recent Robert Frost Poetry Award finalist, Sutro's poetry, reviews and essays have been published in magazines and on-line journals. Her recent book COLORS: Passages through Art, Asia and Nature, published by Blue Asia Press, is available through She studied at Cornell University, Yale University and the University of the Arts in London, and has taught at the college level for 30 years, most recently at Union Institute and University at Vermont College. Previously she has taught at the Art Institute of Boston; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts; Emerson College; Lesley University; Cornell University; and Ithaca College.

Contact Information

243 Union St. #203
N. Adams, MA 01247

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