by Leigh Stutler
The Bio-Medical Library is pleased to host Inside Out — A Body of Work by artist Sarah Schneemann as the next installment in its rotating Art@Bio-Med exhibition series.
In this exhibit, Schneemann shares her artwork that depicts her fascination with the resilient human body and its awe-inspiring sustainability. While studying Studio Art at Southwest Minnesota State University, she played Division II softball. The physicality of the sport informed her art, which explores the human form in relation to temporal space.
After graduating, Schneemann coped with years of chronic pain from a spinal degenerative disease. The pain left her depressed, sedentary, and overweight. She struggled with her body’s capabilities and the limits that chronic pain placed on her. “I played mind games with myself because of my pain,” she recounts.
A physical journey
Schneemann’s outlook changed when she became pregnant with her first child. “It changed my body physically,” she said. “It changed my posture in a way that made my back pain nearly nonexistent.” Determined to set a healthy example for her children, she lost 90 pounds in the year following her daughter’s birth.
Since then, Schneemann has taken up yoga and weightlifting to strengthen her core and improve her posture. Challenging her body in new ways has had a profound impact on her life. “Seeing the changes in my body helped me grow with confidence as well as strength,” Schneemann explains. “I loved feeling strong and looking strong.”
Schneemann’s exhibit brings viewers all the way through her relationship with her body, beginning with earlier works as a college athlete into her depression from chronic pain to pregnancy and the miracle of childbirth to her current self, focusing on building the body up from the very core of the muscle fibers.
While Schneemann has not formally studied anatomy or medicine, she is fascinated by the human body.
“My recent and current work is a reflection of what I think muscle fibers might look or feel like,” says Schneemann. “While painting these thoughts, I am also building my own muscles in the gym. Seeing the mass put on and the shapes changing on the outside, I imagine what is happening on the inside, and translate that into my art.”
What: Inside Out — A Body of Work
When: June 15 to September 1, 2017
Where: 2nd Floor, Bio-Medical Library, Diehl Hall
About the artist
Sarah Schneemann is a White Bear Lake, MN native. She received her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a Minor in Spanish at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. Since 1998, her work has been locally exhibited and can be found in private collections throughout the U.S. as well as Germany and New Zealand. Schneemann currently resides in White Bear Lake, MN with her Husband Gerrit, and their daughters Nathali (7) and Klara (3).