A Tribute to Sandy Chism

an exhibition of work by her friends, colleagues, and students

Jennifer Drinkwater, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Hu Ta Nay, 2013 [Jennifer Drinkwater]

Sandy was my first professor at Tulane in the fall of 1997. There are no words to describe how she continues to impact my approach to art-making and my view of the world. Her kindness and her laugh were infectious, and her encouragement gave me the courage to pursue painting professionally. I am so grateful to have had her as a mentor.

Teresa Cole, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Perfect, 2013 [Teresa Cole]

Influence comes in many forms and when much time is spent with someone their effect is often imperceptible until that presence is no longer here. Nothing provokes meditation like absence.

Bx Durham, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

The Plague is Coming, 2007 [Bx Durham]

Sandy once said, during a lecture in her figure drawing course my senior year of undergraduate school, that there was a certain way a student would look at you while you were teaching – their head would tilt, eyes light up – and you knew they “got it.” That was special to her, and much later when I would teach a figure drawing class of my own, it became special to me. Sandy gave me the foundation upon which I’ve based my years as an artist and an educator.rance often, carrying her influence into our lives with her playful spirit.

David Gillies, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

"...made of man", 2010-2013 [David Gillies]

A little road not made of man
A little road not made of man,
Enabled of the eye,
Accessible to thill of bee,
Or cart of butterfly.
If town it have, beyond itself,
'T is that I cannot say;
I only sigh,--no vehicle
Bears me along that way.
-Emily Dickinson

Liese Dart, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Shift, 2002 [Liese Dart]

My freshman year at Tulane, my first semester I had Sandy Chism for drawing. Seven classes, an art degree and more than a decade later we remained friends through writing, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and visits in New Orleans as she rebuilt her house and made new work. In my early 20s her influence served me tremendously personally and professionally. What was inspiring about Sandy was not just her work- the frenzy and stillness of those big landscapes- but how she made you feel included from the start even as a young student. We are all so lucky to have had her character and support, and I am so thankful to have had Sandy in my life at Tulane and long after. She had a way of welcoming me whenever and wherever I was. I count Sandy among my favorite women I have ever known, and I wish she could know how much she will continue to influence me long into the future.

Eden Gass, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Dear Sandy (F. U. CANCER), 2014 [Eden Gass]

Sandy was my painting professor at Tulane. It was 1996/97, my senior year, and her first year teaching there. Way back when it was still Newcomb College. Under Sandy’s direction and with her encouragement, I made paintings that were candid, raw, humorous, and provocative commentaries on my personal experiences working in Bourbon Street strip clubs to pay for college. In the seventeen years since then, my work has continued to be of this nature. What I took away from that year as her student has consistently enabled me to make meaningful work about my life experiences, from surviving Hurricane Katrina, to facing my recent breast cancer diagnosis. Thank you Sandy.

Rachael Granberry, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Needle work studies: colonial knots and running stitches, 2013 [Rachael Granberry]

Sandy was my advisor and part of my BFA committee at Tulane University in 2009 and 2010. She taught me the importance of contemplation, preliminary research and small studies. I tend to move hastily, only visualizing the end result. Sandy showed me how to love the process.

Brian Christopher Glaser, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Dessange, 2011 [Brian Christopher Glaser]

Sandy was my first art teacher. During my time as a BFA student, Sandy fostered in me a creative spirit that I didn’t see and in time, helped me to develop a critical eye. Through her I learned to demand the best from myself, how to treat every situation as an opportunity to learn—looking forward to failures and adversity, for they were the ripest places for growth.

Margot Goodan, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Professor Longhair, 2013 [Margot Goodan]

Sandy was my first painting teacher at Tulane. I was no academic and the first A she gave me changed my life. I immediately embarked on a BFA in painting and she encouraged my fascination with pop culture imagery, music, and portraits. I have been painting ever since.

Karen Abboud, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Ride, 2007 [Karen Abboud]

Sandy freed me to use alternative materials, first introducing me to construction and assemblage. She was a major influence in my artistic development. I am grateful for being in her class in the Spring of 1997.

