Sandra Place

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for August, 2010

For almost 20 years, Sandra has used her artwork to benefit various organizations. Some examples include: -The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico:  she donated artwork for newsletters; conducted plein air painting workshops for members for 8 years; donated a portion of the 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: she 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: she donated an afternoon paintout package for 16 people at 2008 annual fundraiser live auction; cover art for magazine and donation of a painting for raffle-2010.In addition to donating proceeds from art sales to various other organizations, Sandra has held a benefit exhibition for American Friends Service Committee and has 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 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 continues to be alarmed and saddened by the effects of human activity on the environment and people of our amazing planet. Sandra teaches an annual pastel workshop at The Clearing in Ellison Bay, WI (, and privately in Santa Fe, NM. In the past, she taught numerous plein air workshops for the New Mexico Artists Assn. and the Nature Conservancy of New Mexico.


Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(June, 2020)
(May, 2020)
(April, 2020)
(March, 2020)
(February, 2020)
(January, 2020)
(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
(June, 2019)
(May, 2019)
(April, 2019)
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