Who the *#%! is Sarah Kiser?

Have you ever seen something so special that you rushed to share it with others? Have you ever been so inspired by someone that you wanted to introduce him or her to the world? I’m in that moment. This is that time. I have something to show you. I have someone I want you to meet. I stumbled upon a creative genius, a brilliant artist that has captivated my imagination, a vegetarian since childhood, a selfless and humble vegan and animal rights advocate, and a loving mother of two. That someone is Sarah Kiser. That something is her art.

Sarah Kiser as a child

One of millions of unsung stars for the cause of compassion for every inhabitant on earth, Sarah dedicates her life to raising awareness about the plight of animals exploited, confined, abused, and killed by people. Inspired by Matisse, Chagall, and Van Gogh, Sarah paints stories that change the mind and images that remind and she teaches people to be kind.

Sarah compiled a series of videos to promote kindness that mesh words, music, and her paintings. Her incomparable masterpiece We Don’t Need To Eat Animal Products is a riveting and unforgettable mosaic of mercy for our four-legged friends. It’s jaw-dropping in its creativity and effectiveness. Her video Peace Begins With You sends a powerful message of personal responsibility and the power of every individual to positively impact the world.

Growing up in New York and Washington, D.C., I spent time in art museums. I didn’t appreciate art as a child but I grew to see the genius and influence of art as a young adult and I’m so glad I did. An appreciation of art offers endless opportunities for the imagination.

When I attended an art show many years ago, I asked an artist about one of her paintings. “What does it mean?” I asked. “Whatever you want it to mean” she replied. I never forgot that lesson. That is the beauty of art. With that advice, I offer my interpretation of my favorite Sarah Kiser paintings.

The Elephant in the Room by Sarah Kiser

This elephant’s eyes are resigned. She seems to be carrying the weight of what all of the other elephants have endured on her mind. She is a survivor. Elephants have good memories and I believe she is thinking about when people stole one of her babies to perform in the circus — the baby elephant in the circle. This is a brilliant painting and I am so touched by it.

Forever, Fiona by Sarah Kiser (dedicated to Gary Loewenthal)

This woman is so beautiful. Look at her hair. The length of her body tells me she is filled with compassion — a regular sized body was not long enough for her. Notice the way she cradles the rabbits. It symbolizes the comfort they deserve. The flowers facing every direction remind me that life is not always peaceful for these beautiful animals. They dream of upright flowers. The lone rabbit to her left is searching for love from her mother and today she will find it. The colors in this painting take my breath away.

Madeline by Sarah Kiser

The first time I saw Madeline, I was mesmerized. The butterfly on her eye tells me that she sees the world through the butterfly’s eyes. She is disappointed with humanity. I can see that in her eyes which is why she has chosen to see a different perspective. Look at her nose. It leans to the butterfly. She understands the butterfly. She does not understand people. Her left eye is discerning; her right eye is determined. She is going to make a difference.

Mother Hen by Sarah Kiser

This painting is adorable. Sarah’s paintings are so gentle and warm. The mother hen looks so content and filled with gratitude.

Peace Love Vegan by Sarah Kiser

The beautiful hen joins “peace love vegan.” The dandelion “P” makes me smile.

Animals Are My Friends by Sarah Kiser

I have a t-shirt with this quote on it because it makes so much sense. Look at this cow. The colors on her represent every purpose in her life — to love her family, to run in open fields, to enjoy her food, to bond with others, and so much more. I see every color and every pattern and I am reminded of the value of her life. She is rich in potential and so beautiful and worthy. Her ears are adorable. It looks like she is listening.

Love Them Don’t Eat Them by Sarah Kiser

This will hang in my kitchen. A more perfect expression of our feelings has never been uttered. Every image is so identifiable and uplifting.

