Sarah Kolker, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Moore College of Art and Design, was born and raised in Philadelphia. She has extensive experience providing healthy creative learning environments for youth in Philadelphia, Jamaica, SF Bay Area, and New York City. Her use of art and social justice-centered educational practices have been employed by both private and public institutions.

She is a member of the 2019 cohort Art21 Educator, and currently works in Philadelphia public schools integrating and teaching project based art.  She partners with teachers and students to create murals and art in schools and communities. Sarah implements Skin in the Game Programming for Global Writes in the Philadelphia area. She also directs programming for jkid4all supporting Jewish families of color.

As an Artist she has worked with internationally known artist Favianna Rodriguez, well-known mosaic tile artist Isaiah Zagar, the Mural Arts Philadelphia, Groundswell Community Mural Project, DOPE SWAN, and has completed a Create Change Artist in Residency with The Laundromat Project. Recently she was awarded an Observe and Reflect: Stay Engaged Award at the Adding Voices Conference.

Sarah, through a Catalyst Grant, organized “How to Build a Community,” an Earth day event in Queens New York, and 2008’s Art Fence for New England’s Culture Fest.  Her work has been displayed at The Protest Space in New York’s Chelsea art district, Yippee Museum for Af3irm’s Annual Transnational Woman’s Art Show, New York University, at the Barbara Walter’s Gallery, at 10th Street Laundromat, Dirty Girl Brigade Boutique, Rock Star Crystal Gallery, Imperfect Gallery and at the Infusion Gallery in Philadelphia, and Guerilla Cafe in Berkeley, CA.

Sarah was trained in Raja Yoga at Niroga Institute in Berkeley Ca.  She holds a certificate in Adult Yoga and Youth Yoga and has taken workshops at Omega Institute on teaching Mindfulness to youth.  Sarah has offered Mindfulness Trainings and Right Minded Business planning to teachers, students, artists and professionals and has consulted in Mindfulness for ArtWell Collaborative,  Moore College of Art and Design.  Her visioning workshop with art and movement has also been offered to teachers and students at Moore College of Art and Design and Sankofa Freedom Academy as a Professional Development.

Sarah has presented at the Pennsylvania Art Educators Conference October 2015 in Harrisburg and 2016 in Philadelphia, as well as the ART EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM 2015: ART AS A REFUGE: CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS  in Philadelphia. She was invited to speak at the Resource Exchange and the Women’s Leadership in the Arts at Moore College of Art in 2016. She has offered Professional Development to students and teachers utilizing art, breathing and visioning work.

Sarah has a particular passion for food as well: As a Chef, Sarah started at A Full Plate Cafe, worked at Integral Yoga Foods, and was honored as Chef of the Month at Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley CA.  Sarah in the past consulted for Pure Sweets in Philadelphia.  Sarah’s specialty is gluten free and vegan and sometimes raw “baked” goods and salads. Sarah contributes to Cloud Women’s Quarterly with a column called ‘Kolks Food For Folks.’

See full CV here.

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Artist Statement

“One medium alone cannot express what I feel. Colors are music to my eyes; and music feeds my body. Since nothing is actually concrete and everything is in constant change, so must my work as well. More layers added and textures created; a piece may only be considered done because of others opinions. I pay attention to the little things in the world and I force the viewer to conceptualize this. I take things out of context, which may make my art seem surreal; however, it is the everyday realities and experiences that give meaning to my art.”

“I create art to bring healing, self-empowerment and social change. Recognizing that creativity and beauty are powerful means to healing and change, I work to develop projects in collaboration with individuals and/or agencies on the ground in communities. I believe using participatory and multifaceted projects fosters community empowerment, improves the physical environment, and increases economic development. The collective process used in these projects fosters a sense community pride while allowing participants to experience a sense of individual accomplishment.”

“Hope I’ve Lost the Key; Do you Have it?” kolks 2006