Carol B. Saylor
BFA, Painting major, BS in Education
Saylor was born in 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and while raising her family, completed her art education at Tyler School of Art in 1976. Saylor taught Art and Humanities at Lenape Junior High School, Doylestown, PA, until 1979, when she discovered she was progressively losing her eyesight and hearing.
Meditation and visualization enabled Saylor to overcome a painting block and she continued to paint and never stopped making art again. Eventually, she found new employment after being retrained in computer science.
Saylor was a member of the Board of national Exhibits by Blind Artists (NEBA) for about twenty years, and she exhibited with NEBA and with many other groups as a painter and sculptor who happened to be deaf and blind. She worked in papier mache, wood, wire, clay, plaster, and bronze. In 2007 Saylor exhibited her series of hidden spaces sculptures for one year at the Philadelphia Library for the Blind. These sculptures were meant to be touched in order to demonstrate to the sighted what the blind already know, and everything Saylor creates is meant to be touched. In 2010 the Hidden Spaces series
and other work were exhibited at Villanova University. Some of Saylor’s work expresses grief and loss for the deaths of two of her children and the theme of mother and child, and it also expresses the hope and joy of healing. Now almost completely blind and deaf, Saylor is working primarily in clay sculpture.
Saylor has won many awards, and is included in many collections, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She uses various access technologies in order to hear, read, and write and to teach workshops to the visually impaired as well as presenting to students and teachers in universities and museums. Saylor, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, states, “I have learned that I am not a body, but a mind and a spirit. My body’s eyes have nothing to do with vision, and my body’s ears have nothing to do with listening.”
In 2013 Saylor began working with Armand Mednick, (1933 – 2020) born in Brussels, Belgium (Tyler School of Art, BFA, BS in Education, Alfred University, MFA in Ceramics.) He had been creating pottery for over 60 years, and taught art, art history, French, and the Holocaust for fifty years at the Oak Lane Day School. Saylor and Mednick worked individually in her Abington studio, but had created combined pieces (some of which were exhibited at Woodmere Museum.)
Saylor’s latest clay work is influenced by pieces in several Philly Touch Tours as well as the Wharton Esherick Museum collections. Fine burnishing on organic and lyrical shapes in wood, abstract three-legged stools, carved wooden bowls and trays, majestic columns, abstract faces, animals and figures, and carved reliefs as well as the front stone walls of his studio with textures and random shapes emphasized by Esherick are concepts that work well in clay.
“The playfulness and pleasure I feel from this work, has expanded my own work to burnished bowls, abstract garden columns, high fired bells, reliefs as well as designs on ceramic stones for gardens,” Saylor says.
“If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing,” was the first I heard about Esherick’s philosophy, says Saylor, "and I immediately destroyed a group of pieces that I had labored over for months. I just wasn’t having fun.” Now enjoying her eighth decade, Saylor says, “I love to learn, and I think I learn something new almost every day.”