Artist Spotlight Series: Sarah Gibson Wiley of Huger Memories
The latest Artist Spotlight Series features a creative genius who has reinvented the portrait by designing an heirloom quality keepsake.
She captures memories in the most unique way and translate them to extraordinary textiles.
Enjoy getting to know my talented friend from The Southern C Summit
What is your training?
I am self-taught as far as the equipment I use for my memory pieces, but I did take a lot of art classes growing up. I was a Psychology and Art major at Ohio Wesleyan University. I have also spent 28 years as an interior designer. Textiles are my thing – I learned to sew when I was 14 and am able to sew, smock, needlepoint and knit. One could say I am pretty good with my hands. I even had a stint with art dolls where I fabricated the heads and hands from clay, formed the bodies with wire and stuffing, covered them with Osborne and Little white-woven fabric that I had lying around, and then knitted and sewed all of their clothes.
What inspires you and your designs?
Most of my work is custom. I love seeing what my clients choose as memories they want to remember. I also love going through my old fabric memo samples to find wonderfully colored pieces to use for clothing and other accents in my pieces. I also love the colors, shapes and textures of the period of the Bloomsbury Set and their house in England, Charleston.
What is your favorite piece?
I love creating interior rooms because I am really able to combine fabrics, textures and colors as if it truly were a miniature room.
I also love a piece I created of a photo from the great memory of the night my husband proposed to me. The photo is of me with 5 of our 8 children.
Also, I’m really excited about the new collection I just launched: Women We Love – a collection of faces on pillows of some of my favorite women, such as Jackie Kennedy and Iris Apfel.
How has your area influenced your work?
Richmond is full of galleries and museums. I love to visit them and always find some kind of inspiration. However, my art is created for people from all over the country and I am inspired by the stories they like to tell through my art.
What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond?
Oh gosh, Richmond is filled with great restaurants. Shagbark is a relatively new restaurant in Richmond and definitely a favorite.
But there is nothing like having brunch or lunch at a local pharmacy like Westwood Fountain and knowing you will run into a friend or two.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Dirty Martini on the rocks with vodka and extra olives on the rocks. I like the trendy huge ice cubes that many bartenders are starting to include in their drinks. But on most evenings I’ll have a glass or two of Pinot Grigio.
How do you balance personal life and work?
My studio is behind my house. My children are grown, so I don’t have the carpools and playdates to add to my schedule. I try and make a point of coming inside when my husband gets home from work.
Russia. I have always been enamored with the Fabergé eggs and the story of Nicholas and Alexandra. And those wonderful colorful onion domes…
I would love to be “The Go-To” for that person who has everything. My product is pretty new. I love the way it continues to grow and morph with new ideas coming into play every day.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Usually a bottle of wine, but I love gifting a small memory to special friends. They seem to always bring a smile.
(Here is my special memory she created)
Who is your style icon?
Diane Keaton. I love her white blouses – simple yet elegant.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
There are so many, so I will have to choose two Richmond gals – Chris Shands
and Anne Thompson.
We are all in a small group we call “The Creative Tribe”.
What is your most treasured possession?
My photo albums. I love flipping through them and the memories of adventures and activities with my children who are now scattered across the country.
They are also good subjects for samples while creating my art 🙂
What are you reading?
I am reading Le Pain Quotidien’s Alain Coumont’s Communal Table – Memories and Recipes. My husband and I were in DC a few weekends back and loved our brunch at Le Pain Quotidien. As always, I love personal stories and memories…
What are you listening to?
The Lumineers and
Bear’s Den, which my husband introduced me to (he’s much more musical than I am).
But always love listening to old tunes by the Allman Brothers or NRBQ.
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
The English Room :), Virginia Living Magazine, Messy Nessy Chic (covers all over the world)
The Gracious Posse (Local to Richmond)
and Empty Nest Blessed (Because that’s where I am!)
Take a look at her beautiful portfolio from Huger Memories website and be sure to follow Sarah on Instagram.
Be sure to reach out to Sarah for a custom creation to capture your special memories.
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Please feel free to contact The English Room if you are interested in our interior design
Way to go!!
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Can I buy a Georgia O’Keefe pillow? If so, how much? Love your work!
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