A Tribute to Sandy Chism Install 2
Lisa Bulawsky, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Ad Astra Per Aspera (RIP Sandy Chism), 2013 [Lisa Bulawsky]

I met Sandy in Lawrence, Kansas in 1995, the year I graduated with my MFA from KU. Sandy was just out of grad school, too, back from Arizona, teaching painting at the University of Kansas. We became friends, and later that year traveled together to Boston to interview for teaching positions at the CAA conference. We crashed in a crummy hotel room with our friend Jean Fujita and had a fantastic time. That’s the year she landed the job at Tulane. She moved to New Orleans, I moved to St. Louis (to teach at Washington University) and we stayed in touch off and on. Our friendship was sporadic, but because of her integrity, humor, and wisdom, I always counted Sandy as one of the people I was most fortunate to know in this life.

James Taylor Bonds, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Pontchartrain Oracle, 2010 [James Taylor Bonds]

Sandy always encouraged me to closely examine the mundane in life, the things we take for granted, and seek out that point where it can casually ebb into something mysterious. Most of our discussions and critiques revolved around story telling. We talked of the strangeness of nature, the beauty of subtle architecture, tragic history and the silence in the air moments before a tornado arrives. I cherish those days, those discussions, and the expeditions they took my imagination on shortly thereafter.

Raine Bedsole, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Remembering Sandy, 2013

[Raine Bedsole]

Simonette Berry, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Roots and Wings, 2014 [Simonette Berry]

Sandy was my painting teacher and mentor senior year of undergrad. So much of what she taught our tightly-knit class about painting and about life has become a big part of who I am and what kind of art I make today. In her work as in her life, Sandy fostered interconnectedness of unusual images, concepts, and people; and she perceived things far beyond the surface, into the deeper, unexplored areas of the world around her as well as in the human spirit.

I created this piece to symbolize the lives of the artists she touched, coming together in memory of her. Depicted is a natural phenomenon: when a crow dies, the whole flock of crows gather together in a nearby tree and all at once, they go quiet. They have long moment of silence, then they gradually fly away. This happens sometimes repeatedly, for days, and sometimes only once. For Sandy, I imagine we will have these quiet moments of remembrance often, carrying her influence into our lives with her playful spirit.

Rhys Cook, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Box for Sandy, Number 8, 2013 [Rhys Cook]

Sandy Chism was my undergraduate painting instructor at Tulane from 1998 to 2002. She was perhaps the most influential professor I ever had the pleasure of studying under. She gave freely of her time and thoughts, which shaped me tremendously as an artist and a person. I hear her voice challenging and encouraging me every day.

Ellen Bull, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Bear, 2014 [Ellen Bull]

I took a handful of courses with Sandy while earning my BA in Studio Art at Tulane. Though my concentration eventually gravitated toward printmaking, I felt that some of my strongest foundations were forged with Sandy. I recall, in particular, taking Life Drawing with her in the Spring of 2006. In the midst of that course, and quite frankly without my knowing it, Sandy had completely broken down my near-sighted drawing habits and built them back up into full-body, fluid gestures stemmed from thoughtful observation. She taught us to overcome the untouchable mystique of our materials and she let us get dirty. I think that is what I liked most of all.

Joseph Burwell, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Humanist Autumn Assembly, 2013 [Joseph Burwell]

I met Sandy in 1997 as an incoming Sculpture Graduate student at Tulane. She was so great to talk to about art or anything else and so I asked her to be on my review committee. She was my teacher and my friend.

Zarouhie Abdalian, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Every Instance (G), 2014 [Zarouhie Abdalian]

Sandy was my life drawing teacher, undergrad thesis adviser, graduate school recommendation letter writer, and friend. We drank tequila and black coffee after Katrina, and she told me about rolling the I Ching and planting sunflowers in Gentilly. Sandy's generosity and thoughtfulness in her work and life compels me and is as unforgettable as the twinkle in her eye and the way she would pause and slightly tilt her head before giving a critique that somehow was never just about art.

