Friday, August 2 at 5:00 pm

Artist of the Month: Sarah Shatz


Join us for a reception on August 2, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with Sarah Shatz, whose project MUSIC MAKERS will be on display at the library throughout the month of August.


MUSIC MAKERS is a portrait project about the renowned and lesser known men and women who make, repair, adjust and tune instruments. These artisans are members of a dying breed of craftsmenwhose work is invaluable to our culture. Music makers spend countless hours creating and repairing instruments for individual musicians and, by extension, chamber groups, symphonies, festivals, and conservatories. Their work is a specialized trade that requires years of training, practice and apprenticeship.

Luthiers, piano “bellymen”, brass and woodwind technicians and bow-makers use wood, horse hair, metal, brass, varnish, glue, paint, and rope, in order to make a balanced instrument that is both functional and beautiful. They carve wood, string, fashion mouth pieces, varnish, drill holes, sand, and tune with the utmost perfection and sensitivity to sound and form. Instruments are manipulated and touched by their hands rather than machines on an assembly line. Workbenches are full of hand-made tools and custom-made machines to make large-scale parts and tiny adjustments.

This world, which seems to belong to a vanished era before the age of mass production, is scarcely visible to us, yet it is indispensable to the creation of music. Music makers are not so much seen as heard. Admired and trusted by musicians, they work in studios and in the wings of concert halls.

My portraits are a new body of work depicting the silent stars of music making, and in this documentation, I hope to preserve a most precious part of this skilled and passionate art.

SARAH SHATZ is an environmental portrait and film stills photographer. Her portrait work has appeared frequently in Listen: Life with Classical Music Magazine, The International Cinematographers Guild magazine, El Pais, Popular Mechanics, VERY, and Esquire. She has also done work for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Food52 Cookbooks, Dicapo Opera Theatre, and regularly shoots author portraits and book covers for Riverhead and Grand Central Publishing.

A member of the International Cinematographers Guild, she has worked as a still photographer for feature films, television and commercials, including projects with directors David Fincher and David Koepp. As a journalist she is known for documenting a geothermal project in Alaska and for embedding with FEMA to chronicle the devastating effects of an F5 tornado in Greensburg, Kansas for Popular Mechanics. She has travelled twice to Brazil for VERY, taking portraits of designers in Rio during fashion week, and of a cooperative of lace makers in a favela in Aquiraz.

Having studied classical piano for almost 20 years, Sarah has a passionate interest in photographing all forms of music, from classical to jazz to African drumming to opera. She has taken photographs of many leading figures in music including pianists Emanuel Ax and Leon Fleisher, composers George Crumb and Charles Wuorinen, conductors James Levine and Alan Gilbert, and master viola de gamba player and pioneer in historic instrument education and preservation, Jordi Savall. Sarah’s primary focus is making portraits of creative people: visual artists, writers, composers, musicians and craftspeople.

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