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Abstract Artist Creates Fresh Take on Religious Art

When Katie Sahm took the leap to become a full-time artist, she brought a fresh perspective to religious art, which is often very traditional.

“It’s the people who are bold enough to be themselves and be who God made them to be — gosh, those are the people who set the world on fire!”

Video Transcript

Finding Your Voice in the Abstract. Indianapolis, IN.

Katie Sahm: You know, I always thought I had to wait for someone to give me permission to be bold and be myself. I spent a lot of years thinking I’m not pretty enough, I’m not bold enough, I’m not whatever. We come up with all these excuses to not really be who God made us to be.

Katie uses acrylic paint and string to create bold abstract art.

Katie: You know, I can draw people, I can do realistic work. I feel like, for me, there’s something missing.

Her abstract art is breaking through traditional church spaces.

Katie: Sometimes we look at a traditional painting, let’s say of Mary. We tend to think of there’s Mary, okay, and we just walk on by. But, if it’s an image of Mary that we are like, ‘this is totally unique and different; why did they do that?’ You’re actually standing in front of that image and contemplating Mary and her attributes and her holiness.

Yes, a lot of people, the first thing they notice about this painting is how many different colors are in her face. I didn’t actually intend to do that, it just hap—Holy Spirit, right? It happened. So, yeah, so I just love that that can really speak to people. I’ve heard that a lot with this piece. They just love it that you can see all these different races and ethnicities within her. I think that’s beautiful, because she always does come and wherever she’s appearing she looks like the people that she’s appearing to which is wonderful.

I once heard that being an artist is like being crucified every day. You’re really putting part of yourself on the canvas. You know, once it’s out in the world, people can do with it what they want. They can comment, or you know. It’s a very vulnerable place to be.

Katie speaking to observer: It looks like drops.

Katie: It’s the people who are bold enough to just be themselves and be who God made them to be. Gosh, they’re the ones who set the world on fire, you know. Stop being afraid. Be bold.

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