Sarah Signature

Sarah Hempel Irani,


Sarah Hempel Irani has been sculpting expressive figures in clay, bronze, and stone for over twenty years. Originally from Michigan, she moved to Maryland to apprentice with the former artist-in-residence at the Washington National Cathedral. 

Sarah recently installed a 7’6” bronze monument to fashion icon, Claire McCardell, in a city park in Frederick, Maryland. Previously, she sculpted two larger-than-life-sized marble saints, now in the sanctuary at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. 

Sarah has been a visiting artist and speaker at Ave Maria University, Grove City College, Slippery Rock University, Covenant College, the Rotary “Pathways to Peace” Conference, as well as numerous religious and civic organizations. In addition, she has been a guest on the “United Lutheran Seminary Explores”, “Makers & Mystics”, and “Living from the Soul” podcasts. Sarah’s work has been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, Threads, Baltimore Magazine, and several local news stations and magazines. 

She lives with her husband, their daughter, and a border collie named Tom Sawyer in a tiny brick house near Washington, DC. When she’s not working in the studio, Sarah is digging in the garden, planning her next travel adventure, or listening to Brahms.



Master of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Hood College Graduate School, Frederick, Maryland

Thesis: “Piero Della Francesca's Misericordia Polyptych: Artist, Patron, and Community” Advisor: Dr. Laurie Taylor-Mitchell

Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art with a minor in Classical Studies from Hillsdale College, Hillsdale Michigan

Studied sculpture under master sculptor, Anthony Frudakis

Apprentice to master sculptor, Jay Hall Carpenter

Member of CIVA - Christians in the Visual Arts

Board Member Member, ACLS - Association for Consultants for Liturgical Space



“Women in Sculpture and Women in Sculptures"

Sculptor, Sarah Hempel Irani, shares the story of her journey as a woman in sculpture, from arriving in the nation’s capital as a young artist asking, “Where are all the women sculptors?” and “Where are all the sculptures of real, historical women?” to her work on the Frederick Art Club’s Claire McCardell Project.

“From Dream to Stone”

Sculptor, Sarah Hempel Irani, outlines the many steps that it takes to realize a monumental marble sculpture.

“Peace through Artistic Expression: Shaping a public imagination towards peace through public monuments.”

Sculptor, Sarah Hempel Irani, asks “Can we transform the public imagination by changing our collective visual vocabulary from one of war to one of peace? “ In this talk, Sarah walks us through the vocabulary of public monuments as instruments of conquest and war and how we can shift our consciousness towards peace.

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IN THE Press

Learn more about Sarah and Hempel Studios by reviewing or listening to these resources, podcasts, and interviews below.


    Apr 26, 2021- Sarah Hempel Irani — Sculpting Public Ideals

    Listen Here

  • MAKERS & MYSTICS Podcast

    S8 E09: Armature and Astonishment with Sarah Hempel Irani

    Listen Here

  • WDMV Local TV Station

    Seven-foot-tall statue to stand in tribute to native fashion designer

    Read more

  • WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY (International Industry Magazine)

    American Sportswear Pioneer Claire McCardell to Be Celebrated in Children’s Book, Coloring Book, and Bronze Statue

    Read more

  • Claire McCardell Statue, Tribute Planned in Her Hometown

    A nationwide effort is under way to create more art and public space sculptures of women and created by women.

    Read more


    Claire McCardell Statue Will Honor Groundbreaking Frederick-Born Designer

    Read more

  • THREADS (National Magazine)

    Claire McCardell, Iconic Designer, to be Memorialized in Bronze

    Read more


    Art Club Breaking ‘Bronze Ceiling’ With Sculpture of Claire McCardell 

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    Claire McCardell statue progress report

    Read more

  • The Frederick News Post

    Delaplaine Foundation awards grant to Claire McCardell Project

    Read more

  • The Frederick News Post

    Planned statue of renowned Frederick designer could be one of the city’s first female public sculptures - By Kate Masters, Aug. 7, 2019

    Read more

  • TRIB LIVE (Western Pennsylvania Regional Newspaper)

    Catholic competition creates eclectic exhibit

    Read more

  • SEMINARY RIDGE REVIEW (United Lutheran Literary Journal)

    Seminary Ridge Review is a print journal for alumni/ae, students and faculty of United Lutheran Seminary currently published twice yearly.

    Read more


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