Metanoia, much like the term metamorphosis, is about transformation: it is an ongoing process that contains both psychological and spiritual definitions of healing, often following a breakdown of old patterns that new ones might be established. This healing extends beyond the individual to others.

    After a few decades of working for patrons – most recently in the realm of designing public monuments – every piece in this contemplative body of work is intentionally “unfinished” to allow process and play to be the focus rather than end products. Garden planters, musical instruments, and toys are some of the whimsical-yet-sobering designs that appeared throughout the year. While documenting the work, I learned that I am no longer solely interested in creating sculptures as objects but also in combining them with other creative media. Oft-discarded items are found within this body of work and new juxtapositions of eco-friendly materials such as clay and metalpoint were experimented with. Silver, a material and colour that is associated with the refining of the soul, volunteered itself as an aesthetic. These works may be requesting a metanoia in the stewardship of our shared home.

    METANOIA is in memory of the artist’s grandmother, who entered the ongoing life during the final month of the residency. An artist and a Franciscan, she made significant contributions to Ms. Sisk’s creative and spiritual pathways in life.

    This excerpt from the past year’s bozzetti practice features pieces made of clay and strands of hair. The transitory materials reference our mortality. In cooperation with the Divine, they become images that do not deny the brokenness in the World while pointing to the eternal: Love Itself.




    yogurt cups/foils/caps + plants, 6.5’ diameter (detail)

    We never fully know where someone has been, is, and will be in life. Abiding in this awareness may increase humanity’s ability to respond with healing intentions to all around us instead of perpetuating or deepening wounds. Here the merging of everyday items that many of us discard with plant life symbolizes the transformative journey of individual souls. It also references the connection between how we treat one another and how we treat the Earth.

    Five live plants were chosen for QUATUOR TEMPORA. Of these, one is not visible in the sculpture because the plant was happy outdoors with caterpillars on it. The Passion Butterfly laid its eggs on the vine (pictured).

    clay + mica (sustainably sourced) + plants, approximately 2.5” tall

    It is a joy to see men and women operating in compassion and integrity with one another and towards all others in their lives. During a monument commission in 2022, some time was spent learning more about cultures in which instances of violence between men and women are rare. In these cultures, both men and women are respected leaders. These two little heads only remain upright when they lean upon each other, and equally so. They therefore support growth.


    clay + mica (sustainably sourced), approximately 3.75” tall

    Created between the anniversary of Saint Francis of Assisi’s death and his Feast Day, this design is intended to become a playable ocarina. However, the prototype’s inability to sound a note is a poignant warning in these days of human-induced extinction.

    Additional musical bozzetti included a maraca (GIRASOLE I) and an aeolian harp design (FIVE PENITENTS). Some artists plant aeolian harps in hospice gardens, describing the harps as symbolic bridges between our earthly existence and our eternal home, and expressing the hope that they bring comfort.

    yogurt foil + light, 3” diameter

    Reconciliation is the step beyond forgiveness: all parties acknowledge the wounds and together they seek healing and restoration. This is a place of the miraculous, of light shining through scars to overcome the darkness and to nurture harmonious co-existence.


    cord + wood, 2.5 x 3.5”

    Human beings often attach to one another energetically. Attaching or cording to Divine Source may be liberating for ourselves and the souls we each encounter on our journeys because we acknowledge that no being belongs to us or is inferior, but is the Creator’s beloved.

    During hospice, the artist’s grandmother said ‘yes’ to modeling for one more portrait: it is an unfinished, silvery acknowledgment of one soul’s sacred journey Home (not pictured). Scraps were used to form TABERNACLE EYES in the following final days of earthly life, additionally illustrating what the artist’s grandmother did in hospice: kept her spiritual eyes in the Divine as she approached her death + the ongoing life and – as she would often say to her grandchildren – let go, and let God.

    clay + silverpoint, 2.75” tall

    This carving reflects the wish that a dear little one’s earthly home will always be a safe, peaceful, and fruitful one as well as references the spiritual home that a person can be and carry Wherever. Silverpoint, a drawing technique often associated with the Italian Renaissance, is possible on the surface of the clay. The artist sketched olives.


    buttons + graphite + milk paint + 1800s paper + thread + washer, 2.5. x 3.5”

    The true quatrefoil may be one of overlapping circles. The format seen here is also found throughout the world, particularly in architecture. It is a symbol that carries a variety of cultural and spiritual meanings, and one that volunteered itself during the residency, especially for Quatuor Tempora. The four pieces comprising this quatrefoil are buttons related to the lives of the artist, her twin, and their grandmother as well as a washer from the streets of Bryan, Texas.

    A page from the 1800s book used in this bozzetto.

    clay + mixed media, 1/3 life-size

    Three figures walk in ways that often carry negative connotations: upon eggshells, water, and a bed of nails. And yet, such paths might speak to endurance or be transformed into positives via faith. Training the mind to perceive daily challenges as grace-filled opportunities is something that we can do alongside others as they tread their own paths. This may be why there are three persevering figures instead of a solitary one: respecting each path as belonging to each person and their unique relationship with the Creator while being present to help shoulder the burdens of others when called to can be a peace-building choice.

    The figures are shown at approximately 25% completion and are the initial concepts for life-size bronze figures. The drawn lines illustrate the internal workings of the sculptor as over-or-under-built volumes, proportional issues, and 360 views are addressed; simultaneously, the clay may move in a direction that does not match the original design(s). Eggshells were cast at 1/3 life-size scale to test the appearance of beneath one figure’s feet. A reflecting pool is an idea for the figure walking on water. A bed of nails (initially pins and needles) is the third figure’s path.

    Nurturing others in the arts is often an aspect of an artist residency. Workshops for The Arts Council of Brazos Valley and one for the Diocesan Music Camp at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church were all highlights of the year. What delightful participants! Thank you!

    These teaching demos are pictured at about 70% completed. Workshops featured introductions to sculpting portrait heads and relief sculpture.