Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Sarmiento.
Hi Maria, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am an artist, a Colombian immigrant that is a farmer at heart that grew up as an only child and loved using my imagination to play and entertain myself. Spending most of weekends and vacations in a farm helped me be creative and make pretend toys with branches and natural elements.
Earlier in my career, I studied a lot of Pre-Columbian cultures and had an interest in their connection with nature, their rituals and spiritual lives. That was the beginning of seeking connections with my ancestors, nature and the universe. That originated the “Spiritual Awakening Series”, which has been a personal quest of spiritual growth.
The Cosmic series is part of my search of our origin and the relationship with space and our place in the universe. I have been fascinated with history and science and how new discoveries bring new information and sometimes changes what we thought it was true, it is constantly changing and challenging what we believe.
The last one that I have been working is the “Element Series” going back to the basic five elements capturing the memories and connections with them.
For me, all of these series become an exploration through art to create sacred connections that I hope my audience will be moved and inspired by it.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road is never smooth and that it is what makes us grow and learn. I made a transition in my artist career late in 2018 from teaching college to be a full-time artist and that brought a lot of challenges as I became an entrepreneur. There is not a guide on how to be a sculptor/marketing/Social media specialist/ manager/ accountant/CEO, the list is endless.
The road has been scary, but when it is your passion you have to be courageous in the presence of fear. I finished the expansion of my home studio and started teaching workshops around the country. The momentum was starting to build, but 2020 pandemic hit and it has been very hard. Meanwhile, I took a lot of courses trying to pivot my business. I have tried things that have not worked out and others that have slowly beginning to move forward lately in 2021.
It is not an easy road that requires grit, patience and resilience
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My artwork is a medium to express inner spiritual growth. I connect with common symbols of cultures and explore emerging forms in diverse materials and transform traditional symbols into my own. My work background includes broad knowledge and expertise in metal casting, welding, artistic glass, from stained to cast, fused and now Mosaic. As a mixed media artist, I am not solely interested in technology but also on the repurposing of materials and their transformation in works of art. Last year I took a class with Liliana Waisman an Argentinian teacher and learned how to create spatial mosaic. It has been transformative because I could make my own tessarae and build without a substrate.
In the past three years, I have been working and teaching a newer material called Pal tiya that is great for indoor or outdoor sculptures in workshops around the country.
I am an enthusiastic, energetic art instructor with demonstrated ability to reach learners at all levels and ignite a thirst for learning within them to the maximum extent possible. Dedicated and involved community volunteer with demonstrated leadership skills: Board of Directors and Co-Chair, Mid-South Sculpture Alliance (MSA) conference in Atlanta 2015, current chair of the recognition committee and social media
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
That I have been taking care of my parents long-distance and managing all of their affairs as they have been unable to do for the past 11 years. It has been a hard learning experience as I am their only child, plus my life here and my own work. It is not easy when your two parents have declining memory issues and somehow, you end up in a parent role for them. Sadly my dad passed away in May this year braving for a long time Parkinson’s Plus. Sometimes I feel that in one day, my mind has to jump to take care of different things and things don’t go as fast as I would like.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.sarmientostudio.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarmientostudio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariasarmientoartist
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfKCZsg02ciLFdNhgEfGOyw?view_as=subscriber
Alex Pinzon for my headshot