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Sarah Brashears

Assistant Professor

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Art and Design


Email: Sarah Brashears
Phone: 937-229-2208
FH 238V
Website: Visit Site


  • She, her


  • M.A., Art Education, Painting, Miami (Ohio) University


Sarah Brashears is an artist, art teacher, wife, mother, daughter, dreamer and Daytonian. She received her Masters in Art Education with a painting concentration from Miami (Ohio) University. Prior to her time at the University of Dayton, Sarah taught visual and performing arts education to students ranging in ages from 5 to 18. She was nominated for Southern Indiana's Teacher of the Year in her fifth year of teaching. She taught art to students in unit formats. Examples include Imagination Station, Empathy and Compassion in Art, American Paper Crafts, Recycling and Upcycling and Incorporating International Museums. These units combined grade level studies and focussed on a cross-curricular approach to education goals.

As an Assistant Professor of Practice at UD, Sarah teaches Art Education as part of the Department of Art and Design. She instructs 101-Art for the Early Childhood Educator, 231-Introduction to Art Education, 232-Integrating Visual Culture and assists with Student Teaching.

Sarah works in found object sculpture, acrylic painting and mixed media illustration. Her famous inspirations include Takashi Murakami, Nick Bantock, Miriam Schapiro and Edward Hopper. Her personal inspirations include a husband, a daughter and rescue dogs Poe and Neville.

Faculty Perspective


My work always seems to trace back around to my old, awkward and uncomfortable obsession with the hidden unknown past of everyday objects. My closest childhood friend had difficulty spending time at her house because of my parents’ antiques collection. She didn’t like the idea that the objects in my home had belonged to, lived with, died with, other people. I, on the other hand, am fascinated with that idea. As a young adult, I scavenged New England beaches in the windy winter looking for treasures washed up and stuck in rock bowls. I started collecting all these bits, and, now, 20-plus years later, use these treasures in my found object jewelry. The winter sun setting early on these rocks, casting her dark shadow and hiding my sea treasures, connects me to the dark, unknown, shadows of an old house, an old home. I am consumed by the beauty of shadows and lights in hallways and stairwells. My great-grandmother Millie had the absolute prime basement nooks and crannies to nudge my love of this subject matter. To this day, I photograph closets and foyers and basements and attics wherever I go. Old wallpaper is an aching love; think what that wallpaper has seen and touched! As a teenager, I read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Incorporating the generations of women in my bloodline, I have used the visual imagery of that short story in my work for years. The Russian folktale, “Bluebeard’s Egg,” has additionally been a constant element in my art for decades. Recently I have started using the imagery of birds and their role in folktales as a new string of focus.


In my years of teaching art to and with students, my overall objectives have refocused and developed with my improving skill level. Yet, from my first year through today, no matter the age of the students I am teaching, my one main objective has not wavered. A teacher’s role is to motivate students, just enough, to let the student find what is needed to succeed within themselves. Teachers should respectfully, comfortingly and warmly work with students to formulate the beginning of a plan. With these tools, they then feel confident enough to complete a plan, adjust it however many times necessary and follow it to completion. My second strongest objective is the need for students to develop creative and critical thinking skills. To accomplish this goal, I have always looked for answers starting with what each specific group of students can also teach me. What is the relationship between the student’s own knowledge, culture and learning abilities? How much do my current students already know about the unit I am teaching and, therefore, what do I need to adjust? What is happening in our world socially and what role do these current events play in our interactions? A quality educator must learn about her students so that they can learn from her.

Professional Activities

  • Leadership Board Advocacy Chair, Ohio Art Education Association

Research Interests

  • Empathy and Art
  • Pop-Up Engineering
  • Found Object Art
  • Similarities and Differences in Global Folklore
  • Social/Emotional Learning Strategies