Sandra Place was born and raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a small town surrounded by farmland on the shores of Lake Michigan. She developed an interest in drawing as a small child and drew mostly children and horses at the time. Although her activities, as prescribed by her family, were not geared towards an artistic pursuit, as an only child she had many opportunities for solitary explorations of the nearby natural world. This was the beginning of a connection to nature and the intrigue of following her own path, which has deepened with time. Early travels with her parents and grandparents to Florida, the Gulf Coast and Europe, where her mother was born and grew up, planted the seeds of a life-long interest in travel and other landscapes, cultures and languages.
When she went to college, she found that the art courses were not geared to her way of seeing and wanting to paint, so she followed a more traditional path and received a B.A. in French from Northwestern University. This led to a year in Europe with further studies in French and German, and then to a career in the travel industry in Chicago. Her work opened a new door, providing an opportunity to visit exotic lands and discover the richness of other cultures. As she photographed the people and their surroundings in these places, her eye for composition began to develop; these travels fueled her later interest in painting people of other cultures.
In 1976, Sandra decided to pursue her original desire of becoming an artist and studied full-time for two years at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. After then spending several years in Boulder, Colorado, where she focused on painting children's portraits, she moved to Santa Fe in 1984, drawn by the physical and spiritual beauty of the environment, the clarity of the high desert light and the diversity of the cultures.
She continues to enjoy travelling to other lands, painting the beautiful and colorful people of ancient cultures as they interact with their fast-changing environments, and learning more about these peoples' own artistic expression of their life experiences through the ages. In addition to a love of painting birds, she is drawn to the varied and beautiful landscapes she finds throughout the U.S. and Europe, and she continues to develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the northern New Mexico land and people.
Most of Sandra's current work focuses on landscape and is inspired by light, weather and natural beauty. She is very concerned about climate change and continues to be alarmed and saddened by the effects of careless human activity on the environment and people of our amazing planet.
Sandra has donated artwork and percentages of sales proceeds to benefit non-profit organizations for over 25 years. Please see the section "Support for Conservation" below for additional details. She has also supported humanitarian organizations including Medecins sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders; Friendship Bridge; Santa Fe (NM) Artists Emergency Medical Fund; Child-Rite (Taos, NM), and others in this way. In addition, she held a benefit exhibition for American Friends Service Committee in 2005 in Pasadena, CA; and produced a line of greeting cards from some of her Guatemala paintings to benefit Friendship Bridge, an organization providing microcredit to indigenous women in rural Guatemala, which are sold by the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and other venues.
Solo gallery and museum exhibitions:
2016: Base Camp, Sister Bay, WI: ITALY, JOURNEYS AND INSPIRATIONS
2015: Collected Works, Santa Fe, NM: UZBEKISTAN, PAINTINGS FROM THE SILK ROAD
2014: Base Camp, Sister Bay, WI: UZBEKISTAN, PAINTINGS FROM THE SILK ROAD
2012: Base Camp, Sister Bay, WI: SEASONS OF SNOW
2008: Salon 322 Delgado, Santa Fe, NM
2007,2006: SanTaos Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2006: Santa Fe Woman's Club,Santa Fe, NM
2004,2002,2000,1998,1996: Laurel Seth Gallery, Santa Fe,NM
2004: The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI
2003,1998: The Linden Gallery, Ellison Bay, WI
1999: Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, WI: A PAINTER'S JOURNEY, 43 paintings
1995,1994,1993: New Masters Fine Art, Taos, NM
2005: American Friends Service Committee, Pasadena, CA
2002,2001,2000: The Linden Gallery, Ellison Bay, WI
1999: St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM
1992: Twin Cranes Gallery, Seattle, WA
National and international juried exhibitions (partial list):
2017: Artists for Conservation Exhibition, LanWan Art Gallery, LanWan Park, Qingdao, China, July 1-Sept.30.
2017: "Less is More", Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. Forest & Ocean Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA.
