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Whether combining steel, rock and flame exploring her sculptural endeavors or applying oils to leather and canvas, the artistry of Sara Balbin reflects the diversity of the family of man and its interaction with the natural environment.
Since 1976, Balbin (BFA, MA, ATR) has operated from her Dragonfly Studio near the Chequamegon National Forest in Drummond, Wis. Her current creative style has been strongly influenced not only by these wooded surroundings, but also by her Cuban-born heritage and decades-long association with the Ojibwe, or Anishinaabe (original people), of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Her primary forms of expression, metal sculpture and oil painting, reflect this strong multicultural and environmental influence.
Balbin's large public sculptures are well known in the Town of Cable, where five varied theme sculptures grace the public spaces of this tiny northwestern Wisconsin hamlet. Her smaller more intimate steel expressions exhibit graceful figurative forms augmented with natural elements.
In the words of the artist, "Whether working in oils or metal, I strive to explore the integrity of mankind and the environment." Balbin continued, "My sculptures reflect nature and the fluid motion of the human form. To better incorporate my sculptures into an earthy setting, I use glacially deposited rocks, animal images and found artifacts. Each of my sculptures has an energy, a spirit of its very own that is brought to life with light, the change of seasons and the interplay of the viewer."
Born in Havana, Cuba, reared in Chicago, Ill., currently resides in Drummond, Wis.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin-Superior
Master of Art Therapy, University of Wisconsin-Superior
Registered Art Therapist (ATR)
"Family of Eagles," Louis family commission at Eagle Knob, Drummond, Wis. Four large steel and stainless steel eagle sculptures mounted on old growth white pines. Summer 2008.
"Reunion," Public sculpture, Memorial Children’s Garden, Prairie Home Cemetery, Waukesha, Wis. Stainless steel multi-figure family representation. Fall 2007.
"Eagle for Nels," Public memorial sculpture commissioned by Glenn and Karen Jacobson, Wittenberg Art Park. Steel, stainless steel, granite boulder. Summer 2007.
"Imagine," Public memorial sculpture, Cable Union Airport, Cable, Wis. Stainless steel, glacial boulders. Summer 2006.
"Gateway to History--Fly Fishing on the Namakagon River," Public sculpture, Cable/Namakagon History Museum, Cable, Wis. Steel, stainless steel, glacial rock. Spring 2005.
"American Birkebeiner: Courage, Endurance and Perseverance," American Birkebeiner public sculpture, Cable Community Center in Cable, Wis. Steel, stainless steel, brass, wood and rock. Winter 2003.