a sign of a good artist | Community
The end of the pandemic led a young artist to seek new horizons in Yankton.
Anyone who passed the 1872 Saloon a few weeks ago may have noticed a freight elevator with a woman inside, painting a new sign on the front of the establishment.
It was Sahara Barrett, who moved to Yankton with her parents and brother about nine years ago at the age of 21 when her mother accepted a teaching position at Mount Marty University (MMU).
A trained esthetician, Barrett took art and creative writing classes at MMU at a discount since her mother worked there, she said.
“They don’t have an art degree, but they have Dave Kahle, who runs the art program, and I also studied with all of the adjunct professors,” Barrett said. “(But) I didn’t really integrate that into the community.”
Faced with 24 years and full tuition fees, Barrett said she decided to explore her tuition options and moved to a small Christian liberal arts college in California.
“It was at Westmont College in Santa Barbara that I graduated in art, and that’s where I started working on textiles,” said Barrett, who said she planned to graduate. focus on textile and fiber arts as well as pearls. “But, if you are an artist, you are still formally trained and draw and paint.”
Barrett was still funding his art by working in a salon when the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.
“I got shut down,” she said. “When they pulled that big boat called ‘USNS Mercy’ into the harbor and said that’s where we were going to go if we had COVID, I thought, ‘Oh no. “”
Additionally, she shared an apartment with a retired couple, who discovered they were vulnerable to the virus, Barrett said.
“So I thought about it a bit and just decided to pass him if I could,” she said. “I went home and what I thought was about two weeks turned out to be about three months.”
The first week of June last year, the Barrett, California boss told him the salon had reopened and asked him to come back.
Surprisingly, she was back in Yankton about a month later.
“While it’s a very creative, bolder, more progressive market probably artistically – I mean LA is right next door – and there was a lot of creative people, a lot of unusual art, sometimes it floods the worked in my opinion. Barrett said. “I was a fish swimming with a lot of other fish, whereas here I feel like I have room to come up with an idea and I’m not like, ‘Oh, that’s a little like what she did. ‘”
Plus, unlike Yankton, California never really felt like home, she said.
“I’m really happy to have trained with people who were far better than me,” Barrett said. “But now I feel like I’ve been through this training and I can come here and do something with the space to be the individual that I am in a creative way.”
After the first anniversary of his return to Yankton, Barrett has made many connections in the community and says opportunities are opening up. She painted the mural outside the Czeckers Sports Bar and Grill in Yankton, held an art exhibit at the Black Orchid Drinkstillery in the Meridian Quarter, and recently did the mural outside the 1872 Saloon.
“The art show was nice because none of my family or friends here has ever seen my work,” Barrett said. “Everyone in Santa Barbara had done it, but not my people who supported me.”
Engaged and soon to be married, Barrett said she looked forward to having her own studio in her new home.
“I have a dedicated space that I don’t have to clean, get in the way or close the door,” she said. “I’m looking to expand completely, build a great loom and do full-time what I’m really passionate about: my vision. “