Member Spotlight: Sarah “Bear” Cozzemera

WNYBAC appreciates the creative and diverse members who make up our community.

Follow along as we celebrate one outstanding member each week!

Sarah “Bear” Cozzemera’s formal beginning as an artist  was in her very last semester of college at SUNY Fredonia, when she took a pottery class on a whim. Though she would graduate with a degree in English, during that pottery class she fell in love with being able to create in, as she describes, “a more pure form.” She’s made pottery ever since, and now she owns her own business, Everyday Earthware.

~ Sarah with one of her Everyday Earthware Creations ~

Sarah sells her Everyday Earthwares online, but also shows up as a vendor at fairs and festivals throughout Buffalo. That’s how she met WNYBAC’s own Rose and Melissa! At one of the art shows she and WNYBAC both regularly table at, their booths happened to be right next door to each other. She got to talking to Rose and Melissa, and has been involved at WNYBAC ever since. She says that even though she’s only officially been a member since January, she’s felt like a member since 2014 when it all started.

Her involvement with WNYBAC started with vending at Last Minute Holiday Panic, one of WNYBAC’s annual fundraising events. She’s also been involved here through participating in a collaborative exhibition with book artist Scott Kristopher called Contentual Relationships. For the show, she made books out of clay, inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. She says the show helped her see where she could be a book artist, an art form she hadn’t previously been involved in.

~ A mug featuring a lino-block stamp of the “om” symbol ~

When asked if she had taken any workshops, she replied “ideally I want to take all of them.” She says she’s most interested in paper marbling and bookbinding, since she doesn’t have experience with either yet. The next workshop she wants to take, though, is our letterpress workshop. She already uses the WNYBAC studio to hand carve linoleum blocks that she uses as pottery stamps, as well as letterpress prints!

“The whole ‘culture of awesome'”

From there the conversation turned back to her participation in Last Minute Holiday Panic, and she wanted to share a few last thoughts about the event. In particular, she described the event “like a party.” She says it gets her in a festive mood for the holidays, and not much else does. It’s part of what Sarah described as the whole “culture of awesome” here at WNYBAC, which she says is the best part about being a member here.

Talking to Sarah you can tell she’s one of those people who has a lot of love in her heart, both for the people and for the places in her life. She loves the people and volunteers here at WNYBAC, but she also loves the space. She described how, to her, the WNYBAC space has a mystery quality to it. And a history quality, of course, with all the old printing equipment we have scattered around both the shop and the studio. She’s interested in the Renaissance and that time period, and feels connected to the history by seeing the equipment here. She describes the printing press as a “revolution to the mind” and one that we’re still feeling the repercussions from today. She wants to be a part of that.

A lino-block print Sarah made at home
She hopes to incorporate letterpress for the next step

Sarah has a heart full of love, and the soul of an artist. “I want my life to just be art.” Her life as an artist extends far beyond just being a member of WNYBAC. Of course she has Everyday Earthwares, her own pottery business, but she also writes and paints, and generally “makes all the art” whenever she has time.

Sarah feels her true self is an artist. Her philosophy is that if you embody who you feel you are, and what you want to be as an artist, that’s how the best stuff comes out.

~ A set of Everyday Earthware dishes ~

Sarah really is an incredible person with an incredible story. She is an artist in the purest sense of the word, and WNYBAC is lucky to have her as a member of our community and to be able to help facilitate her creativity.

Check out Sarah’s creations to see more of her process!

Join our community and support our 2018 Membership Drive!


We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders listed below, for providing support to WNYBAC's ongoing programs taking place throughout Western New York:

NYSCA M & T Art 4 Moore Zenger Group Evans Bank Community Foundation Baird Foundation
Cameron Jane Wendt Foundation StoryGrowing