Bonita Day, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Cultural Matrix, 2013 [Bonita Day]

I was very fortunate to have Sandy as an advisor on my MFA committee at Tulane University 1998-99. We had many wonderful and helpful conversations about art, color, form, and quantum theory that helped shape and inspire my work.

Aaron Collier, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

River Baptism, No. 1, 2004 [Aaron Collier]

Sandy was one of my instructors during graduate school at Tulane, from 2003 until 2005. During this time, I was given the freedom to become enthralled with the formal and communicative possibilities of the painting medium. I began teaching as a Professor of Practice at Tulane starting in 2006, counting Sandy as an accomplished, generous mentor and close friend.

A Tribute to Sandy Chism Install 3
Ronna S. Harris, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

June 19, 1991, San Diego, California, 1991 [Ronna S. Harris]

Jeremy Jernegan, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Final E (detail from ERODE), 2010 [Jeremy Jernegan]

Brian Hitselberger, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Chemin, 2013 [Brian Hitselberger]

Sandy was my professor during my time as a BFA student here at Tulane. Although I worked with her daily for almost 4 years, I first met her when I was lucky enough to enroll in her Abstract Painting class in the Fall of 2002 - a class that completely changed my perceptions of what painting can and should do, and opened a door for me to do it.

I can't overstate her influence on my development as an artist - it seems like everything began with her.

Yasamin Keshtakar, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Window, 2013 [Yasamin Keshtakar]

I was lucky enough to have Sandy as a professor during my time at Tulane. Her talent, grace, altruism, and love for her community have affected me ever since.

Emily Huffman, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Sandy’s City, 2014 [Emily Huffman]

I was a BFA student at Tulane 2001-2005. My freshman spring semester I took her anatomy drawing class, and studied the bones and contours of the human organism I now intimately work with as a holistic bodywork therapist in San Francisco. Part of my inspiration to change my major from sculpture to painting was just so I could be in more of the classes taught by my bright, mysterious, wisdom- and humor-slinging art teacher and friend.

Josh Knott, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Icon, 2013 [Josh Knott]

Karyn Kirke, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

43 Throwback, 2013 [Karyn Kirke]

I was a (slightly) older undergraduate student in my second year at Tulane when Sandy first joined the painting faculty. I thought she was amazing- she had a real gift of bringing out the best in her students, in both hands-on painting/drawing skills and intellectually. I am truly honored to have been her student, and although I went on to grad school after Tulane, I would call Sandy the most influential art teacher I have had.

Jennifer Ickes, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Strong Bones, 2008 [Jennifer Ickes]

I chose this painting for Sandy from a series based on my Hurricane Katrina experience. My neighborhood trees were left standing still, stunted by the poisoned waters. I stared at them every day for months before they disappeared forever from my landscape. In my memory, they live on; symbols of struggle, survival, strength and beauty.

I met Sandy Chism as a graduate student and participated in the interview process for the Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing candidacy. I enjoyed and admired her quiet, yet intense passion for painting. She inspired me to trust in the flow of the medium and embrace the physical quality of paint. Her hunger to dig deeper into the illusion of painting, her intelligence and her gift for teaching will be remembered.

Molly Knobloch, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Look Me in the Eyes, 2013 [Molly Knobloch]

My junior year of undergrad at Tulane I had the pleasure of being Sandy’s student in what would be her last course to teach. Sandy had a vibrancy and energy that I could not believe, especially considering her declining health at the time. While she was loyal to a strict study of anatomy as well as treatment of line and tone, she was spontaneous and imaginative with her lesson plans. For a month she led the class in yoga before we could pick up our charcoal for the day. Many times she stopped the class and made everyone erase or scribble over their drawings. She taught me to be intuitive and daring, yet precise and detail-oriented when making decisions about my art. In the few unforgettable moments I spent with Sandy outside of the classroom, she showed me her lighthearted yet rational perspective on life in the face of death. I only knew Sandy for a few months but her voice continues to find me in my studio and elsewhere in my life and I hope I will never forget it.

