Sarah Eichhorn: Artist in Residence for the Beerline Trail
June 12, 2022 | Topics: featured artist
The Natural Realm presents Sarah Eichhorn, who is among 11 artists participating in a year-long residency program called ARTservancy, a collaboration between Gallery 224 in Port Washington and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy, Tall Pines Conservancy, and the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. The mission of ARTservancy is to promote the visionary work of both the artists and conservationists. Each artist has selected a preserve to spend time in and to engage with.
Artist Statement by Sarah Eichhorn
I am a fiber artist who is interested in sustainable and functional making. With a formal background in fashion design, I find joy in creating pieces that can be experienced with the user. The more a piece is used, the more memories it will hold. This is also true for my quilts, knitwear and woven pieces.
I chose the Beerline Trail because of its proximity to my home. I reside in Riverwest, and there are sections of the Beerline that my family and I walk daily. My son’s school is along the trail, and many neighborhood events happen along northern sections of the trail.
With two small children, my walks along the trail are often predetermined. My older child has just started riding a bicycle, and we have started taking short rides together. My younger child is still in a stroller, so the trail is often used as an escape from the noisy streets in the area. These walks and rides become inspiration for the work I’m creating or considering. The collection of small stones, fallen leaves, footprints in the snow and dandelions can all be ways to document our moments together.
Being an artist and mother has provided me an opportunity to explore how my children, and role as a caregiver, intersect with my art work. I currently spend a lot of time outdoors with my children, and I’m interested to see how a body of work created during my ARTservancy period could showcase that intersection. How could my children, as well as nature, influence the work I crate during this time? What stories and memories could be created during this time with my family and artwork?
If there are moments I can take along the trail by myself, then I like to make sure I have a fiber project (likely knitting) with me. I can find a spot off the trail that is quiet and spend some time along the Milwaukee River Greenway to knit in solitude. These moments allow me to consider what else is around me that could be used as dye materials, or be incorporated into my work.
Sarah Eichhorn is a fiber artist and sustainable living advocate based in Milwaukee, WI. She received her BFA in Fashion Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago in 2004, and her MFA in Costume Design from Florida State University in 2008. She currently manages the Textiles Lab and teaches fiber-based courses at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She regularly leads workshops on natural dye and eco-printing techniques, as well as facilitates lectures on sustainable fashion. Sarah was awarded the 2021-2022 ARTservancy artist-in-residence for the Milwaukee Beerline Trail. Aside from her formal fashion and costume background she is also an avid urban gardener and homesteader. She is a mother to two kids, who influence her work daily.
The Beerline Trail was developed along with the Milwaukee River Greenway. To learn more about the Greenway go to our Find-a-Park page.
This residency is sponsored by River Revitalization Foundation.
This is the latest in our series of featured artists, which is intended to showcase the work of photographers, artists, writers and other creative individuals in our community whose subjects or themes relate in some broad sense to nature, urban nature, people in nature, etc. To see a list of previously featured artists, click here. The work of the 2019-2020 ARTservancy artists in residence is currently being exhibited monthly at Gallery 224. To meet the other ARTservancy artists in residence, click here.
All images courtesy of the artist, except as noted. The featured image at the top of the page of Sarah Eichhorn walking on the Beerline Trail is by Eddee Daniel. River Revitalization Foundation is a project partner of A Wealth of Nature.