Mar 16, 2016


Alumni Profile: Sarah Caleb '03

“I have always had a bent for creative expression and that manifests itself in music and art,” says Sarah Caleb ’03, who currently teaches piano at the Meridee Winters School of Music in Ardmore and, in about a year, plans to apply to graduate programs at art schools in Philadelphia. Sarah will be exhibiting her work in the alumni and former faculty art show which runs from April 4-9.


Sarah credits GSFS art teacher Christine Belton (1990-1996) with nurturing interest in art. “Christine had a motorcycle and tattoos. She was different and enthusiastic – she got my whole class to like art,” Sarah notes. But Sarah’s interest in creative expression went beyond art class: “I remember being down at EDP [now called the After-School Program] and spending hours coloring.”


Sarah also took summer classes at the Fleischer Art Memorial and after-school classes at an animation studio in Chestnut Hill. “I used to draw all the time and then stopped for a number of years. I began again when Pokémon cards appeared. I realized the images on the cards were shaded, and I realized the power of shading.” At the animation studio she had the opportunity to work on HBO Family Stories, which gave a sense of purpose to her work.


Sarah pursued her interests in art and music at Penn Charter and later at Oberlin College. After college, she spent two years living in Spain, where she taught English as a second language and had many opportunities to sketch and paint the striking landscapes and Moorish architecture of Granada. She also enjoyed the culture she found there, noting, “It is easier and encouraged to be a creative artist. They have a much slower-paced lifestyle in the south of Spain that is much more family oriented. In America you live to work; in Spain you work to live. When I came back, I didn’t want to give that up.” Sarah says.


Reflecting on her Greene Street Friends experience, Sarah observes “the best part of the education wasn’t just the academics…When you had a conflict with someone you knew how to talk about it and how to resolve it. In feedback circle with Rebecca [Bonner] – you learned how to hear someone talk about you without responding and how to give feedback yourself using, ‘It makes me feel good when...’ and ‘It makes me feel bad when….’ At Greene Street Friends everyone’s voice was heard and that was important.”


“At Greene Street Friends, I was going to a school where there was financial diversity, ethnic diversity, and diversity in family makeup. It was a privilege to grow up in this environment because Greene Street valued diversity. In my career this makes me appreciate what other people have to bring – the most valuable thing they bring is a diversity of perspective.


Sarah is excited about the alumni and former faculty art show because “it allows those who come to see what they can be. Because they have an example, they know that they can follow their passion for art – they don’t just have to be doctors and lawyers.” Thinking about Alumni Day more generally she adds, “I am excited to see my old classmates and my old community. After traveling around the world for many years it will be nice to come home.”