Maureen Iverson, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

The here in Where, 2013 [Maureen Iverson]

I took just one class with Sandy, her Life Drawing course in the spring of 2006. In 2008, I started but didn’t finish an honors thesis in printmaking. Sandy was the first reader and my advisor on it.

A Tribute to Sandy Chism Install 4
Ins A. Kromminga, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Ahen/Ancestors, 2016 [Ins A. Kromminga]

When I chose my title for my performance piece during a performance week in the art department, Sandy told me it was exactly the same title for her five-year-plan on developing her paintings: Taming The Monster. My focus was on how our society was taming the monstrous body through medicalisation and social norms, taming diversity and difference on an organic, cellular, genetic level ­ taming = erasing difference. Through Sandy I learned how to visualize diversity in shape and functionality through drawing concepts of proximity/density/fragmentary/scale, while combining this with metaphorical and literal content. Sandy enabled me to an artistic direction that I still follow today in my work practise.

Kathleen Loe, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Untitled Black Hawk, 2009 [Kathleen Loe]

Sandy’s work brought her into my life. I was visiting New Orleans looking for artists for my faculty at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. A large painting, lonely and haunting, by Sandy had me track her down and invite her to come to Aspen. The combination of her skill as a painting instructor and her compelling honesty and humor as a person made Sandy an instant hit with the students. When I moved to New Orleans in 2008, she continued to be a warm and intelligent friend. Sandy was a unique combination of the beautiful and fierce – I chose this lacy Black Hawk image to celebrate her power and loveliness.

L.E. Doughtie, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Untitled, 2013 [L.E. Doughtie]

As an undergrad Sandy was my painting advisor. To this day many of Sandy's words and advice still float around in my head when I am making art, maybe louder than ever now that I am back in school. Without her encouragement to never stop drawing I wouldn't be the same person I am today.

Kayleigh Maier, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Untitled [Kayleigh Maier]


Casey Lard, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Jungian Psychology Retreat #4 (stilts), 2013 [Casey Lard]

Casey Lard was a graduate student of Sandy's from 2008 - 2010. Her greatest influence came in the form of countless conversations about imagery and concept. This series of work deals with the psychological significance of imagery, a recurring topic in their conversations. This work is humbly submitted with the deepest respect and appreciation for Sandy's teaching and friendship.

Victoria Le, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Watching, Waiting, 2013 [Victoria Le]

Sandy Chism was my first art advisor at Tulane University here in New Orleans. She was there for me when I wanted to quit the BFA program, but she convinced me to stay. I am forever grateful for her advice, her teachings and her compassion. I am especially thankful that I was around such a strong, yet gentle and kind soul. Her thoughts on the single that make up the many, the ebb and flow of life, and the pixels and patterns of life have influenced my work. Sandy was so caring and her hugs were so strong and meaningful, and I will cherish the laughter and conversations I had with her. She will always be in my heart and mind.

Madeline Marak, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Laws of Drapery, 2014 [Madeline Marak]

I was fortunate enough to have taken figure drawing with Sandy my junior year at Tulane. She focused not only on the anatomy and form of figures, but also the way in which we view nude figures. She really pushed us to consider the different ways female nudes can be interpreted based on their configuration. She encouraged us to trust our own eye and own body when it came to measuring proportions of the figure. Our final for that class was a 30 x 40” nude self-portrait. The assignment was meant to push us out of our comfort zones – forcing us to render our own portraits with an objective eye. My apprehension about drawing myself nude showed in my drawing. My pose was closed off to the viewer and my expression was somewhat timid. On thd day of the final, Sandy’s open-minded nature made me feel more comfortable about presenting my portrait to the class.

The piece in the show is another nude self-portrait. I felt the need to re-visit the assignment. This time, my pose is more relaxed and open to the viewer. My eyes look straight forward. The slight smile on my face suggests a level of comfort I now have with presenting my nude portrait that I did not have before Sandy’s class. The fabric wall hanging references a piece I made while at Tulane, as well as the different techniques Sandy taught on representing Fabric. I will always remember that class because of the skills I learned and the confidence I gained from being Sandy’s student.

