Hunger and Homelessness
Sara Ellis: “All Positive Stuff”
Sara Ellis grew up drawing and sketching, but says she hadn’t really done much of anything artistic since high school. Getting married, raising a family, and life in general just seemed to get in the way. In recent years, she had found small ways to scratch her artistic itch, like designing Christmas cards to sell in local stores – but never considered pursuing art in a serious way.
A year and a half ago Sara started taking classes at River Valley Community College, with thoughts of becoming a teacher. It didn’t take her long to realize that what she really wanted to teach was art.
So Sara transferred to NHTI last semester in order to take advantage of the college’s strong Visual Arts program, as well as its excellent Education program. She signed up for Drawing 101, and quickly caught the attention of Visual Arts Department Head Susan Haas. Sara soon became one of a handful of NHTI Visual Arts students who teach non-credit arts classes in a cooperative program with the Centennial Senior Center in Concord. (She taught a class on watercolors this fall, and will be branching into pastels this spring.)
Other pathways are opening up quickly for Sara as well. She is teaching art at the Croydon School, a one-room schoolhouse where she used to work as a teachers’ aide. She also runs an after school art program in New London. On top of all that, she is negotiating her first deal as an illustrator, with a special ed teacher who is working on a book about positive behaviors for autistic and Asperger’s syndrome children.
Oh, and in her other life she’s a successful real estate broker! “Yes, I’m busy,” she says. “But it’s all positive stuff.”
Do you know people who have seen the American Dream slip through their fingers, suffered through foreclosure or eviction, braved homelessness, battled depression, or suffered misunderstanding and discrimination due to their ethnic heritage?
Have you heard of the novel The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, or seen the film starring Ben Kingsley? Did you hear Dubus speak at Convocation this fall? This intriguing story concerns a turf war over one house; the owner is evicted and a battle ensues between the former occupant and the immigrant family that buys it.
If you’d like to learn more, discuss these ideas, and like FREE PIZZA, come to the Bistro in Sweeney Hall Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 12-1 pm to join our Eye student editors and faculty in discussion. This is our final Campus Reads event of the semester relating to convocation speaker Dubus.
For every person who attends, The Eye will donate $10 to the campus counseling office to provide Bistro or Cafeteria gift certificates to NHTI students suffering from homelessness or food scarcity. It could help someone you know! (Chartwells has traditionally generously matched our funds.)
You need NOT have read or finished the book to attend. This is a social event as much as a literary one.
Want to take a Visual Arts class, but don’t have the time or funds to take a full-time course? This is your chance!
NHTI is offering a series of 4-week non-credit art classes in partnership with the Centennial Senior Center. The cost for each intensive, hands-on class is only $100. There is one new class remaining in November.
Introduction to Portrait/Mask-Making
This is a hands on class designed for students with little to no experience in portrait sculpture. Working from plaster casts, photographs and observation from life, students will create a portrait mask in clay. This course will cover traditional methods and techniques used in portrait sculpture. Students will create an expressive self-portrait mask in Paperclay!
NHTI’s Visual Arts studios are located in the Smokestack Building at 254 North State Street. For more information, call 228-6630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.