“I had just moved back to what felt like a very grey Toronto. I had been invited to read a piece I had written for an event in a Gallery on Queen Street. I remember walking in and seeing Sarah’s piece, “These Boots” on the wall and feeling an immediate, electric connection with it. I had no money, I had just moved to town, but I absolutely had to have that piece of art in my life. It had a joy, vitality and clowny quality that resonated deeply and felt like a vitamin I needed to nourish me in my new winter home. As an added bonus, when I went to pick the piece up from Sarah’s studio, our brief conversation sparked a friendship that endures to this day.” -Elaine Smookler, Psychotherapist, teacher, writer, performer
It’s a small piece and I often look at it and smile. -Janet Forbes, Carpenter & Trades Person
Janet saw Sarah’s work for the first time at a Christmas craft sale at her yoga studio and was attracted to the pieces and also enjoyed talking with her. “I was attracted to the piece because it was fun and light-hearted,” says Janet Forbes about purchasing one of Sarah Hunters works adding, “bees were very much in the news because they were being killed by our use of insecticides and pesticides and I wanted to remind myself of how necessary and important they are to our world.”
I have 4 pieces of art by Sarah. I love them all – each of the creatures seem to have a personality of their own. It’s as tho they come to life as she paints them. -Jenny Knox
Having known Sarah for many years and first saw her artwork at her parent’s house. Today Jenny owns a set of paintings that she still loves, “I love Sarah’s series of whimsical forest creatures. I bought one of them because it exuded joy and I wanted that lovely energy in my home.”
Sally Rappeport is one of Sarah Hunter’s earliest patrons having acquired several pieces including [insert piece title]. As an acupuncture and herbalist, Sally currently lives in Brooklyn but the two met during university where she first saw her works hanging in Sarah’s apartment.
“The piece with the dogs is my favorite. It has such energy and passion.” -Sally Rappeport
“I love the quiet dignity that she imbued her with, her face is proud, butch and feminine all at the same time. I just love all of it.” -Parris Sander
Parris Sander is a legal administrator for a large corporation downtown Toronto who saw Sarah Hunter’s portrait of Hannah Gluckstein at a Nuit Rose show. “The moment I walked into the show I saw this portrait and I couldn’t stop looking at it. I kept pointing it out to people, and finally, I knew I had to buy it… I believe it was meant to be.”
After being invited to one of Sarah’s shows, writer, film and television director and producer Brad Wigor’s favourite purchased a portrait of his modern composer, Benjamin Britten. And according to Brad, his favourite part of the painting is “Britten’s sanguine look”. Thank you Brad!
“The portrait represents our shared love of classic films and theatre. It represents queer history in the arts and it impacts on mainstream culture.” -Maria Calandra
A dear friend of Sarah ‘TurtlArt’ Hunter, Maria Calandra met Sarah through their mutual love for film and theatre, which is how she came to purchase Tennessee Williams. One of Maria’s most memorable experiences was their visit to the Shaw Festival where they saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This solidified Williams appreciation as being ‘our thing’. Shortly after that outing, “I saw the Williams portrait at an exhibit and knew it had to be mine!”
Sonja Scharf and Kelly Kyle are the creative directors at Akasha Art Projects. They had known Sarah Hunter through the art community but got to know her when she came to them for framing. But it was her participation in their annual Artival show which ultimately inspired them to purchase Janet Flanner and Lady Una Troubridge from the queer artist portraits series.
“I am by no means an art expert. That being said, I remember when I saw this piece, I was struck by the complex use of black and greys and the subtlety of the face that she painted. Without even really knowing what the piece was about or even called, I felt moved by it and kept looking at it as though I wanted to have it.” says Leslie Robinson about Sappho which he purchased.
Leslie Robinson is a second-year law student, friend of Sarah Hunter and frequent visitor to their art shows and studio. Leslie adds that he was attracted to this particular work because of it’s “strong feminine feel.” To see more of Sarah’s work, click here.