Allison Crutcher McAshan, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Old Blue, Knew Me, 2013 [Allison Crutcher McAshan]

. . . I am still holding on to the comfort of this splendid sea vehicle, the object of intent, parked willingly upon the warm gritty sands, ground in my own unbalanced, untenable sense of the world. Sandy Chism's influence, obliterated by illness, came in a magical way of my reaching out in desperation for some kernel of aesthetic advice. Four emails, shot from her cannon of wisdom, flew into my "wave mail," packing a punch of a semester's worth of precious and powerful teaching. Vexing about what to put in the show to honor her, this veteral boat that I love and honor has given me courage to just keep drawing, painting, experimenting, . . . removing, adding, stealing, looking, and looking more.

Nicole Lehrer, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Dad and Marc, 2007 [Nicole Lehrer]

Sandy was my painting professor and mentor of 5 years while earing a BFA at Tulane. Sandy challenged us to search for honesty within our work, destroy and begin again, and to paint what is deeply personal. This painting of my dad and brother was one of the “30 paintings in 30 days” exercises Sandy had us complete in her advanced painting class.

Judith Burns McCrea, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Portrait of Sandy, 1989 [Judith Burns McCrea]

Judy met Sandy in 1987 when Sandy began her Freshman year at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. They formed a bond of friendship that lasted until Sandy left us in January. Judy was an early mentor, and persistent advocate for Sandy throughout her career. While still at Bethany, Sandy suffered a deep personal tragedy and told Judy that she was going to quit school. But Judy persuaded Sandy to continue her studies, and the rest is now history. Incidentally, if Judy had not persuaded Sandy to stay in school at Bethany, Sandy would probably have never met Lane, who fell in love with her a year later and eventually became her husband.

The following eulogy is a wonderfully poetic tribute from a loving friend and fellow artist:

I like to think of Sandy Chism as a slender young woman sitting on the back steps of a white house in Great Bend, Kansas on a melancholy grey afternoon. She picks up a stick to draw lines in the dirt, then tired of that, she finds a piece of string and part of an abandoned nest to wrap and shape into a version of the bird that once lived there. Only then does she feel satisfied, close to the creatures around, kindred lives. In this way, by staying close to nature, Sandy’s life was made whole and the soul of an artist was born.

A Tribute to Sandy Chism Install 5
Amy McKinnon, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Consolidation, 2013 [Amy McKinnon]

Sandy Chism was one of my painting professors and one of my thesis advisers when I attended Tulane as graduate student in pursuit of an MFA. What I remember best about Sandy was her interest in the enigmatic and unexplained aspects of life. Sandy had an ability with her work to inhabit a space that was both substantial and ethereal.

Ali Mills, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Wader No. 1, 2012 [Ali Mills]

Sandy was my first real drawing teacher, here as an undergraduate at Tulane. She taught me to see, and she accepted me. I will be forever grateful to have known her, and to have learned from her.

Lance Morris, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Canine Redux, 2013 [Lance Morris]

In one of my painting classes as an undergraduate at Tulane, Sandy assigned a painting project inspired by Francis Bacon. I struggle to recall the fine details, but I know it involved taking our organic source material and manipulating it in several steps, abstracting the form until it became a visceral mass. I really sank my teeth into that one, and I was extremely proud of the finished piece, primarily because Sandy really liked it. After praising it, she lamented, “It’s too bad it’s two weeks late and an automatic F.” I always looked up to her so greatly, and every semester I would try to take one of her classes, despite being a Printmaking major. She inspired me to experiment and also to dig deep within myself for inspiration.

Lara Mossler, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Sandy with Towel, 2010 [Lara Mossler]

Adam Mysock, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Ponce de Leon Discovering the Fountain of Youth, 2012 [Adam Mysock]

In the beginning, Sandy was my professor. I had her for Life Drawing down the hall in room 214. By the time I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she would be my mentor. She became a long-distance friend while I was in Illinois for graduate school and in Ohio beginning my teaching career. And in 2008, I was fortunate enough to become one of Sandy’s colleagues. Most students only had 4 years to learn from Sandy. I’m indebted because I had 10. This painting is the last painting Sandy saw me working on.

