The Artists Behind
the Claire McCardell Project 


Sarah Hempel Irani has been sculpting in clay and stone for twenty years. Possessing an affinity for sacred and public art, she is moved to create figures that evoke a spiritual response and uphold cultural values. 


Sarah is proudest of two larger-than-life sculptures of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph that she created for Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, Maryland. In Renaissance tradition, she articulated the clay sculptures in her studio and then sent the plaster casts to an Italian marble-carving studio. The National Sculpture Society awarded Sarah the Edward Fenno Hoffman Prize for her work that “uplifts the human spirit,” and the renowned BBC art historian Sister Wendy Beckett commended her sculpture of a woman grieving the loss of a child.


Sarah views the Claire McCardell commission as an exceptional opportunity to celebrate “what is good and noble about humanity, especially because those qualities were embodied in a creative, innovative, hardworking woman.”   She is a Frederick Art Club member and works out of her studio in Frederick,Maryland.


Exhibit Designer

Kirolloff Design, based in Frederick, Maryland, has created interpretive wayside exhibits for many of our nation’s national parks and other prominent historical and cultural sites. The studio will design a wayside to accompany the sculpture that will tell the story of Claire McCardell’s extraordinary career.


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