We had the good fortune of connecting with Sawyer Rose and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sawyer, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was super-academic in school and never took my art classes seriously because I had Big Plans, and art was just too much fun to be “important.” Thankfully, my college had the great wisdom to require Art History majors to take studio courses. As I slogged thorough the rest of my heavy readings classes, I found that the studio was my refuge – the only place my brain would shut up for a while. Not only that, I learned that I expressed my thoughts more effectively and efficiently through art than through writing. Since then, I’ve taken many paths, but all of them related to visual arts. My current work on The Carrying Stones Project combines art and data to talk about women’s work inequity. I’ve found a way to address the topic with, I hope, some grace and empathy. I realize now that the communication, rather than the art specifically, is what I find to be that “important” thing I was looking for.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Carrying Stones Project uses a unique combination of large-scale sculpture and data visualization science to jump-start public conversation about women’s work inequity.

It is so important that, as a society, we come to a deeper understanding about the effects of gendered labor inequity. A gender balanced workforce is better for productivity, innovation, worker happiness, and the economy as a whole.

Over the years, The Carrying Stones Project has faced many challenges great and small, but what started as an (ironically) unpaid labor-of-love exhibition in an Oakland car garage has become a nationally travelling exhibition. I have relied on the support of small-dollar donors, activist curators, and nonprofit organizations who were excited to help me spread the project’s message of gender equity. I have explored the topic of women’s labor through sculpture, data visualization, photography, and works on paper and panel. Most importantly, I have had hundreds of conversations with fascinating women and have been able to help make their invisible labor visible.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a shoutout to Liz Smith, my high school Spanish teacher and advisor. An educator of the greatest patience and persistence, she’d track me down on campus to tell me that some of my photographs were excellent, or that my piece that she just saw in the art classroom should be submitted to the school’s art zine. And then she’d follow up to make sure I sent it in. And then she’d follow up again. She didn’t have to, but she did, and her efforts have made a world of difference to me and my career in the arts. (I made a point to meet up with her and thank her one time when I was back home visiting.)

Website: https://www.carrying-stones.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ksawyerrose/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sawyerroseart

Image Credits
Personal photo: (c) New Museum Los Gatos

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