Work by two self-taught artists, Sara Joyce and Sarah Davenport, to be featured at two Quad Cities galleries

This article first appeared in Inland 360 of the Lewiston Tribune on July 14, 2014. By Jennifer Bauer

LEWISTON, Idaho – July 17, 2014 –Abstract and surreal are words that could describe the work of two self-taught Idaho artists by the same first name whose work is being featured at galleries in Lewiston and Moscow.

“SARA.: The Work of Sara Joyce”

Sara Joyce (1923-2011) was a prolific Idaho artist who rarely showed her work publicly. A retrospective of her contemporary art is on display at the University of Idaho Prichard Gallery through Aug. 2.

Joyce grew up during the Great Depression with little formal education. Later in life she studied anthropology, studio art and art history, astronomy, literature and linguistics and delved deep into Jungian psychology, archeology, mythology, symbolism, Eastern philosophy and religion. Joyce lived in Pocatello, Genesee and Moscow, where she died at age 87 in 2011.

The artistic quality and emotive power of her work is on display in paintings and sculptures in the exhibit, the first of three the Prichard plans to showcase Joyce’s body of work in the coming years, says Prichard Director Roger Rowley.

The artist’s work was often inspired by her dreams, which she chronicled daily in her journals. She signed all her pieces, “SARA.”

Joyce was aware of the gallery system in her lifetime and was sought out by galleries but rarely followed through.

“She really is deserving of greater attention than her own ambitions had for her work,” Rowley says.

The exhibit is accompanied by a full-color catalog. Gallery hours are 1-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 1-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at 414 S. Main St., Moscow. Admission is free.

Sarah Davenport: “The Art of Weakness: Surviving Mental Illness Through Art”

Lewiston artist Sarah Davenport’s exhibit “The Art of Weakness: Surviving Mental Illness Through Art” is featured in the Local Artist Spotlight program today through Sept. 13 at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History. An artist reception is 5 to 6:30 tonight.

The exhibit is a collection of original oils and digital art the artist calls “iPhonography,” a word she uses to describe her process of manipulating a digital photograph on her iPad using photo editing and art apps.

“My inability to cope with the world fuels a desperate need to express my weakness. … I feel time suspend itself when I dive into a photograph, moving angles and distorting images, manipulating them until I can visually see my weakness reflected through the altered reality of a fraying thread,” Davenport says about her work in a news release.

Davenport has work on display at Studio 616 in McCall, Idaho, was the Creative Shop’s featured Guest Artist in Beautiful Downtown Lewiston’s 2013 Artwalk and has sold more than 400 pieces of artwork to personal collections around the world.