Sarah Bastress (b. 1989) is a painter from West Virginia living and working in Chicago. She makes portraits of creatures in their element, inescapably themselves for better or worse. She starts with queer or rural tropes in art history, pop culture or her own childhood or loneliness that stir up embarrassment or self hate, then recreates them into alternative existences. She received her BA in Government from Smith College and a Post Baccalaureate and MFA with a concentration in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.