Sarah Leis is a freelance graphic designer, educator and artist living in Oklahoma City. Primarily a draftsman working in graphite, she also uses printmaking and collage in her work. After a number of years in Oklahoma Gazette's Creative Department, she left to study fine art at Lyme Academy in Old Lyme, Connecticut. On returning to Oklahoma she taught at the University of Central Oklahoma and at Classen School of Advanced Studies. Unfortunately, her position at Classen SAS was eliminated in the 2016 budget cuts, prompting another move to New England. Last June, Sarah received her Masters in Art & Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. She now teaches part-time in the Fine Arts Program at the Oklahoma School of Science and Math. The rest of her time is spent on freelance graphic design and illustration projects; she is currently working on murals at Hacienda Taco in Northpark Mall and The Basement Vintage Store in Midtown. Her fine art has been shown at the Copley Center (Boston), the Donna Nigh Gallery (Edmond), CityArts (Oklahoma City) and others.
I've drawn pictures since I was a little girl, and recently started adding collaged elements and found materials to my work. I like drawing on things other than drawing paper, like the blank pages of withdrawn library books or a piece of thirty year-old wrapping paper. I find and keep images from old magazines and advertisements, sometimes even pieces of trash on the street, and later put them together in combinations I find interesting, mixing current and historical symbols. They may mean something to me and imply something totally different to someone else who understands a different visual language. What I think is a clear message can actually be many messages without my even being aware; I find that fascinating. This kind of work reflects my research interests: symbolic visual language and artistic convention, especially that of Roman Catholic and alchemical art from the Middle Ages.