Sally French

Docent Researcher: Marcy Katz
Sally French
Date :Born 1947 in Stockton California
Currently lives in Kalaheo, Kauai

Education: 1966-67 Stephens college, Columbia Mo Fine arts
1966-68 University of The Pacific Sculpture
1968-69University of Colorado, Bouder, Co

Major Shows/Galleries/Commissions:
Awards: from 1974 to 2003 Grants and awards ranging from the NEA to Western Art Director’s Award for
Outstanding Illustration, and Director’s choice award at our Artists of Hawaii Exhibit
In Collections of Local and Mainland Corporate and public collections
2009- her show Wunderlust: the Keepers’ Tale was exhibited at Kukui Grove, Kauai and at the Koa
Gallery. See the video on the making of Wunderlust at:
Currently represented by Bruna Stude Gallery 103, Kauai, Ceder Street Gallery, Honolulu
Shows: Selected Solo Exhibits

2000 The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI, Sally French:SFCA Fellowship in Painting, catalogued
Salon 5 Gallery, Honolulu HI, XXXtreme Sally French, catalogued
1999 Kinipopo Gallery, Wailua, HI Go
1998 Sisu Gallery, Honolulu, HI The John and Sally Show
1993 Sunbird Gallery, Los Altos, CA Sally
1992 The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI Trouble in Paradise: Experiences From Hurricane
Iniki, supported by a LAce Grant, catalogued
1990 Hawaii Loa College Gallery, Kailua, HI Sally French:
Trouble in Paradise
1989 Kahana Kii Gallery, Koloa, HI Mad Dogs, Flying Beds and Me
1987 Kauai
Museum, Lihue, HI Steaming Hot From The Night Kitchen
1983 Kauai Museum, Lihue, HI Study of Three
1982 Queen Emma Gallery, Honolulu, HI Tracked!
MEDIA TECHNIQUES: painting, illustration digital photography, encaustic,printing, mixed media
sculpture, collage

Influences (historical/personal/political); One was a poem and illustrations from the book “ The Hunting
of the Snark” by Lewis Carroll, which she read in College.

Expressive Qualities (realistic, naturalistic, etc.):
Please read the story in the “Kauai Hawaii Stream” here about her latest show on Kauai: Here is a
quote from it:
French has taken the social awareness view of Lewis Carroll and punched it out into the future.

Subject Matter/ Themes/ Concept dealt with in the work:

Other Comments/ Information about work or life :
Artist Statement
My work concerns the psychic state of change, the space between motivation and hesitation. It’s imbued in
the panic going up the back of the neck, the electrical charges to the finger tips, that uncomfortable place...
charged but familiar, where imbalance forces the old to roll into the new. In many cultures, there are those who seem to serve as
early warning systems, assigned to recon duty on the boundaries of troubled terrain, channeling devices for
signs and portants. We call them shamans and martyrs, visionaries and madmen. Sometimes we call them
artists. In this community, Sally French is that person.-Marcia Morse, Art reviewer, Honolulu Weekly Like much of French’s work the cartoon characters and vibrant palette are
outwardly playful, and yet on closer inspection the viewer intuits loftier ideals at play. Nothing short of a
21st century mythologist, French’s story telling is as much a part of her work as the seductive pigments she

“I have to have a narrative,” she said. “I love stories. As a child I was a voracious reader.”

In French’s myth there’s a secondary protagonist warding off another Man-of-war in hand-to-hand combat.

“She becomes a voice for the island. You can’t talk about Kaua‘i without talking about the Hawaiian
movement. (This character) is the voice protecting against the thoughts or things that keep you from your
values. She’s your inner voice. The intuitive voice is always out there doing the work for you. You have to
support that voice.”

Those familiar with French’s art will recognize the egg from previous works.

“That egg speaks to me of rebirth, hope and a vision for the future,” Abadir said. “It connects us all whether
we realize it or not. This represents Kaua‘i and even bigger — the universal values of cultural importance.
What Sally’s done I hope gets people talking abut it.”

Artist Sally French 
comes to terms with
life through her art by Suzanne Tswei http://whttp:// Who describes her as working with Vivid colors,cartoons
mask,stark honesty