Though it might be a “flyover state” to some, I am of the opinion that Oklahoma has the most beautiful sunsets in the world. The fabric sculpture “every sunset is different but every sunset reminds me of you” is my attempt to tear down a piece of my home state’s sunset so I can take it everywhere I go. It is also an homage to my family. The original sculpture was made after my sister was released from the hospital following a health emergency, and it was one of the last works of art I made before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. By adapting the sculpture into a wearable dress, I have incorporated a past project into my current physical and emotional state. Due to the pandemic, I have been separated from my family for nine months. My roots are in Oklahoma but they are also in my family, in many ways the two are inseparable. “every sunset” is about home, whether that be a person, a place, or a feeling.
Sarah Ondak is a multidisciplinary artist from Edmond, Oklahoma. They studied photography, bookmaking, drawing, and sculpture at Stanford University, where they majored in Art Practice with Honors. Their work is directly informed by their childhood experiences in Oklahoma and their queer identity. Ondak aims to explore the emotional roots that attach themselves to physical spaces; they believe geographical location has cultural and social dimensions and can be just as alive as the beings that inhabit it.
Previously, Ondak worked as a photographer and Undergraduate Research Fellow for the Bill Lane Center for the American West. In 2020, they received Stanford’s Crandall Beagle II Award and created an illustrated booklet about the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations in the American Midwest. Under the guidance of Terry Berlier and Xiaoze Xe, they contributed to the 2021 Undergraduate Honors Exhibition “404: space not found.” Currently, Ondak plans to move back to Oklahoma and contribute to the thriving artistic community within their home state.