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Sandra Vista - LA Based Fine Artist


For more than 45 years, since I started my art degree at the University of Arizona, I have considered myself a painter.  My MFA at California State University, Long Beach (1982), was in “painting”.   However, for the past twenty plus years I have been working on more labor-intensive mixed- media works.  Since I was a kid, I was an undeclared Dadaist, becoming a devotee of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray which began in my early college years. Having limited access to art materials in my childhood, I used everyday objects and homemade art materials for my artwork.  I remember making my first collage at fourteen before I was introduced to the word “collage”.  My two-dimensional design instructor, at the University of Arizona (1974), commented that I had a natural inclination for collage and assemblage after I created a construction from pieces of distressed wood and rusty metal for his final project of “make something with orange”.

Mark Rothko was my first painting inspiration.  I was in middle school when my English teacher Mrs. Edith Morgan, took my 7th grade class to the University of Arizona Art Museum.  I had never been to an art museum before this field trip.  Seeing a Rothko painting of sea foam greens was a true epiphany and life changer.  That was the first time I remember wanting to become an artist and a painter.  My paintings still begin with a horizon line reminiscent of Rothko’s color field paintings.  In addition, my previous painting and drawing instructors, along with their techniques, are present with me every time I begin a new drawing or painting.  There is the dry brush technique, the dirty brush technique, masking tape for stripes, complementary colors, dissonance, patterns and more patterns, and formal issues.  I could be swaddled in the elements and principles of design.

I have been linked with the Pattern and Decoration Movement from the late 1970’s and 1980’s.  Also, Influenced by the Memphis Design Group of the same time.  Some of my painting instructors from San Diego State (BA Art 1978) were painting with bold colors and patterns related to these movements. When I began my graduate program at California State University, Long Beach (1979-82), my paintings were more gestural brush strokes with a grid as a framework.  As I started to develop my painting style, I began to emulate the inclusion of stripes as created by my instructor Pat Cauley.  He used a striping tool to create stripes on a canvas. I use the traditional masking tape for my stripes. My paintings also included  pattern designs derived from Japanese emblem motifs, Indian tapestries, and Native American weaving and pottery designs.  Also, I was influenced by local pattern painters such as Miriam Schapiro, Cynthia Watson, and Kim McConnell.  Stuart Davis, Jasper Johns and Frank Stella were also influential in their use of patterns, especially Frank Stella and his Exotic Bird Series.

My mixed-media work provides a mediative relief and a relationship with the feeling of home, the beauty of the “prosaic” and domestic arts.  Stringing multi-colored beads together to apply to dried gourds help to put me in a “creative zone” that is a welcome element during making art.  Art can be hard work, there is a form of relief in stringing and pinning beads to surfaces with paint and acrylic gel medium.  The strings of beads are considered three dimensional patterns of color in space.  The beaded gourds are still a form of painting to me.  
The zipper tab series also provides mediative relief and the labor intensive quality of the work creates work that has a definite beginning and end related to the size of the panel format.  The zipper tabs fit into my Dadaist influence of using everyday objects as art forms.  Also, the materials have biographical symbolism in relationship to my father’s livelihood of a fabric and notions buyer and my maternal grandfather’s profession as a tailor.  My use of the zipper tabs is a new interpretation of some of my family’s professions.

Ultimately, I need to include Christo as one of my ongoing influences. While I was at San Diego State (1976-1979) I was introduced to Christo at an exhibit he had at the La Jolla Contemporary Art Museum.  He spoke at the museum and presented a documentary of “The Running Fence”, as well as his wrapped object pieces.  Like Rothko, Christo helped to define the way I create art.  His abstraction of everyday objects, by wrapping them in fabric and tying them with rope made a significant impression on me.  As I continue to wrap everyday objects with strings of beads and to dip objects in paint and gel medium, I think of Christo and his definition of abstraction.  



