We had the good fortune of connecting with Sparker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sparker, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
It’s really important to me that my kids grow up watching their mom pursuing passions with reckless an unquenchable thirst. I wake up each morning excited about what the day will bring in the studio. I hope they get to live the same way one day–looking forward to showing up regardless of what it is they set out to do. I hope my girls see it is possible to find a work-life balance even as a single parent, and maybe they will find that inspiring.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Reflecting on the journey, it is wildly amusing to think about how my creative practice has miraculously weathered so many storms to survive and thrive as it does today. I think of my relationship with art sometimes as a marriage- it takes love, daily work, and dedication to keep it alive, but at the end of the day it’s the most reliable aspect of my life and feeds my soul. There is a definite give and take present between maker and what is being made. When I am cutting paper or weaving rope it is a meditative process born through fine motor repetition. My sensory system responds to the rhythmic hand-to-tool movements involved in creating and it feels very grounding. I sometimes think my studio practice survived in spite of all that was going on, but lately I am realizing it was the other way around. It was the art that kept me afloat through my daughters’ health crises, my divorce, food insecurity, deaths of loved ones, moving states, starting over. The installations are a crystallized memory captured in paper, plastic, paint. Their colors and movements reveal where my mind and heart were when I made them. In this way, the artwork is and always will be the most intimate part of me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would hit up SluttyVegan ATL and then explore the local art scene: MODA, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Hammonds House Museum, and High Museum of Art just to name a few.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Much of my inspiration goes back to Proust, Borges, Whitman, Rilke, Dickinson, Plath, Faulkner, Tan, whose writings shook my soul and moved my paint brush. I would like to send out my respect and gratitude to the late Leonard Lehrer, Sandra Fernandez, Oscar Gillespie, Rina Yoon, Brian Divis, Waldek Dynerman, and Heather Brammeier. A special shoutout is reserved for Lee Chesney, who was my mentor at the University of Texas and taught me the ways of Stanley William Hayter, may he Rest In Peace. I would also like thank all of the gallery and museum directors that have trusted my vision over the years, allowing me to take over their spaces with an improvisational approach, and my friends the Chalk Twins (Devon and Lexi Fulmer) who connected me with Shoutout Atlanta. This shoutout is dedicated to my daughters Felicity and Florence, who inspire me each day and remind me to stay present in the moment, and to my doctor bird, I love you.