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This article by Pat Summers was prepared for the
May 9, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Following Fay Sciarra’s Bliss
It’s one thing to live your dream, and plug away at
it, and during tough times, remind yourself that’s what you’re up
to. It’s another thing to be one of five people profiled on national
television for "following your bliss." As of Sunday, May 13,
Lawrenceville artist Fay Sciarra will have done both.
On that Sunday morning, a few million people are expected to see
as star of a "Today" show segment about her change of career
and the reasons for it. A West Coast television producer for most
of her professional life, Sciarra is now a painter. Her husband, David
Sciarra, is an attorney, and they are the parents of a seven-year-old
The series has already focused on an insurance executive’s new
seeking traces of aviator Amelia Earhart; and a nurse who started
writing while a stay-at-home mom and has so far produced nine
novels. Later segments will feature a retailer who lived his dream
of moving to Anguilla to become a restaurateur, and a final program,
on May 27, offers practical advice on making dreams come true.
For many years, Sciarra’s mother painted for her own pleasure, and
near the time of her death some years ago, she suggested that Fay
try it. Although surprised by the suggestion, Sciarra did start
a couple years later, and TV’s loss was the art world’s gain.
Since that beginning, she has shown her work locally, on Martha’s
Vineyard, and at a Manhattan gallery. A self-taught artist, Sciarra
has also had to learn the business of art — she now works with
a Philadelphia printer to produce giclee prints of her paintings,
and in the last six months, her work was represented in the Outsider
Art Fair and Art Expo, both in New York.
Most important, she paints. At first, she produced cozy, detail-filled
"homescapes": colorful acrylic images, usually of interior
scenes, with marvelous furnishings, cuddly animals, and an overall
sense of warmth. Sometimes she painted on found objects — a
triptych on three ironing boards, for instance. Home was never like
this, though you might wish it were (U.S. 1, April 14, 1999).
Lately, Sciarra agrees, she has become more self-disclosing in her
work, both physically and psychologically. Reflecting her growing
willingness to take risks, it’s now multi-layered and often narrative:
she may capture a happy moment with the family’s pet rabbit or use
her growing arsenal of symbols to deal with "more difficult
Sometime in March, Sciarra got an unexpected phone call from an NBC
producer who had heard about her for the "Living Your Dream
series, did a pre-interview, and told her, "I’ll get back to
Two weeks later, Sciarra was talking with him about when the film
crews could arrive in Lawrenceville.
Six men spent two days to record David Bloom’s interview of Sciarra
in her living room; a tour of her new studio and the work in progress
there; son Sam’s demonstration of Irish dancing in the kitchen before
walking to first grade with his mom; and Sciarra power walking in
corn fields nearby; delivering work to Birds of a Feather gallery
in Kingston; and strolling around Princeton with bloom.
From all that footage, five or six minutes were selected and edited,
for airing this coming Sunday, as part of the hour-long
program. A former producer herself, Sciarra understands why her
ended with the filming, and so she will join the rest of us to see
how NBC tells her story. The date is particularly fitting for Sciarra:
— Pat Summers
local listings for time. Sunday, May 13.
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