Sandra Place has donated artwork and percentages of sales proceeds to benefit non-profit organizations for over 25 years. 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. Sandra has been a Signature member and supporter of AFC since 2009.
"I have been for many years, and am increasingly so every day, very concerned about climate change. I am alarmed and saddened by the effects of careless human activity on the environment and people of our beautiful planet. I hope through my paintings of our world and its inhabitants to bring more of an awareness to viewers of the wondrous beauty that is constantly diminishing; of the urgent need to use and consume less, to lessen our personal contributions to the pollution of the environment; to realize the seriousness of our situation and to take whatever personal action is possible to prevent further destruction of our amazing and wonderful planet. "
"I have donated artwork and percentages of sales to benefit non-profit environmental and humanitarian organizations for over 25 years. Current and recent recipients include The Door County (WI) Land Trust, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Friendship Bridge; I have ongoing periodic support projects with each of these organizations. Some of my donation recipients are not nature organizations; however, I feel that everything on our planet is connected, and by supporting humanitarian organizations, which help people to survive terrible situations and improve their lives, this will also ultimately benefit the planet and its wildlife. Other organizations with which I work periodically include Wild Earth Guardians and the American Friends Service Committee. I held a benefit exhibition at the AFSC headquarters in Pasadena, CA; additional solo art shows benefitting Wild Earth Guardians, The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, Friendship Bridge, and Medecins Sans Frontieres in Santa Fe, NM and in Door County, WI; I organized a 4-person exhibition in Santa Fe, NM, with 50% of artists' sales proceeds donated to Friendship Bridge, and I produced a line of greeting cards from some of my Guatemala paintings, sold by the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe and elsewhere, to benefit Friendship Bridge, an organization providing microcredit to indigenous women in rural Guatemala so they can improve their small businesses, send their children to school, and learn about family health care. By improving their lives in this way, they are able to live more successfully and to reduce the harmful impacts on their health and that of their environment so often brought about by extreme poverty."
Sandra 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.
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.
Her paintings are in many national and international collections and are featured in several juried art and photography books. She teaches workshops in pastels and acrylics and is on the faculty of The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin and the Naples Art Association in Naples, Florida; she also teaches privately. "I swore in my earlier years that I would never teach as I have inherent stage fright; but I have been teaching now for 25 years and absolutely love it. I gain great satisfaction from giving back and sharing my knowledge, in the hopes of encouraging others to pursue their real or perhaps as yet undiscovered passion for painting."