Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co.  |  Maryland Coast Dispatch


This story by Bethany Hooper appeared in the Maryland Coast Dispatch in September 2016

Students Get First-Hand Look at Artist at Work

By Bethany Hooper

Maryland Coast Dispatch

SALISBURY – Seven students from Alex Tobiassen’s art class joined with Salisbury artist Erick Sahler Wednesday as he added the remaining layers of a silkscreen print he created for Pocomoke High School.

The event coincided with National Arts in Education Week, which falls on the second week of each September.

The week is a reminder and movement to bring various art forms back into academic subjects.

The students got to ask questions, discuss techniques and watch Sahler print the last layers onto the papers.

The artwork contained an image of the high school stadium and field with a bright star in the sky, in honor of the late  field hockey coach Susan Pusey.

The 50 screen prints he made for the school, along with T-shirts containing a rendition of the image, will be sold to support various school programs.

Sahler and the high school partnered together on this project at the end of last school year, in an effort to give the art students a chance to witness an artist at work.

“This is the first time we’ve ever visited an artist in their studio,” Tobiassen says. “I think it is cool for the kids to see a practicing artist and how they can take their passion and make it into a career that’s viable and accessible.”

Sahler, a nationally recognized artisan, began making illustrations at the age of 16. From there, he took his skills and got a high school job working for a T-shirt printing business in Salisbury.

Before starting his business in 2011, Sahler worked as a managing editor at a local newspaper.

However, the economic downturn and his love of commercial art led him to his next venture.

“Whatever you like to do, find somebody who does it well,” Sahler tells the students. “I bet they’ll be willing to share with you.”

Sahler has worked with Dunes Manor Hotel, Perdue Farms Inc., the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and more to create unique commercial prints.

Each one of Sahler’s prints always contains images of Eastern Shore locations and iconic landmarks.

Sahler says he has done designs for the city of Pocomoke before, but has never worked with the high school.

Sahler says his inspiration for the picture came to him after meeting with Principal Annette Wallace and Tobiassen.

Instead of creating an image of the school, Sahler says he focused on the sports field, where many in the community gather for weekly games.

Images of the field and stadium were sketched on a computer program one layer at a time.

The stars and sky, followed by the stadium and its fans, were printed onto the paper one color at a time. Sahler says he could only add about two colors a day.

Students then witnessed Sahler add one of the final colors, a vibrant blue, to the prints. No one image of the field was like the other, making each print a unique piece.

Money raised from the print and T-shirt sales will go toward the entire school, according to administrative support staff member Susan Redden.

“We make sure everybody always gets taken care of in our schools and nobody wants for anything,” Redden says. “We will definitely use part of the money to support Alex’s program and support these students with anything they need.”

Among the students, one wants to be an art educator. The other wants to be a graphic novelist.

“About half of them want to go on to pursue art, whether it is art education or actually being a practicing arts,” Tobiassen says.

She and her students each walked away with their own print of the stadium, along with a better appreciation for a unique form of printed art.

Bethany Hooper photo

Made on Maryland’s Eastern Shore   |   © 2009-17 Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co.


Bayside Gazette — “Erick Sahler to unveil Berlin serigraph” (March 2015)

Beach to Bay Times — “Featured artist: Erick Sahler Serigraphs” (August 2013 and July 2014)

Berlin-West Ocean City Life — “Silkscreen artist captures iconic Eastern Shore images” (August 2013)

Coastal Point — “Silkscreen artist Erick Sahler to debut Fenwick print at Artisans Fair” (September 2015)

Coastal Style — “Smooth as Silk: Erick Sahler’s nostalgic silkscreens add “Regional Pop” to the Shore” (May 2016)

Daily Times/DelmarvaNow — “Salisbury artist draws inspiration from Eastern Shore” (February 2013)

Delmarva Almanac — “Artist Interview: Erick Sahler” with video (August 2013)

Go! Magazine — “Serigraphs as serious art on display” (May 2012)

Maryland Coast Dispatch — “Students Get First-Hand Look at Artist at Work” (September 2016)

Metropolitan Magazine — “Q&A with Local Artist: Erick Sahler” (January 2014)

Office of the Governor — “City of Salisbury presents print to Maryland governor” (April 2015)

Old Line Plate — “Interview: Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co.” (October 2015)

Salisbury Independent — “Erick Sahler: The future is bright” (October 2014)

Salisbury Independent — “Erick Sahler elected to Society of Illustrators” (November 2015)

ShoreBread Magazine — “Big and bold: Erick Sahler Serigraphs” (December 2012)

Tidewater Times — “About the Cover Artist: Erick Sahler” (June  2014 and May 2016)

USA Today — “Sahler serigraph celebrates Assateague Lighthouse” (May 2014)

Wall Street Journal — “Former editor creates limited-edition silkscreen prints” (December 2012)

WBOC-TV “DelmarvaLife” — “Delmarva Treasure: Erick Sahler Serigraphs” (February 2014)