Sarah gives me great hope and should inspire all of us to believe in a more humane world. Her art is riveting and important. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Andrew Kirschner is a volunteer grassroots animal rights advocate and the organizer of the 2013 Florida March Against Cruelty to Animals. He writes for Kirschner’s Korner to help raise awareness about issues affecting the global community to make the world a more humane place. To receive new articles via email, enter your email in the “Follow Blog Via Email” link at the top right of the blog.

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13 Responses to Who the *#%! is Sarah Kiser?

  1. Denise Guevara says:

    That was incredible. I will be going to her web site to see what I can find and hopefully purchase.
    thanks,

  2. Her work is amazing. Simply amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this creative genius with the world! Wonderful!

  3. mestopinan says:

    Loved the elephant. Behind the little elephant in the circle, which seams to be the same elephant, there is a boot, similar to those elephant “abusers” wear at the circus. I wonder if those boots kicked him once or many times, or represented the approaching of one more circus number where he was forced to perform stupid tricks to satisfy the arrogance of hiss ‘masters’ and persuade the audiences into believing that elephants love to do those tricks and have lots of fun doing it, but most importantly it also shows the supremacy of the human species over others even when elephants are superior in size to men, the boot is gigantic next to the small elephant in the circle. I wonder if he remembers all this and cannot forget. Behind the big elephant there is another elephant with numbers. I think at the end of the day, exploited animals are no longer beings anymore but numbers, with a price, a tag, they are just property to be used, abused, and destroyed at the owner’s discretion. Thank you Andrew for uncovering such an inspiration. I will follow up close. Professionally I have a long term plan to design a curriculum on Humane Literature. I can see her work being part of it.

  4. SusanVeg Valle says:

    I “found” Sarah about a year ago. She is all you say about her Andrew! I watched her video “Peace begins with you” probably five or six times in a row and sobbed the entire time. The music is so incredible also. I’m currently working on updating my bedroom and want to buy some of Sarah’s artwork for my walls; my room will be such a beautiful/peaceful place!

  5. I love Sarah and her art so much! I have one of her pieces, and I would love more. I often use her banners on my Facebook wall, and I share her videos with as many people as I possibly can. She is one of those people who feels like an old friend right from the start, and I say that even though I’ve only “met” her on Facebook.

  6. Barbara Kirschner says:

    Really like this article and the art.

  7. Jo Tyler says:

    The first time I saw one of Sarah’s videos, I was absolutely spellbound. She has a truly inspired ability to combine her luminous artwork with just the right music and words to create a unique and highly persuasive message of compassion for all beings. People who may not be reached by reading a pamphlet or watching an undercover investigation may very well be reached by watching one of her powerful video artworks. (I can’t wait for her to finish the next one!) Thanks for this wonderful tribute to one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know…

  8. Cindy Aase says:

    I stumbled upon Sarah’s videos and immediately had to share them with my veg and non-veg friends. Her lovely spirit flows into her art, and her message is one of compassion and peace. I find her work truly inspirational.

  9. Provoked says:

    Love Sarah’s work! So unique – Complex yet soothingly simple… Hard to describe but I can get lost in the visual journey she creates. Add to it those heart-stirring, mind-challenging videos and we can see that she truly is an inspiring Animal Right’s voice for our time. A totally talented artist – An amazing woman and an awesomely lovely person! <3

  10. thisunamericanlife says:

    LOVE HER WORK!

  11. I’ve not had the pleasure of knowing about her before now and I am so happy to run across this. Your annotations seem to be so right on too, Andrew. Thanks so much! I’m going to share this and go to her website also. What a wonderful woman she is!

  12. Sarah is an absolute talent. She also has a heart of gold. She too has touched me in a very profound way. I too will have her work hanging in my home. I am in the process of looking for frames for three of her prints. I can’t wait. I will show them off to the world once they are on my walls. Thanks, Andrew for sharing about Sarah and her incredibly inspiring work. May she continue to touch others as she has the two of us!

  13. Pingback: Principles of Effective Advocacy for Animals | Kirschner's Korner

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