Pulitzer Prize Archive


Law & Water Gallery to feature Sarkin

Jon Sarkin has conjured up a series of original legal riffs for the Law & Water Gallery. From deep veins of literature, language, and history, Sarkin mined raw material into statements that are provocative, and, often, uncannily accurate.


view sarkin on lawandwater.com

Located in the storefront law office of Ken Riaf  on Gloucester’s Harbor Walk, the Law & Water Gallery is open on weekends (Saturdays  12 – 5 pm) and by appointment.


Sarkin’s amazing odyssey into art is documented in Pulitzer Prize winning author Amy Nutt’s book, Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man’s Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph.

Sarkin’s work has been exhibited in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Decordova, and is in private collections throughout the world.  In the Spring of 2013, he is scheduled to speak about his art and his life at Oxford University in England.


Featured on Artaissance

Jon Sarkin is a prolific artist who creates elaborate drawings and paintings filled with words and images, and has a story like no other. After a brain hemorrhage and a stroke that nearly killed him, the once-shy ambitious chiropractor awoke with an effusive, unfocused need to create. He awoke a different man in body and spirit with an insatiable drive to draw and paint. His drive to create has produced an imaginative body of art.
Jon’s unique story has been featured on NPR, the BBC, ABC Medical Mysteries, in Vanity Fair and The Guardian, in addition to other coverage. He has also created cover art for the band Guster, and was the subject of a book by Pulitzer Prize winning author Amy Nutt.
Jon’s studio is located in Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Check out the feature Artaissance page


Amy Ellis Nutt: “We Must Tell Stories”

The first time Amy Ellis Nutt came across John Sarkin’s art, it was hanging on the wall of a neurologist’s office.

Amy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for Newark’s Star-Ledger, was researching a story on the elusive wonders of science. Her investigation led to the office of Dr. Todd Feinberg, who authored a book on the mysterious human mind.

Check out the rest here


The Brain and the Mind a Delicate Connection (StarTribune)


In “Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man’s Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph,” Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Ellis Nutt tells the amazing story of how Jon Sarkin’s life was changed through a “single cruel trick of nature.” “Shadows” isn’t a biography in the traditional sense, as Nutt gives ample consideration of the questions that Sarkin’s transformation raises about consciousness, the relationship of the brain to the mind, and the nature of art and inspiration.

Check out the rest of the article here


Excerpt from: Shadows Bright as Glass

Free Press, On sale: April 5, 2011
(pre-order on amazon.com)
Amy Ellis Nutt

Shadows Bright as Glass
An Accidental Artist and the Search for the Soul

From a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the beautifully written account of one man’s extraordinary odyssey of recovering from a massive stroke to discover that he had become a dramatically different person, reborn as a compulsive and brilliant artist
One day in 1988, when Jon Sarkin was playing golf, a tiny blood vessel deep inside his brain suddenly shifted, rubbing up against his acoustic nerve. He felt, as he recalls, “that my brain just twisted. Any noise now caused excruciating pain inside his head, and after months of suffering, he felt he wanted to die. Resorting to radical deep-brain surgery, during recovery he suffered a major stroke, and when he awoke, he was a new man, even though he retained almost complete memory of his prior self. Once a calm, meticulous chiropractor, he was suddenly highly exuberant and volatile, and possessed with a manic desire to create art. Making art became his bridge to life, and Sarkin is now an acclaimed artist who exhibits at some of the country’s most prestigious venues. His wife and children have stood by him, and he has fashioned a new life, a new self, amid the shards of his past.

Amy Ellis Nutt interweaves Sarkin’s story with lyrical and wonderfully accessible accounts of fascinating findings in brain science that illuminate the mysteries of what makes us who we are. Might we all have a brilliant artist inside us? If our self can be so altered, can we be said to have a soul? At once wrenching and inspiring, this is a story of the remarkable human capacity to overcome the most daunting of obstacles.


Amy Ellis Nutt has been a writer at The Newark Star-Ledger for ten years. She has won numerous national awards for newspaper writing and was a finalist for the Pulitizer Prize in feature writing for her series about Jon Sarkin. She holds two Masters degrees, one in philosophy from M.I.T., and one in journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New Jersey.
On sale: April tk, 2011
Free Press
Biography and Autobiography
6 x 9, 288 pages
Images throughout
Carton quantity: 20
$26.00 hardcover
$34.00 in Canada

Other format:
eBook: 9781439150078

Pre-order on amazon.com


Accidental Artist 4 of 4: Sketchbook


Part 4 in a video series accompanying the Pulitzer-Prize winning article: The Accidental Artist.