Sarah Bird (b. 1984) grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, the home of the American Transcendentalist movement, where she developed an early love for landscape and art. She attended Brown University before spending four years at the Grand Central Atelier in New York City to study with contemporary realist painters like Jacob Collins. Though she set out to become a landscape painter, while in New York she departed from the school’s figure-centric curriculum to devote herself to the more intimate, self-determined landscapes of still life, the poetic genre that remains her fascination.
Her current work often takes two forms: traditional, altaresque arrangements of natural objects on cloth; and “foliage paintings”, wilder compositions of plants, leaves, and branches on a dark background, which she sees as cross-genre between landscape and still life. Her influences include modern and contemporary painters like Giorgio Morandi and Claudio Bravo, and older artists like Adrian Coorte and Francisco de Zurbaran. She now lives with her husband, the writer Nick Neely, in the Wood River Valley of Idaho, near Sun Valley, where the natural world surrounds. The recipient of a 2017 Idaho Arts Grant, her paintings have been shown in New York, Los Angeles, and Block Island, Rhode Island.