Sarah Mandell of Greenville, SC, Shares Works from Artist-In-Residence at Edisto Beach State Park

Sarah Mandell is a fiber artist in Greenville, SC, who was honored to have been chosen as Artist-In-Residence at Edisto Beach State Park this spring. She stayed in the state park from April 19-26, 2019, creating art onsite inspired by the coastal scenery, and sharing her experience along the way. Mandell’s entire purpose is to capture the beauty of the lowcountry landscape in her medium of choice (needle felted wool fiber) and highlight this unique part of the state during my stay.

Mandell offered the following statement about her residency, “My 2D landscape ‘paintings’ are created entirely with dyed wool fiber. I use a notched felting needle to layer and matte down the sheep’s wool into a flat surface, which eventually creates a textile image that’s soft to the touch. The time-consuming process is a lot like painting – I do under colors first, then build up texture & dimension, and eventually finish with fine details – but this all done with strands of soft fiber and a specialized needle rather than paint and paintbrush.”

“My ongoing series ‘Fibers of the South’ explores South Carolina landscapes ranging from the irregular patterns of the Lowcountry, the textures of the midlands, and the dramatic shapes of the Upcountry. I’ve been truly inspired by this beautiful state ever since moving here in 2010.”

“My current body of work will be featured in my first long-term group exhibition at Greenville Center for Creative Arts from June 7 through July 24,” adds Mandell. “I was awarded a grant by Metropolitan Arts Council to help fund the supplies needed to create 100 needle felted landscapes in 100 days. I’m currently on day #39 of this series, and I expect to have quite a large number of pieces following my residency at Edisto Beach State Park in late April.”

“Although I have a fine art background and graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art, I’m self taught when it comes to needle felting. I began working in 3D first, and only recently changed focus to 2D work. I enjoy this magical medium so much that I teach workshops at GCCA on the weekends several times a year.”

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