Corrections or additions?

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

Sciarra

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

son, Sam.

The series has already focused on an insurance executive’s new

specialty,

seeking traces of aviator Amelia Earhart; and a nurse who started

writing while a stay-at-home mom and has so far produced nine

best-selling

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

painting

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

memorable

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

subject

matter."

Sometime in March, Sciarra got an unexpected phone call from an NBC

producer who had heard about her for the "Living Your Dream

Today"

series, did a pre-interview, and told her, "I’ll get back to

you."

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

"Today"

program. A former producer herself, Sciarra understands why her

involvement

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:

Mother’s Day.

— Pat Summers

Today, Weekend Edition, NBC Television Network. Consult

local listings for time. Sunday, May 13.


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