About the Artist, Sarah Soward

Sarah Soward (pronounced SOH-wurd) is an artist with a focus on endangered wildlife and color. She holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts (view her art C.V.). She shows and competes internationally. Some highlights of her career include the acquisition of a painting by the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, acceptance of her work into the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013, 2015, and 2017 exhibitions at the Mall Gallery in London, England, with her giraffe painting, Sky Creature, ending up in both the Londonist and the BBC Wildlife Magazine. Two of her rhinoceros paintings traveled with the Artist4Rhino exhibition in Italy, one of which was exhibited with the show at the Museo Civico de Storia Naturale di Genova.

She works in traditional art media, like oil painting, as well as digital art, design, animation, and authors and designs books. She will not stop learning and incorporating new skills or taking risks. She enjoys jumping headfirst into things. This might be why she's nearly drowned five times. She believes that persistence and resilience are key so she never stays out of the deep end long.

Some of her endeavors outside oil painting include teaching design theory, web development, UX/UI, and the Adobe Creative Suite at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), AcademyX, Sonic Training, and for on site custom trainings for a decade. She still designs print and web collateral, web based animations, and was the developer and consultant on many web projects. Clients of note include Cal Shakes, Samsung, Kaiser's LMPartnership, and SalesForce Foundation. Sarah was a technical editor on the HTML5 Mobile Development Cookbook and coauthored the WordPress and Flash Cookbook. She did the Flash animation and coding on the Inspire Change Online Storytelling Tool for Kaiser Permanente's LMPartnership that won a Gold Quill Excellence Award in 2013.

Excerpt from Sarah Soward's artist bio about the Rhinotopia® series

I’ve been painting rhinos off and on and in fits and starts since 1999. I am obsessed with them: Their shapes and negative spaces, their wrinkles and horns, the hairy ones, the armored ones, the stoic ones rolling in mud. The first paintings were made because a friend needed a wedding present. In my process of research and study, I fell in love.

The Rhinotopia® series is about form, paint, light, and composition. However, it also takes storytelling and my desire to share into larger account. In each painting, I tie the rhino to the sacred. Sometimes a painting will have a specific myth gently mentioned within it. Other times I look to general characteristics of an archetype/deity and portray those in the painting. I am not an expert in world religions and mythology. I’m a student of it all, and I like to share what I learn.

In my paintings, I immortalize the rhino. In real life—outside my canvases—I donate a percentage of what I am paid for each piece of rhino art to the International Rhino Foundation (www.rhinos.org). In addition to being an artist, I’m also a conservationist.

Exhibitions Of note:

  • Communal Stripes was part of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2017 exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London and sold during the preview night.

  • Stellae Errantes debuted at the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art 2015.

  • Sky Creature was part of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2015 exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

  • Sky Blue was part of the Artist4Rhino exhibition (Dec. 2014 to Jan. 2015) at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova in Genoa, Italy, and is selected to be part of the traveling show.

  • Medicine was part of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

  • Rhinotopia® debuted with over 20 paintings in the series on display at the East Hawaii Cultural Center in 2013.

For more information about my past exhibitions, visit my CV page.