Spotlight Member

sara wamsat

Tell us about you? 

I was born and raised in Douglas County. I have made art from the time I was able to hold a stick, chalk or a crayon! I attended high school in Elkhorn because it was the closest school with an art department; I found not only an art teacher, but a mentor, supporter, and a friend...who still visits me at the Hot Shops! 

I have been with my husband, Kevin since December 5, 1971 when we started going steady and married following 4 years of college (Art). We have two children – a son and a daughter and 3 grandchildren with #4 due in February! 

I have always made art a part of my daily life – whether in sales of my own or that of others, many co-operative ventures, boutiques/ and mail orders. I was 18 years in floral design, had folk art gallery in Valley 93-97, involved in country cooperative “cherisables” – mural painting – volunteering, art donations and lots of free labor! 

Tell us about your history with Omaha Artists, Inc? What other organizations do you belong? 

I was invited to join OAI by Bobbie Harvey and took part in the first anniversary party (Maurine Cummins was President)! There was a need for art supplies by several groups: I had made connections through a nurse at UNMC who was paying for supplies from her own pocket…thus, the Community Art Reach Program was born – when I was President of OAI (2000-2001)! I have held every office with OAI except Hostess and Treasurer! Last year, Rose Rutherford joined me as Co-Chair and Sally Calhoun as my ‘hands on assistant’! 

I think membership in a group of like-minded people, who are committed to art and promoting art is a must for even “Sunday Painters”. We all need our TRIBE! You are never “not really an artist”, you just may not do it as often as others or as much as you would want. 

I am a member of ANAC since 1996-on Exhibition for 3 terms, Secretary for 9 years and a member of the Fremont Art Association (I was president of both FAA and OAI at the same time!). 

How did you get involved in art? Tell us how art evolved, your inspiration, awards? 

I have never not done art – I was always surrounded by very artistic people! My work has always been in a state of flux – I create in multiples, not necessarily a series, but many pieces at once, assembling and always with a finished product in mind. My inspiration is that I have the ability to MAKE. I am so grateful for this blessing. I cannot imagine not being able to imagine! 

I have been very fortunate to receive many awards in the eons I have been doing this…from county fair in 2nd grade, Capital Conference art shows in High School-Gold Key-Purchase Award in ANAC: My favorite recognition was my parents pride in everything I did as well as my daughter now in her 15th year of teaching ART! 

What is a little-known fact about you? 

I co-wrote “Big Red Quilt-ED”. A Curriculum for 4th grade teachers which was a state-wide program through the NE State Quilt Guild. 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time, your favorite books you have read, author? 

I love magazines – especially art, antiques, and crafts in America, Ornaments. I love Maya Angelou, “Make the present comfortable and the future promising”. 

What are your travel experiences? 

Just when travel was possible, we can’t as I am the babysitter when my daughter goes back to teaching…and so it goes! 

What are you known for? 

I think I am known for thinking outside the box and doing work that causes people to stop and think or at least smile! 

What skills would you like to learn? 

I really love metal and because my fine motor skills are leaving because of arthritis – welding is really BIG Jewelry, right? I love plasma cutting and would like more practice at that! 

Has anything or anyone changed your life? 

Dorothy Tuma gave me the opportunity to be in the Hot Shops Art Center when I was starting to burst out of the walls I had put myself in – without that confidence she had in me and my work, I would not have kept progressing. Dorothy and Harriet Otis always helped me commit to art for the joy of it! 

What is your favorite quote or saying? 

Back to Maya: “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it”.