Jamie Oliver, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Crowd (Composition #10), 2012 [Jamie Oliver]

I received my MFA in 1997 during Sandy’s first year at Tulane. Sandy was a constant resource after the completion of my MFA, providing insight on applications and job interviews and into my teaching career.

Matteo Neivert, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

In the Garden, 2014 [Matteo Neivert]

I first met Sandy Chism as my graduate school painting professor and thesis committee advisor. I had a very funky, almost avant-garde background as a painter from New York and also an extremely traditional training of painting oils and fresco in Italy. At the time Sandy first met me in graduate school, I was painting commercial murals all over New Orleans. My work was ruled by selling and making money. I should say as an aside that all of us (graduate students) were afraid of her!! She was very serious and a philosopher and she consistently challenged my skills and philosophies on art and painting. She told me that I was a dilettante, but I really had not lived yet. She pushed me to open my mind to new things and to expression. She wanted me to paint with some grist – with soul and emotion. This was new to me and it changed my life.

After graduating I taught at Tulane University, The San Francisco Art Institute, and Jacksonville University at various levels of professorship. I constantly looked to her as my model of teaching and professionalism. I still feel as if I am carrying on her tradition of pushing the boundaries of my artwork, teaching, and research. I often hear her voice whispering to me, “Why are you doing this? That pink is too loud and is fighting with that green blob! Is that drip and rough brushstroke decorative or real? Can you paint this faster? What if . . .” And I find myself asking “What would Sandy do?” I would also like to note that her love of nature and emotional memory can only be summed up by the odd collections of things in her studio and office: pieces of beehives, roots in jars, dried flowers, seed pods, and odd quirky figurines lived in bookcases and tucked away in corners.

John Oles, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Untitled 1, 2 and 3, 2013 [John Oles]

I first met Sandy Chism in the summer of 2005, just before Hurricane Katrina. I was about to begin my first semester of graduate school at Tulane University and Sandy was scheduled to teach Graduate Seminar that fall. Needless to say, we did not get fully acquainted until the Spring of the following year. During that semester, Sandy challenged us to explore subtext and content in our work, voicing critique in what was often her own poetic, if sometimes cryptic, fashion. We got along quite well, although it is only at times like these that I remember to thank her for insight; something that often never gets said, at the time.

These three pieces represent the reinvestigation of a body of work that I had been making in 2006, in conjunction with the wheel- thrown porcelain vessels that have since comprised the majority of my art for the past 8 years.

I would like to take this opportunity, in the spirit of Sandy Chism, to explore for a moment the road not travelled, and to present what I believe might have been a logical conclusion to that venture…….

Marc-Anthony Polizzi, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Four-Leaf Clover, 2014 [Marc-Anthony Polizzi]

Sandy and I didn’t interact all that often; I stayed in the (glass) hot shop and she stayed upstairs. We had few occasions besides class to run into each other, and fewer reasons for me to remember – though when I think back, it only takes one day to sum up all I know about Sandy.

It was a sad day for me, one in which my mind had gotten away and I couldn’t get it back. I was sitting in the grass outside of Newcomb staring off into the sun when Sandy sat down next to me. She didn’t say anything, just started feeling around in the grass. After 10 minutes she asked if I had ever found a 4-leaf clover, which I hadn’t. A few more minutes go by and Sandy stand up and hands me this slightly deformed 4-leaf clover, and tells me “everything works out.” I carried that clover for nearly 3 years until it became a permanent stain in my sketchbook, and to this day I think about holding that clover in the New Orleans sun, knowing things will always get better.

Gina Phillips, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Peg Leg, 2014 [Gina Phillips]


A Tribute to Sandy Chism Install 6
Laurel Porcari, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Division, from Strata Shift series, 2013 [Laurel Porcari]

Aside from being a major influence on my thesis and most of my work since then, Sandy had a great sense of humor, was really smart about a lot of things in books, had mad numbers of references stored in her head, but she was also really smart about people.

