A Homecoming for Holl

Artist Sarah Holl returns to her roots on Route 6A

By Vivian Siempos Haidas

Artist Sarah Holl has come full circle. After starting her career at Scargo Pottery in Dennis more than 40 years ago, and later moving to studios in Hyannis and Yarmouth, she’s back on Route 6A, about a mile away from where her artistic endeavors began.

It was sort of a homecoming for Holl. “I’m in love with my new studio space,” she says. “It’s like my second home.”

Holl is a prolific creator, with colorful paintings on display throughout her studio—not just hanging on the walls, but also stacked up and leaning against beams, walls and furniture. A much larger-than-life painting of a colorful butterfly on the building’s exterior beckons passersby to walk inside, and they are more than welcome, too. Holl has created a place for people to gather and celebrate art by hosting events and weekly studio hours. In this way, she has taken after her father—the late renowned potter, Harry Holl—who taught her the importance of collaboration and sharing of art with other artists and the community.

As a young girl, Holl learned an important lesson from her father: “You can’t do something like art part-time, you have to be in it 100 percent,” he once told her. “You need to be mentally dialed in to your work. If you are not in a good place, then your art will reflect that.”

Holl took that advice to heart. She has lived and breathed art her entire life, as a painter, potter, teacher and community arts enthusiast. She worked at Scargo Pottery, founded by her father, for 35 years. During that time, she studied as an apprentice with her father, as well as with the late Sam Feinstein, who summered in Dennis, and Provincetown artist Cynthia Packard.

When Holl realized it was time to spread her artistic wings, she changed mediums from clay to paint and moved locations from Dennis to Hyannis, where she established Sarah Holl ArtSpace on the HyArts campus. After eight years there, she moved to the Cultural C enter of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth, where she hoped to work with clay again, but the room was small and felt limiting to Holl.

Last April, she decided to move back to Dennis Village. Holl’s paintings share something in common with her pottery: permanence and durability. She uses a final coat of epoxy resin on her canvases, which creates a smooth-surface look similar to pottery that has been glazed. Her talents and her free-spirited nature shine when she takes a subject that may seem mundane and makes it truly pop. For example, Holl will start with a still life, add metallic paper on top of the paint, then drizzle an array of colors to create a realistic yet magical image.

She offers drop-in classes at her studio on Tuesday nights and teaches figure drawing at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Through her classes, Holl hopes to inspire students to find their own voice. “You have to believe in yourself,” says Holl. “That’s number one or doubts show up in your stroke.”

Sarah Holl’s work can be viewed at her studio, Sarah Holl Studio, 608 Route 6A, Dennis, as well as at Cape Cod Hospital, the Naked Oyster and Colombo’s, all in Hyannis, and Anejo Mexican Bistro in Falmouth, among other public spaces. Call 508-364-7949 or email sarahhollart@yahoo.com to inquire about her drop-in classes. 

More of Holl’s artwork:

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