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Sarah Wolf Newlands

Chariot for the Elysian Fields, 2003

Socks, buckwheat hulls, caddie cart, wood, textiles and upholstery thread, dimensions variable

Courtesy of the artist







Current Exhibition


Altoona – The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona is pleased to announce the opening of its latest exhibition, Keeping House: Prints and Sculpture by Sarah Wolf Newlands. The exhibition, which features approximately 50 works by the Blair County native, opens September 14 in the Museum’s George A. and Herbert T. Wolf Gallery and will remain on view through January 12.

Keeping House is a two-part exhibition that focuses on Wolf Newlands’ sculptural installation and community recipe print project. The artist, originally from Hollidaysburg but currently residing in Oregon, incorporates stories, prints and sculpture made from materials salvaged from her family home. Home is represented as material things and as an imaginary concept entangled in time and memory.


“About a year ago, my siblings and I cleared out our parents’ home. Since then, I have alternately cared for and preserved, and transformed and destroyed memory-laden things from our family’s collections. I carefully chose source material from the house for assemblage sculptures and installations. It is a pleasure for me to show this work transformed from the remains of my parents’ home here where I grew up.”


Wolf Newlands’ sculptural work is assembled from various discarded materials. It is a concept she explored during her participation with the GLEAN project, an annual program in Portland, Oregon that invites artists to make works of art from materials they find at the city’s transfer station.


Among her sculptural works on view will be Dress for Artemis (2012). The piece is composed of a salvaged cotton dress, used socks, metal hanger and cotton thread and was created in honor of the ancient Ephesian cult statue of Artemis. The statue was worshipped mainly for fertility and depicts Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, wild animals and fertility, with some features of Cybele, the earth-mother goddess. The materials used in Wolf Newlands’ work were rejected, discarded and ultimately reinvigorated as parts of a work of art.


“Archeologists dig through discarded remains of the past in order to determine key facets of ancient cultures,” said Wolf Newlands. “As an artist, I mine contemporary artifacts in search of meaning, in an effort to transform ordinary things into compelling objects that invite deeper examination.”


Another of her installations that will be on view at SAMA-Altoona, Chariot for the Elysian Fields (2003), is a mixed media sculpture of socks, buckwheat hulls, caddie cart, wood, textiles and upholstery thread. The socks were collected from children and friends who visited the artist’s sons in their family home in Portland. “This construction is made of dirty socks (literally) which come to represent children’s play, the messiness and fertility of domestic spaces,” said Wolf Newlands.


The exhibition also will feature a series of screen prints created through the artist’s community recipe project. A collection of approximately 40 prints made from original recipes will be on view, along with stories associated with eating and/or making the recipe. Wolf Newlands will compile the recipes into an informal cookbook which will be available for purchase at the Museum.


Continuing the theme of “home,” some of the recipes are from Wolf Newlands’ own family. One specific recipe for Apple Butter comes from Margery Wolf-Kuhn, the artist’s great aunt. Wolf-Kuhn was a major benefactor in SAMA’s early years and the Loretto Museum’s balcony gallery is named in her honor.


“I will always associate the smell of boxwood with Aunt Marge’s house,” said Wolf Newlands. “Shrubs lined the sidewalk leading to her modest kitchen where two chairs faced a window. The view outside celebrated apple and pear trees and an incredible view of the Alleghenies Mountains. We used to pick fruit during family visits, and often left with apple or pear butter from her kitchen.”


Another recipe example is Prune Upsidedown Cake, submitted by SAMA Trustee Emerita Joan W. McCreary. The recipe was from McCreary’s mother, Louise Welch. “During the second World War, many foods were rationed so the ingredients for many recipes were either unavailable or costly in terms of food rationing coupons,” wrote McCreary. “Mother adapted the recipe to fit what could be obtained. She used a single egg rather than the regular two eggs, cut back on the amount of sugar, and used oleomargarine rather than butter.


“Because we had a plum tree in the backyard, the plums were free, so she used them for the fruit. They were black plums (used for dried prunes) so we referred to them as prunes. We still use this recipe and, 76 years later, it always brings back tasty memories.”


Wolf Newlands earned an MFA in painting from Portland State University and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been shown internationally and featured in numerous exhibitions throughout the Portland area. Since 2006, she has been an assistant professor at Portland State University. For more information on the artist’s work, please visit


A number of programs are scheduled to celebrate the exhibition, beginning with a Potluck Print Party. Held outside the artist’s studio at 206 Allegheny Street in Altoona, the event is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. on September 9. Those who participated in the recipe project are invited to bring their prepared recipes to share at the event. Each participant will receive a serigraph of their original recipe. The public is invited to attend free of charge. Prints will be available for sale.


SAMA-Altoona will host an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 14. Wine and cheese will be served, with live music by Firewheel, a local group known for their unique folk/Americana medieval acoustic music. Cost is $10 per person. Reservations are requested by calling the Museum at (814) 946-4464 or emailing


Next, the Museum will offer a gallery tour at 1 p.m. on September 15. Wolf Newlands will guide attendees through the Museum, providing detailed information and stories on the works on view.


Finally, a Lunch a l’Art with Sarah Wolf Newlands is scheduled for Tuesday, December 11. The program, which begins at noon, includes lunch and a presentation by the artist. Cost is $15 per person or $14 for SAMA members. Please contact the Museum for reservations.


Keeping House is supported in part by Oregon Arts Commission, Portland State University, and Ford Family Foundation, with special thanks to Gallery 321, Terry (TJ) Geist, Barbara Hollander, Barb Leiden, Roxanne Montero, Jamie Powers and Neil Young. The exhibition will include artwork on loan from the collections of Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and Oregon Metro Regional Government.


The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona is located at 1210 Eleventh Avenue. The Museum is open to the public free of charge. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Parking is available in the garage across the street or in metered spots in the lot at the rear of the building. For more information, please call the Museum or visit