SARAH KAVAGE

I’m a Seattle based visual artist and cultural organizer who makes art about place. 

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ABOUT

PAINTING & DESIGN


SARAH KAVAGE

I’m a Seattle based visual artist who makes artwork about place. 

HOME
    Duwamish Projects
    Lenapehoking Projects
    Coast Salish Meadow Projects
    Body Projects
    Chicago Projects
ABOUT
PAINTING & DESIGN

BEGINNINGS

Petty’s Island, Camden / Pennsauken NJ
April 2021

Assistants 
Adriana Amador-Chacon
Priscilla Rios
Monica Perez Reyes

Carpentry
Robert Zverina

Community Liaisons
Priscilla Bell
Jose Ortiz Pagan

Special thanks to
Jack McCrossin, Cari Wild, Martin Rapp

Photos
Robert Zverina
Sarah Kavage

This trio of benches, at Petty’s Island in New Jersey was the first of a number of installations made with Phragmites - an invasive reed that is now a prominent feature of wetlands in the east and midwest.

Crews of volunteers harvested the phrag just before the pandemic, in Jan 2020, back when this was still a 2 year project. Instead we spent a year plus on pause and had to cram all the builds into one year. When we made this piece, things were starting to open back up and feel slightly less fraught and more free. Winter was giving way to spring.

Petty’s Island is also experiencing a re-emergence from decades of use as an oil and shipping terminal...40 huge oil tanks gone. A 50 acre parking lot turned into a meadow. Environmental cleanup happening to make the site accessible as a large public park.

When I first started spending time in Philly it was hard to read the landscape, buried as it is under 400 years of colonization and development. Petty’s Island, damaged as it may be, is a small window into the original landscape of Lenapehoking. It has persisted through centuries and is now on the precipice of its next chapter. I wanted to offer a place to think about hope and rebirth...not an election sign version of hope but one that recognizes the labor and struggle that you sometimes have to go through to find it. The hope of plants that have survived a long winter.

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