Sahara Curry’s drawings are inspired by her morals and politics



Senior Sahara Curry has been drawing since she was young. Her artwork often depicts her reactions to themes in the media

Senior Sahara Curry doesn’t notice, but the faces in her drawings often resemble her mother.

Curry said her drawings are inspired by her emotions and current events. However, her friends noticed an additional influence in her artwork.

Having grown up in a creative environment, Curry has been drawing ever since she was little. She used to go to museums with her grandmother, who is also an artist, and draw and paint at home. For Curry, art is not just an outlet to express emotion or relieve stress, but also a tool to help others.

Curry described her style as a combination of portraiture and surrealism. She said that as she has grown up, her morals and politics have changed, facilitating a change in the themes she depicts in her art. Her drawings are often inspired by topics in the media.

“Race comes up a lot in my art. Especially when the George Floyd protests were happening, when the news was very centered around police brutality and racial injustice,” Curry said. “It was a really upsetting time for me, and the only way I could really express myself was by painting. I think a lot of my stuff was pretty politically motivated at that time.”

Two of Curry’s close friends, seniors Alejandra Mineo and Isis Contreras, said that the uniqueness of Curry’s style is immediately recognizable upon viewing.

“She’s just like her art, nobody else is like her,” Mineo said.

Contreras noticed that many of the faces in Curry’s drawings look like her mother. According to Contreras, when she asked Curry about this phenomenon, Curry had no idea her mom was appearing so much in her work.

Contreras said that being an artist can be hard, but she hopes Curry sticks with it and follows her own path without comparing herself to other artists.

“The advice I would give to her is for her to stop comparing her art to other things. She has a talent, and she can move forward in life with that talent,” Contreras said.

Curry said she likes to take realistic things and add unrealistic twists to them in her drawings (CONTRIBUTED BY SAHARA CURRY)

For Curry, expressing feelings through drawing is therapeutic. She said she is interested in art therapy as a way of combining her talents with making a difference.

Whether or not it is through art therapy, Curry is certain she wants art to continue to be a part of her life, and hopefully a part of her career. Last spring, Curry worked as a curatorial intern at Praise Shadows gallery in Coolidge Corner where she designed and curated an exhibit. According to founder and CEO of Praise Shadows, Yng-Ru Chen, Curry put together an impressive show.

“She evolved to become someone who could speak to her show really well. When you’re 16, you are definitely the youngest person working in a space like this. You don’t necessarily have the vocabulary or the confidence. Talking about art is intimidating for almost everybody,” Chen said. “I was really impressed that she put all her ideas together, made it cohesive and articulated them beautifully.”

Chen said she hopes Curry continues to pursue working in the arts and that she never loses sight of why she loves it.

“(Curry) understands that working in the arts is not always an easy path. You need to come into it with a pretty broad set of tools in your toolkit to be successful. Having that perspective as a young person is very unique for someone in high school,” Chen said.

Curry said the experience at Praise Shadows taught her a lot and she is interested in curating more.

“There’s this big stereotype that there are no jobs in the art world and artists are broken and don’t do anything. I want to change that,” Curry said.

Curry hopes that whatever direction her art takes her, she is able to make an impact on others.

“I’ve rarely seen artists that identify the same way I do racially. That was definitely hard being younger, being interested in art and not seeing anyone who looked like (me),” Curry said. “Being an inspiration to younger kids of color who want to see someone like them and telling them ‘you should do this, it’s possible.’”