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Photo Credit: Rob Morgan @therobmorgan

Amy Sands (MFA, Pratt Institute) is a Minneapolis-based artist who creates one-of-a-kind works on paper at the intersection of traditional and digital methods of printmaking. She has exhibited in solo and group shows across the world including Prints Tokyo 2012, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; the International Printmaking Biennial of Douro, Portugal; and the International Biennial Print Exhibit: 2020 R.O.C. at The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.  Her work has been internationally recognized with numerous awards including First Prize ~ Mini Print III International Cantabria/Impact 10 in Santander, Spain; Juror’s Choice Award ~ Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition 2017, Tokushima, Japan.


Sands has been designated as a 2022 McKnight Printmaking Fellow at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. She is also a recipient of a 2022 Creative Support for Individuals MN State Arts Board grant, a 2020 MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a 2019 Springboard for the Arts Art in the Public Realm grant, and a 2018 Springboard for the Arts Bottineau Boulevard grant.  Her work is represented at Muriel Guépin Gallery in New York City, and Base Gallery, in Tokyo, Japan. She maintains a studio in the Twin Cities area and is an Associate Professor of Studio Arts and Department Chair, Fine Arts at Metropolitan State University, St Paul, MN. 


Sands’ work can be seen in three 2023 solo exhibitions at Highpoint Center For Printmaking in Minneapolis, MN (January-February), the Nordic Center in Duluth, MN (January-February), and the Osterøy Museum in Lonevåg, Norway (May-August). Her work belongs in the permanent collections of the Faro Cabo Mayor Art Center (Santander, Spain); Biblioteca (Douro, Portugal); New York Public Library (NY, NY); Montefiore Hospital (NY, NY); Pratt Institute (NY, NY); Metropolitan State University (St Paul, MN), Georgetown College (Georgetown, KY); Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, IA), Central Lakes College (Brainerd, MN) as well as many private parties. 

Artist Statement: I have two main veins in my work currently:

I am interested in exploring biodiversity within the scope of climate change and the impact (large or small) on the natural world. Using light and shadow as a metaphor of life, this series is about the careful balance of an ecosystem for all things existing within it. I use photography and printmaking techniques to explore shadows of natural forms diffused through fabric and printed on translucent kozo papers. Nature is reduced to simple shapes and colors revealing only the silhouette of the plant or tree. Differences between species are camouflaged, leaving one to admire the beauty and simplicity of the shadows, finding commonalities between forms.


For many years I have also been exploring the concept of women’s work in my art. Imagery sourced from lace and craft doilies emerges from my paper abstractions, giving homage to the history of women’s work and raising the question of what is valued in our culture. Patriarchal systems have inhibited female artists from being recognized for their work throughout history. “Craft” is often illegitimately considered low-brow when compared to “fine art,” and I aim to conflate these notions by bringing the patterns of craft into prints. 


In addition to merging the ideas of “craft” and “fine art,” my work pushes the boundaries of what has been historically defined as a print. Post-digital printmaking processes such as laser cutters and CNC routers have entered my practice and have allowed me to expand on ways of thinking about the print. The balance of the delicate and the mechanical adds an additional element to the concept of gender roles referenced in the handwork. Exploring extreme scale (both life-size and miniature) has become an important way for me to broaden the range of possibilities with printmaking.

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