1982 MFA (Painting) California State University, Long Beach
1979 California Single Subject Teaching Credential (Art) (SDSU)
1978 BA (Art) San Diego State, San Diego, CA


2010 FOUND-Santa Monica Art Studios-Arena I
(6 LA Based Mixed-Media Artists)
2005 Chocolate Rococo –I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles
(5 LA Based Artists-Labor Intensive Works)


2023  Walking Echoes, Ave 50 Studio, Los Angeles, CA
2019  VEINTE, Ave 50 Studio, Los Ángeles, CA
2013   Meow Buddha, Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles College
2002  Minty Sculptures, Coagula Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2001  100 Paintings, Coagula Projects, Los Angeles, CA
1986 Tropical Pyramids, Jama, Venice, CA
1983  The First One is For The Cat , Pt. Loma College, San Diego, CA
1982  Tropical Heat Waif, Gallery C, Cal State University, Long Beach

2023 Huntington Beach Art Center-Reclaimed Art, Huntington Beach, CA
2020 Upright Revolution- Muckenthaler Art Center, Fullerton, CA

2019 Southern Geometries/5th  SUR: Biennial Cerritos College Art Gallery, Norwalk, CA
2019   Woven Stories, MOAH Lancaster, CA
2019   Evolutionary DNA, Solship Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2018   She Loves- curated by Adrineh Bagh, Coagula Curatorial, Los Angeles, CA
2018   Perfect Imperfect-curated by Jennifer Faist Hill, TAJ Art Studio Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2018   Per Proscenia –curated by Jeanne Dreskin, JOAN Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2017   Full Assembly Required, California Fine Arts, Santa Ana, CA
2017 Modern Art Blitz-The LA Invasion, California Fine Arts, Santa Ana, CA
2017 Coagula LA Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
2016 Dog and Cat Show, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
2016   Women Spirituality, Self Help Graphics, Los Angeles, CA
2016    Annual Mask Exhibit, Beyond Baroque Gallery, Venice, CA
2016    Summer Exhibit Art Share La, Los Angeles, CA
2016    DADA Show, Fauvism Group, MuzeuMM, Los Angeles, CA
2015   Bunnymania, Chung King Studios, Los Angeles, CA
2015   Bunnymania, Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013   Running Amok, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009   Women of Juarez, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL
2009    Deadly Stylish, Self Help Graphics, Diane Gamboa, Los Angeles, CA
2009    Insight/Inside LA, Mt. Saint Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA
2006   Women’s Intl. Art Exhibit, Latino Art Museum, Pomona, CA
2005    Chocolate Rococo, I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2003     East LA College Faculty Art Exhibit, Vincent Price Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002    Complexity of Simplicity, OIA, New York, NY
2002    This Ain’t No…, Coagula Projects Gallery, Los Angeles
2001    Eight Intl. Artists II, Vizivarosi Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
2001    OK to Touch, Angeles Gate, Los Angeles, CA
2000   Red Colors and Emotions, Gallery 214, Montclair, NJ
2000    Y2K-atotic, The Art Club, New York, NY
1999    Four Artists, Harrisburg Art Assoc., Harrisburg, PA
1999    Circular Logic, I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1998    10 Artists-Critic’s Choice, OIA, New York, NY
1998   Salon Exhibition Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA
1998   Eight Intl Artists-Galleria East, Baltonfured, Hungary
1997 Mass Mediums, OIA, New York
1996 (1996) Open Gallery 825, LA Art Assoc., Los Angeles, CA
1996 3rd Intl. Female Artists, Art Addiction, Stockholm Sweden
1984 Metro Rail, 45 Artists, Los Angeles, CA
1979 CSULB Juried Exhibition, Gallery C, CSULB, Long Beach, CA
1979 Costa Mesa Art League, Costa Mesa, CA
1978 San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
Coagula Curatorial-Echoes of Greatness-Jan. 7, 2024- Mat Gleason
Voyage LA -Meet Sandra Vista of Sandra Vista Fine Arts in DTLA/March 2019
Diversions LA, Per Proscenia: An Elegant Exhibition JOAN Los Angeles June 23, 2018, Genie Davis
Per Proscenia, JOAN Los Angeles, USA, Frieze Magazine, September 2018, Jonathon Griffin
OC Weekly “Modern Art Blitz-The Invasion Exhibition is All Over the Map” 2017
By Dave Barton
Art and Cake LA, “Celebrating DADA through Fauvism” Dada Centennial Part 2
MuzeuMM 2016 by Genie Davis
Art Slant LA: “Interview with Sandra Vista” 2013 by Mary Anna Pomonis
Art Week LA: “Sandra Vista- Meow Buddha Vincent Price Art Museum” 2013 by William Bush
Art Week: “Shapeshifters” Spanish Kitchen 1996 by Jeanne Willette

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