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Sherry Salari Sander  –  wildlife sculptor
" I feel I would not be an artist today if my mother had not given me the time and opportunity to build my own make–believe worlds."
How were you motivated to become a wildlife sculptor?
  Even as a child, adapting a way of life to an environment had and continues to inspire many of the sculptures I design today. As little girls, my sister and I created make–believe houses out of cardboard and salvaged wood from a nearby lumber yard. Beyond our "town" were holes for rabbits, corrals for horses, and deer hiding in the woods. We used the limitless, pure fantasies only a child can truly experience.

As an adult, I am trying hard to hold onto that period of time when creativity was at its richest. I am concerned by the pace that is being set for the next generation of youngsters where there is not space in the day set aside for fanciful play. I feel I would not be an artist today if my mother had not given me the time and opportunity to build my own make–believe worlds.

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What can you share about your creative process?
    I view the creative process as a sculpture in itself. Learning to see is the foundation and is the hardest to learn. It requires patience as the retina and cortex don't always cooperate. In my discipline it has taken many years loving nature, watching and remembering. The evolution of an idea in its infancy is faintly structured.

A great deal of drawing is essential to imprinting the subjects of which I will be sculpting. I rarely draw the actual composition before I begin the piece, thereby allowing the mental image to develop on its own. Regardless of the nature of the subject matter, a certain amount of deference is due the timeless elements of design which are balance, continuity and contrast. Have courage, for commitment and great personal rewards await you.

What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
  We must acquiesce that all things, whether they be art, old or new worlds, require balance for their continuance. In our technically accelerating society, I am fearful that the arts are losing that symmetry and will no longer be able to enjoy the respect they have earned through time. The establishment of a new society on Mars and beyond, without sculpture, painting, music or mimicry, will have invocatory images of an ineffable and sterile people.

Are we earthlings on the evanescent edge of such a world, where today the arts are barely holding a position of credibility in our educational system? Perhaps, when future generations inhabit far away planets, all they'll need is a little cardboard, lumber and crayons, and art will take care of itself.

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