Sarah Grimm

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Statement : 

As an interdisciplinary artist, my work includes painting, photography, writing, and equity-centered facilitation. The foundational intention behind these interwoven aspects is to cultivate the spaciousness we need for individual and collective healing. My core inspiration is a two-sided coin. On one side: over a decade of psycho-spiritual inquiry, with a focus on healing the collective nervous system through both psychology and yogic practices. On the other side: my relationship with the ocean, especially time spent barefoot and/or plunging at Ocean Beach nearly everyday in the Ramaytush Ohlone homeland now known as San Francisco, California.

In my abstract acrylic paintings, the layers of color and texture mirror the rhythmic layers of the self and of our interconnection. My process is grounded in moving beyond analytical thought in order to create from a more universal, intuitive mindspace. Aesthetically, I seek to find a middle way between Agnes Martin’s austere grids and Joan Mitchell’s all-out expressionism. My paintings are most successful when they offer a moment of pleasurable respite from the chaos of the world, while inspiring generative contemplation about how we can live in harmony with that chaos. 

Photography was my primary mode of expression for many years, and I continue to utilize it for visual research and social practice. For example, in 2010 I called my undergraduate research “applied multimedia ethnography” in order to transform the extractive aspects of traditional ethnography. I created photographic essays and videos that my mentor Ignacio Ochoa, founder of the Nahual Foundation, could use in building his work to empower the indigenous peoples of Guatemala and throughout the Americas. Ochoa and I have maintained a conversation since and often find new ways to collaborate.

The equity-centered facilitation aspect of my work has grown from weaving together nearly 20 years of focusing on inclusion (since high school), yoga teacher training, and most recently completing my Design MBA in 2020. I actively seek opportunities to facilitate groups around creative and strategic inquiry. One workshop I’ve designed is called Collective Imprints and involves a healing circle to surface individual stories and then transform those into a collective mural through the unique hand-press imprinting technique that I’ve used in my paintings for 7 years. In all my work, I hope to have a positive ripple effect, so that we can expand our capabilities to care for each other and the planet.

"In art work we represent our own happiness because of our awareness of the infinite sublimity of reality." -Agnes Martin, What We Do Not See If We Do Not See (November 1979)
Mare Vaporum
2023 Acrylic, Ocean Beach sand and Pacific Ocean saltwater on canvas 20 x 20 inches
Mare Serenitatis
2023 Acrylic, Ocean Beach sand and Pacific Ocean saltwater on canvas 18 x 24 inches


Since her grandmother first taught her to draw at the age of six, Sarah McCarthy Grimm (she/ella) has felt the need to practice art. Since she encountered an elderly man asking for money outside of her mother’s office in the Lenape homeland now known as Manhattan, she has felt compelled to use her privilege for social benefit. So, it makes sense that she focused her undergraduate studies on both visual art and international development at Brown University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude in 2013.


In 2014, after a year working as a photography TA for Teresa Ganza and design assistant for Richard Fishman at Brown, she took a 4-month solo road trip across the USA. She spent much of that time writing her internal landscapes and photographing the external landscapes with her 4x5 Graflex. After experiencing the mystical quality of the way land meets sea in the Ramaytush Ohlone homeland, she decided to put down roots and has lived in the city now named San Francisco, CA ever since.


In building an interdisciplinary career over the past decade, Grimm has worked with social impact startups and nonprofits while sharing her paintings at every opportunity. For example, she spent three years as the Operations Manager for a meditation nonprofit called Juniper that allowed her to study Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice deeply while learning best business practices from Juniper cofounder Lawrence Levy, former CFO of Pixar. She pursued graduate studies at California College of the Arts to build her skills in using business for social good and completed the Design MBA in 2020. 


After two years working full-time for socially-responsible consultants, as the first hire for Purpose Venture Group and then as the Chief Design Officer of a B Corp tech startup before striking out on her own. In June 2022, she launched Sarah Grimm Studio LLC with the mission of having a positive impact on society through all aspects of her interdisciplinary practice. In the past 8 months, she has shown her paintings in 2 solo shows and 7 group shows and engaged in a number of facilitation projects.

United States of America
San Francisco
The United States
Saint Paul
United States



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