Laura Richens, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Human Hearts, 2013 [Laura Richens]

I first worked with Sandy when I was at the CAC, and I co-curated a mid-career retrospective of her work in 2000. I would go on to be hired at Tulane University in the art department, where I loved talking about ideas with Sandy. I often wished I had been able to be her student, and had learned to see things the way she saw them. Her comments were always so honest and unpredictable.

David Robinson, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

A Poem (for Sandy), 2013 [David Robinson]

Blake Sanders, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Seed Loaf and Sour Dough, 2014 [Blake Sanders]

Sandy taught a memorable professional practices course, as well as two independent studies during my graduate studies at Tulane. Her patience with me, particularly during a laughably difficult semester of painting, was laudable. She was a tough, though understanding ally, and a funny critic.

Hannah March Sanders, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

They Should Serve Fries Here, 2013 [Hannah March Sanders]

Hannah spent her time hopping between printmaking and painting while she worked towards her BFA, class of 2007. She studied Life Drawing under Sandy, and she loved it so much that she took it a second time as an independent study. Hannah continued on to take introductory and advanced level painting courses under Sandy's thoughtful leadership, learning as much from Sandy about the inner workings of the soul as how to make marks upon the canvas with a brush.

Josh Windham, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Ignite, 2012 [Josh Windham]

Sandy Chism was my Life Drawing professor while working on my BA in Painting and Drawing at Tulane University in 2004. Always exuberant with meticulous observation, Sandy instilled in me the confidence to search for truth and authenticity in my own work.

Karoline Schleh, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Weather Conditions: Yellow Dust and Rain, 2013 [Karoline Schleh]

I first met Sandy in 1996, when I worked as an adjunct instructor for Teresa in the printmaking studio. Upon entering her studio, I was struck by how mindful and contemplative her paintings were, and how unassuming she was. Sandy had a wonderful sense of humor, a thoughtful outlook on life, and a great smile. I took to her immediately.

For one of the holiday sales (late 90’s I believe), Sandy was experimenting with some cast plaster of paris monotypes. There was one that struck me and I had to have it. It is a landscape with a large warm yellow pit that glows against a greenish brown field. Although Hurricane Katrina altered the piece some, I still have it and treasure it.

I chose “weather conditions” for this exhibition because the color and atmosphere remind me of this piece, and the reflective nature/mood of Sandy and her work.

Gordon Sherman, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

New Orleans Landlord, 2012 [Gordon Sherman]

I met Sandy in the mid 70’s while in graduate school at Wichita State University, Wichita, KS. She had become involved with my one of my closet friends at that time, Jim Pruner. From there our relationship blossomed into one of mutual respect and admiration. After Jim’s demise we continued our friendship usually at a geographical distance after going our separate ways. We always had an affinity for each other’s work and some times during phone conversations we would discover that we were working in the vein and/or with the same subject matter. Sandy always talked about the rampant corruption in the “rebuilding” of New Orleans which inspired the print submitted. Love you and miss you Sandy!

Alexis Stahl, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Seeking the Sublime (a study for See More, See All), 2013 [Alexis Stahl]

I hear Sandy's voice in my head whenever I am making something and a sense of fear creeps in. As my drawing professor, she pushed me to ride that energy into completion or to begin again with new understanding. I greatly value her insights on vision, perception, and philosophy.

Tom Strider, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Tender Buttons (A Job to Do), 2004 [Tom Strider]

Annie Walker, A Tribute to Sandy Chism

Mysterious Resurrection, 2013 [Annie Walker]

I always dreaded the beginning of Sandy’s advanced painting class. We started every semester with the 20 paintings in 25 days project. It was a lot of work, but taught us to loosen up with painting. Sandy was a tough professor and wasn’t afraid to tell you like it is. Rarely did I ever get an A. I was a BFA photography major, but took as many drawing/painting classes with Sandy as I could. She taught me how to paint and the importance of accomplishment. Today, my life is the 20 or more paintings in 25 days. Sandy is a huge influence on why I am a full time artist, and have been making a living off selling my paintings for four years and counting.

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