YELLOW SPRINGS — Sharon Mohler sculpts tiny scenes representative of or inspired by her life, and is the Yellow Springs Arts Council’s featured artist for the month of August. Her work can be viewed in the YSAC virtual gallery for the entire month of August, with a virtual reception at 7 p.m. Friday, August 20 on the Yellow Springs Arts Council Facebook page.
“Each scene, brimming with her humorous and loving take on the world, tells one or more stories,” YSAC said in an announcement.
Mohler has always been a maker, using whatever she finds at hand, from cardboard to fabric to paint to wire. If there’s something she doesn’t know how to do, she figures out a way to teach herself. Mohler has created techniques that are original to her, and make her art uniquely recognizable.
“The artist is a problem solver,” she said.
Mohler works in polymer clay, colorful clay which could be fired in a home oven, and which opened up a new world of possibility for the kind of art she wanted to make. She has been creating sculpted scenes for 40 years, using polymer clay, wire, acrylic paint and her imagination. They were simpler at first, when money for materials was tight, and became bigger and more elaborate as time passed. The miniature works are created at just over 1/12 scale, the size commonly used for dollhouses.
She calls them The Ballads of 81 Years because, “my pieces tell the same stories that sung ballads would if I were a better musician.”
For Mohler, life has been full of obstacles to overcome, from growing up in a home without electricity, to being a single mom of four small children in a time when men were the main breadwinners and women belonged at home. Odd jobs and art shows, a healthy helping of laughter and tenacity, and the creative outlet of making art saw her through these hard times. And luckily for us, she’s not done sculpting her ballads yet.
The YSAC gallery is open again for events, however Mohler chose to present her work in video format rather than in person, so she can walk each visitor through the various dimensions of her work. The reception will include a conversation about each of the works, and end with a Q&A session.
The video tour can be viewed at https://www.ysartscouncil.org/gallery/