A Tribute to Sandy Chism
an exhibition of work by her friends, colleagues, students and mentors
Hu Ta Nay, 2013
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.
The Plague is Coming, 2007
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.
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.
Needle work studies: colonial knots and running stitches, 2013
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.
Professor Longhair, 2013
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.
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.
"...made of man", 2010-2013
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.
Dear Sandy (F. U. CANCER), 2014
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.
[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.