On Cultivating Resiliency through Art Therapy: A Conversation with Denise Sarram (Episode #11)

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Denise ((bonaimo)) Sarram was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and on the New Jersey shore.  She relocated to Southern California in 2001 where she lives with her husband and son.

A graduate from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and specializing in metalsmithing and jewelry making, Denise also studied foundation art at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia and spent an adventurous semester abroad traveling around Great Britain and taking college courses at Northumbria University in England.

Denise’s art assemblages and jewelry designs are thoughtfully executed with an artful eye, skillful hand, and heartfelt intentions. She is immensely grateful to have been immersed in a career creating, exhibiting, and teaching art and has also been instrumental in the local community to foster an environment of creative enrichment for various organizations for the last 25 years.

Focusing on jewelry design for many years, she has always approached it as “small scale sculpture” so making the shift towards larger-scale sculptural assemblage art was a natural progression. She bolts, drills, glues, collages, paints, sands, saws, molds, bends, sews, wire wraps, and forges the various parts of her designs to achieve a work of art that is both masterfully crafted and aesthetically intriguing.

Denise works on multiple works of art simultaneously, using elements from her extensive collection of found objects which she forages from thrift stores, antique stores, and resale shops. Throughout her entire career, there has been a theme of upcycling (which is the process of converting waste materials or cast-away objects into something of intrinsic, aesthetic, or practical value).

The theme of her current body of artwork orbits around her Sicilian family’s immigrant experiences in America and their journeys across the sea. Her pieces show the resilience of her people and that’s why she is a perfect fit for our theme of the month: Resilience.

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