About Sara Shai
Sara Shai is an artist, author, fashion designer, teacher and a business owner.
Her commitment is to communicate through creativity and to inspire people to see what is possible for themselves.
She has worked as a journalist and teacher in Israel and California, and continues to teach to this day. She is the founder and producer of the annual Honoring Life Event. She is the author of Beautiful in Black, Cinderella’s Secret Diary 1659, and The Little Girl on the Sand Hill, a novel based on her own life experience.
Her sculpture and paintings offer a fresh look at the human figure. For her, the raw stone and the still pose are frozen moments of life. The themes and the images of her work emerge from the inner fabric of her experience as a “woman of the now.”
She carves in alabaster and marble, paint in oil, acrylic and multi-media. She is a firm believer in in the remarkable ability of art and creativity to renew and regenerate the human spirit.
Her journey to self- expression started at an early age. Traveling the world, learning about the multi-media and absorbing the influence of the great masters.
Sara’s art is poetic and lyrical, and her engagement with the material is strong yet innocent. It is often rich with emotional metaphor.
Artist’s Statement: My art comes from a silent inner space within me. When I finish a piece of art, I feel as if I have participated in God’s work. It is the peak of fulfillment.
To create is to feel, think, challenge and live until it becomes real. Every creation is always a new and fresh birth. For me it is the interaction with the medium that determines the final creation and I am only the instrument that brings it to life. Art is the language of the soul.
In 1978, Sara launched her fashion business. She expressed her love for fashion, creativity and business by opening her first boutique, Sara’s Fashion, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, she was pursuing painting and sculpture.
In 1985, she closed her boutique and spent a year in Europe learning about multi-media and absorbing the influence of the great masters of fashion and art.
She returned to Los Angeles in 1986 and once again flexed her business muscles by opening a new boutique, Sara’s Designers Outlet, located in the central San Fernando Valley. Over the next few years, she opened two more boutiques – Sara’s Designers – one in Toluca Lake and the other in Woodland Hills. The Los Angeles Times wrote, “The proprietor’s flare for fashion…emanates from her artistic talents.”
Since the mid-80’s she has continued to fiercely pursue her art and fashion design. In the early 2000’s, she closed her stores and focused on her art and writing.
In the early 1990s, Sara began her training with the multi-media artist Manny Kremaer. She also studied figure molding and shaping with Harriet Hochberg and stone carving with art historian Bernice Schachter.
She worked in Pietrasanta, Italy, in 1999, where she carved in marble and alabaster. Pietrasanta is recognized by sculptors around the world for its exquisite marble and artistic legacy.
In 2002, she resumed teaching at Temple Beth Hillel, North Hollywood.
Writing was always Sara’s tool to challenge life. When she moved to Los Angeles, she began privately journaling her experience of her own perseverance and view of life. Over the years, she watched that stack of paper grow. Naturally, she began converting her notes into a book she could offer as inspiration to others.
Her autobiography, Beautiful in Black, explores the human longing for love, acceptance and freedom. At the same time, it is an important contribution to those who suffer loss.
Sara was raised in Israel and grew up during the struggle for freedom and independence. Those events left a deep impression on the artist, molding her personality and shaping her dreams. Her biography reveals her challenge to persevere as a little girl growing up in a dysfunctional household and to become resilient and whole as a woman.
The book was self-published in 2006 and became a contribution to her community. Out of this, she founded the annual Honoring Life Event to acknowledge those who persevere over tragedy and take action to empower people to dwell in possibility. (To learn more about the Honoring Life Event, visit www.honoringlife.org.)
Through the success of her autobiography and the Honoring Life Event, Sara realized her story could be a powerful contribution to a wider market if it were offered as a fictional novel. Therefore, Beautiful in Black evolved into The Little Girl on the Sand Hill.