Local Artist Details the Moments—and Meals—of Her Busy Day

Sarah Hardesty is busy. Between teaching, mentoring young artists and curating exhibitions, she somehow finds the time to create her own mesmerizing paintings, sculptures and installations. Did we mention she’s mother, too? A native of Maine and a graduate of Skidmore, Sarah now lives and works in the D.C. area. Keep an eye out for one of her frequent exhibitions or visit her website, SarahHardesty.com, to admire her work.


Sarah wakes up bright and early to spend the morning with her kids and get them ready for school.

Once the kids are off, she finds caffeine and focus at Rare Bird Coffee in Falls Church, Virginia. They have excellent coffee and a bright and simple interior. It reminds Sarah of Brooklyn!

Then, she goes to work at Marymount University, where she teaches drawing and advanced studio courses as an assistant professor.

Sarah also directs the Barry Gallery at Marymount University. When curating exhibitions, she goes to various sources to look for regional artists including the Arlington Arts Center, Washington Project for the Arts and Artists Circle Fine Art in Potomac.

Field trip! Sarah love taking students to the Hirshhorn in Washington for instruction and inspiration.

Supply run at Strosnider’s Hardware in Potomac When she was installing a piece at the 1800s barn at Artists Circle Fine Art, she often bought last-minute supplies there. They almost always have what she needs!


If she is going to look at art in Arlington, or when she was installing her site-specific installation at Metro Micro Gallery in Arlington, she gets refueled with a delicious, healthy and filling lunch at SweetGreen.

For an afternoon refuel, Sarah goes to Northside Social Coffee & Wine—also in Arlington—to get a tea.

Afternoons are for administrative tasks. She spends a fair amount of time communicating via email for projects at Marymount and her own exhibitions, including a recent collaboration with curator Betsy Johnson (Hirshhorn) and two choreographers/dancers she admires so much: Samir Bitar and Sarah Beth Oppenheim (Heart Stück Bernie).

Late afternoons are for studio time or drawing with her daughter. They also play outside, go for walks and have snacks together.


If Sarah wants to take her daughter to a special meal, they go to Nostos Restaurant in Vienna, Virginia. They have amazing Greek food! If the family wants to get some easy and satisfying take-out, they get tacos to go at Taco Bamba, Falls Church, Virginia. Usually, though, it’s dinner at home and then the bedtime routine: bath, books, bed.

Some nights, Sarah attends openings, either her own or for other artists or organizations such as the McLean Project for the Arts, Arlington Arts Center, or VisArts in Rockville.

Low-key evenings consist of cleaning up at home, maybe more studio time or just relaxing. She also loves to hear about her husband’s day; he’s a professor at Marymount, too, and an archaeologist.