Artist looks west for inspiration in Stow gallery show

Margaret Smith

For artist Sally Hall, art imitates life, and life is about travel: To other places, times and, through her work, other dimensions.

The former San Francisco Bay area resident – whose resume includes, among other positions, a stint as a mule ride scheduler at the Grand Canyon – drew inspiration from the Hopi culture that continues to leave its mark in that region.

But you don’t have to go there – you can just go to the local shopping center.

Hall will hold an exhibit at Star Custom Framers and Gallery in Stow, with images inspired by Hopi culture and the majesty and secrets of the Grand Canyon and the west.

In her artist’s statement, she talks of how the Grand Canyon became a part of her life, by way of a very small creature – the rare Kaibab squirrel, which led her father, a biology professor, to conduct research in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim – the only place this animal calls home.

“Our days were spent helping with our father’s research, using radio telemetry in its early days and looking for signs of the beautiful, white-tailed Kaibab squirrel, fortunately or unfortunately a very shy animal,” she recalled.

The Kaibab squirrel opened the door to an amazing universe to which Hall often returns in her art.

Hall has also lived and studied in California, Utah and Washington; years later she traveled to New York City, but the spirit of the west followed her, speaking through her art.

“The uplifting strength of the Grand Canyon and, in particular, the Hopi Indian culture that has evolved and endured in direct relationship to this powerful region are the lenses I continue to see my world through,” Hall says. “The immense, dramatic skies, this seemingly solid rock that can still crumble, and the strength of the people who have survived in this environment combine to create a striking image of life in one of its extremes. My paintings allow me to remember and honor that strength, explore and perpetuate its presence in my life today. If a painting is successful, some of the appreciation for the drama, power and sheer majesty of our world is shared.”

Sally Hall’s exhibit runs Tuesday, Oct. 14, through Nov. 22 at Star Custom Framers and Gallery, Stow Shopping Center, 117 Great Road, Stow. Opening reception is Thursday, Oct. 16, 6-8 p.m. Gallery hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 10-6; Thursday 10-8; Saturday, 10-4; and by appointment. Call 978-461-2155. For more information contact Star Custom Framers at or visit