For Sandi Ciaramitaro, being an artist was meant to be. Following the tragic death of a friend, her journey with art began in middle school when she turned to drawing to release stress. Ever since, art has been her life’s passion.
In college Sandi earned a degree in autobody design and spent 15 years designing vehicles. Now that she’s transitioned to fine art, her mediums include oil painting and bronze sculpture. Today, Sandi’s subject matter is like a love letter to the Southwest with her works capturing both the history and energy of the region.
“Art goes with breathing,” Sandi said. “It’s something I need to do. It makes me happy to see people laugh and smile when they walk by the pieces and it brings goodness to their hearts.”
Sandi is equally passionate about educating people through her art, especially when it comes to her Native American works. For her historical pieces, she spends six months to a year on research, during which she collaborates with Native American historians and museum curators to make sure every detail is correct.
“When I visit Northern Arizona, I see there’s still history today and they’re carrying it on,” Sandi said. “I feel that’s important for people to see and know.”
While her pursuit of drawing and painting was very intentional, Sandi’s foray into sculpture was a happy accident. She was volunteering in a veterans art class, assisting a stroke victim on a sculpture, when the teacher suggested she give the assignment a try herself.
“I’d never sculpted before and at the end of the class out came this amazing sculpture of the live model,” Sandi said. “I love it because it’s tactile. I want someone who can’t see to be able to walk up to these sculptures and feel them and know what they are.”
Several of Sandi’s sculptures are on display at the Celebration of Fine Art, where Sandi says her creativity flows. She also relishes spending time connecting with longtime collectors and fellow desert lovers at the 10-week show.
“My collectors teach me and give me ideas,” Sandi said. “It’s a brainstorming process between all of us. They tell me cool places to go or I let them know where I’ve been. We have a great time!”
See more of Sandi’s story below: