Put some Art in Your Kitchen; Meet Fairbanks Artist Sarah Holm
The moment I walked out of Sarah Holm’s studio, I knew I liked her. Holm, the mastermind behind Fish Head Studio, is an engaging, self-proclaimed “nervous-talker” who can easily detail the intricacies of her artistic process. She creates blown glass designs and “implosions” that fascinate and intrigue. It’s not the type of art that requires observation from varying angles or a particular light. It’s the kind of art that you look at and think “that’s weird …” in an awesome way.
“I’m not trying to convey any deep meaning,” says Holm. Modest about her ability and her accomplishments, she received her first degree in 2D art from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Later she was accepted into the world-renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. Founded by glass art superstar Dale Chihuly, Pilchuck hosts internationally acclaimed artists who lead workshops and classes and offer a source of constant encouragement to students, while also expanding the scope and methodology of their art forms.
That is precisely what happened to Holm. Already experienced in creating beautiful work, the full-immersion Pilchuck School allowed her the freedom and confidence to follow her unique concepts through to captivating fruition and broaden her range. It was at Pilchuck that she learned how to screen print her designs onto garments to reach a larger audience.
Holm hasn’t followed the path of stereotypical Alaskana designs; the closest she’s come is putting moose antlers on a beetle. Instead, she enthralls with the likes of germs, bugs, and fantastical aquatic life. Holm’s idiosyncrasies lend themselves to the studio name as an expression of what she’s about as an artist — she’s local, she offers something a bit unusual, and thus, Fish Head Studio.
Holm possesses an impressive arsenal of artistic abilities. Originally recognized for stunning glassworks, including sun catchers and custom glass tile mosaics, she soon found that creating art based on criteria set forth by someone else “became a job” and detracted from her passion. Now, eleven years after Fish Head Studio’s debut, Holm embraces the realization that “it wasn’t until I just started working as an artist that I actually became one.” She doesn’t see herself ever straying too far from her roots in glasswork and screen printing, but acknowledges that she will surely continue to evolve.
Luckily, we can all rest easy that Fish Head Studio will forever remain authentically Sarah Holm. As she says, “I only want to create art that is absolutely true to myself. If it speaks to someone else enough that they want to hang it in their home or wear it on their body, then that is a wonderful honor that feeds my soul and makes me proud to have had the guts to follow my dream in the first place.”
Holm’s collection of glass art and tableware will bring a touch of whimsy to your holiday. Her “weird” etched pint glasses make a great gift paired with a 6-pack of your favorite local beer. Or tuck one of her glass mushroom or jellyfish pendants in your local forager’s stocking.
> Works by Fish Head Studio are currently featured at Venue on 2nd Ave. in Fairbanks and can always be found at Fishheadstudio.com.