Meet the Artists




Sarah Hempel Irani


Sarah Hempel Irani has been sculpting in clay and stone for more than twenty years. Her affinity for sacred and public art moves her 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 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 has a studio in downtown Frederick: Hempel Studios.  

See the latest phases in the Claire Sculpture's Progress.

Exhibit Designer

Kirilloff Design has created interpretive wayside exhibits for many of our country’s national parks and other prominent historical and cultural sites. Under the artistic lead of Irene Kirilloff, the studio will design and fabricate a wayside exhibit to accompany the bronzed sculpture that will tell the story of Claire McCardell’s extraordinary career.


Irene Kirilloff

Landscape Designer

Sharon Poole, owner of Poole's Stone and Garden, Inc., will apply her talent to the design of a garden setting for the statue at Carroll Creek Linear Park. The company provides design/build landscape and masonry services in three states and specializes in natural stone and native landscape design practices. 

Site for the Claire McCardell Statue