2017:"The Garden" Invitational, Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI
2017/15/14: Plein Air Southwest Salon, Southwest Gallery, Dallas, TX
2017/15/13/11/09: "Wildlife Biennial" Invitationals, Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI
2016: Faculty Invitational Biennial, Naples Art Assn., Von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL
2016:California Art Club Juried Members Show "Golden State Sunshine" Altadena Town & Country Club
2015:Artists for Conservation Juried Annual Virtual Show
2015: Pastel Soc. of the West Coast "Pastels USA", Haggin Museum, CA
2015: Old West Museum, Cheyenne, WY
2014: Debra Huse Gallery, CA, "Holiday Treasures"
2014: Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI, "Artists on the Road" Invitational
2012: Mountain Oyster Club, Tucson, AZ
2012: Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI, "This Land Is Your Land" Invitational
2011: Bosque Art Classic Clifton, TX
2008: New Concept Gallery Invitational, Santa Fe, NM
2008: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ (Tucson Plein Air Painters Society)
2006,2004,2003: Laguna Plein Air Painters Society, Laguna Beach, CA
2005: Santa Fe Botanical Gardens Invitational Benefit, Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2003: "Barns & Farms", Barnsite Gallery, Kewaunee, WI
1996: Pastel Society of America, Jo Anne Chappel Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1992/1994: Pastel Society of America Annual National Exhibitions, New York, NY
Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, WI
Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI
The Nature Conservancy, Santa Fe, NM
The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI
Kentucky Highlands Museum, Ashland, KY
Many private collections in Europe, Japan, Canada and throughout the United States.
'Artists For Conservation 2015, Int'l Exhibit of Nature in Art'
'Celebrating Door County's Wild Places'
'Visions of Santa Fe: Photographers See The City Different'
2011: Tucson Plein Air Painters Society, 3rd Place, Annual Members Show
2010: Artists for Conservation August Conservation Artist Award
2005: Rahr-West Art Museum Exhibition, Manitowoc, WI, Artists Choice Award
2005: Karin Newby Gallery, Tubac, AZ, TPAPS juried Plein Air Exhibition, Best of Show
2003: Barnsite Art Gallery "Barns & Farms", Honorable Mention from Ramon Kelley
1987: Kentucky Highlands Museum, Ashland, KY, Honorable Mention & Purchase Award
Prior: Cheyenne, WY Audubon Society, 2nd Place; Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO, Best of Show; Laramie, WY, National Miniature Show, 2nd Place & Honorable Mention.
Faculty: (Annual workshops in pastel and acrylic)
The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI (16 years)
The Naples Art Assn., Naples, FL (4 years)
Also private workshops
If you wish to make a purchase, please contact one of the galleries in "Galleries" listing on sidebar, or contact Sandra directly for gallery referral. Gallery representation, see "Galleries" on sidebar for details:
The Gallery Collection at La Posada, Santa Fe, NM
Hand Artes Gallery, Truchas, NM
The Paint Box Gallery, Ephraim, WI
Clay Bay Pottery and Gallery, Ellison Bay, WI
Support for Conservation:
For over 25 years, I have used my artwork to benefit various organizations. Some examples include:
The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico: donated artwork for newsletters; conducted plein air painting workshops for members for 8 years; donated a portion of proceeds from painting sales at solo gallery and museum shows in NM and WI, including a solo gallery exhibition in Santa Fe, NM, in 2007.
Wild Earth Guardians, Santa Fe, NM: donated a portion of proceeds from painting sales at a solo gallery exhibition in Santa Fe, NM, in 2007; donated art lessons at several annual fundraiser silent auctions; donated an afternoon paintout package at 2009 annual fundraiser.
Door County (WI) Land Trust: donated an afternoon paintout package for 16 people at 2008 annual fundraiser live auction; cover art for magazine; and donation of paintings for raffles-2010 & 2015.
- 2010 - Conservation Artist Award
Monthly Award in memory of Simon Combes, from Artists for Conservation; received in August, 2010
- 2010 - Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI, painting purchase
"Arizona Poppies" 9"x11" pastel, purchased by the Museum for their permanent collection, November, 2010.
- 2005 - Rahr-West Art Museum Group Exhibition, Manitowoc, WI
Artists Choice Award
- 2005 - Tucson Plein Air Painters Society Juried Members Show, Karin Newby Gallery, Tubac, AZ
Best of Show
- 1999 - Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, WI
Solo Exhibition of 43 paintings
- 'Visions of Santa Fe, Photographers See The City Different' (2005)
p.79 "Big Tesuque Basin" photograph - 100 juried photographs by 75 photographers, depicting and celebrating the diversity of Santa Fe and its lifestyle and culture.
Author: Baron Wolman
Published by: Squarebooks
- 'Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine' (2002)
More about 'Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine'
Cover image - "Golden Buddhas", a pastel inspired by an encounter with golden Buddhas in a Bangkok temple. The magazine is a peer-reviewed journal for the health and medical community.
Author: Larry Dossey, MD, Executive Editor
Published by: Innovision Communications, LLC
- 'Celebrating Door County's Wild Places' (2001)
"Pink Morning" pastel depicting the Lake Michigan shoreline. - The book contains 94 paintings by 70 juried and invited artists, expressing the beauty of the wild places of Door County, Wisconsin.
Author: Frances M. Burton/Aurelia M. Stampp Editors/Paul Regnier Notes
Published by: Prairie Oak Press