Past Exhibitions > Sarah Hirzel

Sarah Hirzel
Sarah Hirzel

Sarah Hirzel: Overburden
June 3 – September 23, 2022

The gallery is open to the Fordham community 9am – 9pm seven days a week. Outside visitors should call ahead to inquire about current admission protocol.

Fordham University’s Lipani Gallery is pleased to present Sarah Hirzel: Overburden, an exhibition of thirty-five digitally altered, pigment-printed drawings of the stuff we make, use, and leave in our wake in our time on this planet—hatchets, hairbrushes, computers, high rises, oil rigs, musical instruments, fireplaces, drainpipes, cars, boats, bones, furniture, roads, garbage—and of the organic matter that grows up among it.

Hung salon-style in an eclectic array of frames found by the artist in attics, thrift stores, and other out-of-the-way corners, the pieces in this show are by turns poignant, poetic, humorous, dark, and sometimes just simply odd, bringing together the mundane and the momentous in a kind of landfill logic both chaotic and stratified. In one piece, mounted in a small frame of carved black roses, a computer chip sprouts grass; in another, a battle between trumpets and leaf blowers rages; in yet another, the New York skyline morphs into a purple crystal.

Most people are familiar with the term overburden in its verb form—to load with too many things to carry. Fewer know its definition as a noun—rock or soil overlying a mineral deposit, archaeological site, or other underground feature. The works in this show plumb both meanings of the word, conveying the weight of accumulation yet retaining a sense of curiosity about what remains hidden, waiting to be discovered. Indeed, Hirzel likens her creative process to that of a detective searching for clues in a world that feels upside down, inside out, and still, somehow, strangely beautiful.

Sarah Hirzel is an artist and educator based in Massachusetts where she draws, wrangles a chaotic garden, hangs out with her family, and supports student artists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a founding staff member of MIT’s Voxel Music and Arts Innovation Space and curates the MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Art and Wesleyan University, both located in post-industrial central Connecticut. You can find her in the household accent section of your local thrift shop.

For more information on this exhibition, please contact Casey Ruble at