A local art teacher’s star is on the rise, and art lovers can see Sarrah Dibble-Camburn’s work in person during the Wyoming County Arts & Artists Tour this weekend, Friday – Sunday, May 5-7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at her studio, 647 Stark Rd., Tunkhannock.
Her work is also being featured in a solo show – her first – at the Orazio Salati Gallery in Binghamton, NY, with an opening on First Friday evening from 6-9 pm. Meanwhile, in Honesdale, her large-scale paintings are part of the annual Great Wall of Honesdale, an art wall at one end of town, with works by 11 other artists.
It’s an exciting time for Dibble-Camburn, who has just been selected as winner of the Appaloosa Horse Club’s national art competition. Her painting of a blue Appaloosa was much admired for its vibrant colors while being true to the unique qualities of the horse breed – a favorite of hers.
“My first horse was a white Appaloosa. I saw her when my parents surprised me with her for my 12th birthday, and I fell in love, she was the only horse in the world.”
Dibble-Camburn has been riding with friends – which include a professional horse trainer – since 1991. Another close friend, Holly Anderson, has competed with Appaloosas on a national level.
Her husband, Bucky, enjoys trail riding their quarter horses with her in Otter Creek, NY, in the Adirondacks. The couple has a camper with a horse trailer attached for adventures like this. “Winning this competition gets me back into horse related art,” she said of the Appaloosa Horse Club’s prize.
When not painting or on the back of a horse, Dibble-Camburn is the high school art teacher at Blue Ridge. “The best thing about teaching is when students will surprise themselves. Unlike high school sports, which often end with high school, art does not. It’s a good way to release, unwind, and explore.”
The teacher was delighted to see a strong showing of her students’ art at the Susquehanna County Student Art Exhibit and competition at the Slanted Art Gallery in Montrose.
“My Blue Ridge students also did really well in the Scholastic Art competition. They brought back three gold keys, three silver keys, and two honorable mentions, and one student was nominated for American Visions.”
Recently, she has been concentrating on abstract painting, where she begins with a couple of colors and then follows intuitively. “I’m often asked how I can tell when an abstract painting is finished. But I do, I do know. When it’s done, it’s done.”
She describes her paintings in the gallery show for Binghamton’s First Friday as “abstract intuitive paintings created to elevate vibrational frequencies of the spirit.”
She says, “I feel my art is ever-changing. It’s my inner world reflected outward through art.”
The outfit she plans to wear for the opening of her solo show was designed and created by Isaiah Torres, a junior at Blue Ridge. She commissioned Torres in honor of his award-winning fashion designs, some of which were exhibited at the Slanted Arts student show.
Dibble-Camburn teaches seventh through 12th grade although she began as an elementary art teacher. She noticed that all elementary students seem eager and fluent in art class, while junior high and high school students appear more anxious and inhibited.
She asks her students, “Do you remember just making art and being happy about it?” The teacher feels that when students regain their comfort zone in the art room, good vibrations take over. “These students are vibing hard,” she said.