For West Palm Beach art lovers, the sight of Sarah LaPierre’s signature palette knife or “thick paint” paintings is a familiar one. From her murals downtown to her plant-adorned work space inside The Garden Shoppe in Rosemary Square, LaPierre’s vibrant works capture the playful side of life. Now, she has taken over the studio once inhabited by emerging Peruvian artist Renzo Ortega.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, LaPierre has found herself in the all-too-familiar work-from-home scenario and is excited to be in a new space where she is free to expand, experiment, and create. Similarly to Ortega’s residency, Rosemary Square patrons can watch LaPierre paint her canvases and the walls of the studio, as well as schedule visits and view the process on Instagram Live. She hopes that the experience offers passersby “a little pocket of joy” and that guests “take away what they need” from her work.
“Creating art is an act of hope. It’s actively looking toward the future and finding something better and brighter. That’s what I feel is going to be [my] focus for this space.”
As far as inspiration for her residency, LaPierre is drawing from greenery, landscapes, and florals, with an emphasis on what is native to Florida. One of her recent artistic muses are sunflowers, which her family used to plant in their yard. In a time that has resulted in immeasurable darkness for so many, LaPierre feels that the sunflower serves as a symbol for the search for enlightenment, as the flowerhead always manages to find the sun. It also represents the artist’s belief that “art will keep us moving forward” and guide us toward light when we need it most.