Gettysburg College's Majestic Theater



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25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA, 17325

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The Carnival by Sarah Jacobs

The Carnival by Sarah Jacobs


June-August 2022

The Carnival, a selection of portraits by Sarah Jacobs are on display in the Majestic Theater art gallery daily through the end of August. Admission is free.

A free gallery talk with the artist will be held Friday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Majestic gallery.

Artist statement:

Littlestown hosts a traveling carnival for one week every August. When Sarah Jacobs was a child the kids of Littlestown reunited for heady evenings of deep-fried foods, rickety carnival rides, dart games, and the latest gossip.

During the Covid-19 lockdown in Pittsburgh Sarah missed her family and friends and daydreamed about reuniting. She also felt the urge to make her art not only engage the intellect, but more directly help people by making hopeful work that highlighted the best in her subjects.

She interviewed her portrait subjects about meaningful symbols and colors in their lives, how they think of themselves, and how they would like to be portrayed. For example, Andrew Rincón, a comic playwright, asked her to incorporate the national flower of Colombia, the cattleya trianae orchid and other purple orchids because they are his mother’s favorite flower. Since he is a playwright, she also incorporated tomatoes and roses into a pattern (to symbolize a bad and good opening night of a play).

The Carnival series (2020 – 2022), as well as three multimedia portraits from a new series, is exhibited at the Majestic Gallery and in the windows of the Grant Building (formerly the main branch of the Adams County National Bank on the square of Gettysburg) from June 2 – Aug 29. Each in their own happy environment, these characters gather together for The Carnival.

About the Artist:

Sarah Jacobs, daughter of Robyn and Andy Jacobs, granddaughter of Harry and Dodo Badders and Judy and John Jacobs, grew up in Littlestown and has much in common with her family members. Harry hung patterned wallpaper for a living, John was a builder, Judy decorates her home with a more-is-more aesthetic, Robyn is an artist, and Andy a creative thinker, so it is no wonder Sarah makes busy, pattern-heavy, symbolic paintings and usually builds her own stretcher bars. Dodo built streetlamps at Hadco, so if this trend continues perhaps Sarah’s artwork will soon incorporate neon!

After graduating from Littlestown High School Sarah attended Gettysburg College to study Art History and went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting from MICA in Baltimore before moving to the UK for over three years following a now ex-husband. There she became a naturalized British citizen before returning to the US to pursue her art career and teach. She is writing her tenure application this summer for her teaching job at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, so please send her good vibes.

Her work has been exhibited in the US and in Europe and she has taken part in artist residencies in Germany, Colombia, and New Mexico. She has won multiple grants, including the Arts Council England Grant, and her work can be found in public and private collections in the US, UK, and Hong Kong. She has had solo and two person exhibitions in New York City, London, Wroclaw, Poland and Bristol, England, among other cities.

Sarah lives in Pittsburgh with her partner, Shawn, who is an ICU nurse and their cat, Leonidas (Leo for short). She loves coming home to Littlestown and Gettysburg to spend time with family and see friends, including her godchild who lives in New Oxford. She is very honored to be invited back by the Adams County Arts Council to exhibit, lecture, and teach.