For the third edition of the Skowhegan Interview Project, Don Edler (‘12) spoke with 1985 Resident Faculty Artist Betye Saar during her return to campus as visiting artist in 2014.
Don Edler: Do you want to start off?
Betye Saar: Yes—my name is Betye Saar I’m visiting Skowhegan from Los Angeles, I was a faculty member here in 1985.
It has been 29 years since I was last here, so I thought I would talk about memory. Like the ease of forgetting and the effort to recall, and how that’s working for me in this experience here at Skowhegan.
In the summer of 1985, probably late June, I might have been teaching at that time, when I finished up my obligations in Los Angeles, I took a plane from Los Angeles and flew to Boston and then from Boston, after a bit of a wait, I flew to Portland and then from Portland I took a very small plane to Bangor, the flight was very bumpy. It was a storm. It was a rather horrendous experience.
As I recall I got to Skowhegan late in the evening and at that time, I don’t know if they still do it now, but if you’re going to be a faculty or a student, you had to bring all your bedding as well as your clothing and so forth. So I had this big duffle bag of sheets and towels as well as my suitcase. The house that I was assigned was one of the things that made me think about how I wanted to talk about my experience. In 29 years, things change.