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Sandy Brooks

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for October, 2020

Sandy Brooks is passionate about art and nature conservation. As the creator and primary force behind the Academy of Nature and Wildlife Arts she is forging important relationships in the related communities and bringing those to the public. The Academy, through the combination of arts and sciences, fosters the complex multilevel appreciation, and ultimately conservation, of nature and wildlife. The Academy reintroduces traditional science to traditional arts to restore the multilevel appreciation and understanding of the complex system of nature consistent with the approaches used by artists and scientists in the past. They provide opportunities to explore nature and wildlife through the lens of both science and the arts, increasing the complexity of understanding of chosen topics with focus on Midwest ecological systems.

In addition to the educational aspects of the Academy and the Paint St Louis/Explore the Arts Festival, Sandy and her artwork have supported: World Bird Sanctuary, Audubon Center at the Riverlands, Endangered Wolf Center, Missouri Wild Horse League, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Master Naturalists, and the
Missouri Master Gardeners as well as others.

To be specific the Academy provides:
1. individual class instruction in drawing, painting, photography among other arts focused upon observation, artistic expression, and scientific understanding,
2. classroom resource programs K-12 combining arts and sciences in practical relatable ways consistent with state and federal educational criteria,
3. Workshops bringing in national artists such as Ann Kullberg's Portraits in Colored Pencils and Julie Howard's innovative pastel techniques
4. Service programs combining arts and sciences such as the Hidden Gems natural history calendar and photographic Scavenger Hunt with exhibit in association with the St Louis County Parks or free classes in photography or drawing in association with Missouri Department of Conservation,
5. Annual Paint St Louis Invitational Plein Air Festival with co-sponsors St Louis County Parks, Missouri Botanical Garden, Dick Blick, HECTV, OA Gallery among others. Most of the venues available to the artists focus on the parks including a sunrise paint out at the Botanical Garden, painting on a working farm at Suson Park, Sunrise at the historic Bissell House, exploring the Confluence and a sunset quick paint over the river bluffs at Belle Fontain Park. Public is welcome to attend and master gardeners or naturalists are available to relate nature and art. Also included is an "Explore the Arts" family event where area artists provide the opportunity for children and families to explore how different arts relate to nature.

"My goal is to be incredibly realistic in my portrayal of each subject to truly express the joy I felt in his or her presence. I want my audience to see the untainted elation in the eyes of a child and the almost human-like wonder in those of wildlife. To experience the autonomy and excitement that only come when one is not pushed back by judgment, and then to incorporate those feelings into their own lives, finding freedom in a world that too often values conformity over independence. Life doesn't give us much time to sit back and bask in the quiet simplicity and incredible hope that exists below the surface. But when we take a moment to slow down to be inspired by the uncorrupt, the end result is exceedingly powerful."

Most recently Sandy has been the driving force to cause the St Louis Arts Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the St Louis Zoo and other local organizations in bringing the AFC Silent Skies Mural to St Louis. Originally planned for May and June 2020, the mural is a 670+ art piece of 8x8 squares of paintings of all of the endangered birds in the world by 150+ signature members of the Artists for Conservation. It was to be a centerpiece of a city-wide Earth Day event but was delayed due to the pandemic. Once restarted, The St Louis Zoo is going to bring the mural to St Louis and involved will be many St Louis organizations including the St Louis Audubon Society, and the the Great Rivers Greenway.

More on Sandy Brooks see  https://gallery.artistsforconservation.org/artists/5066

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(September, 2020)
(August, 2020)
(July, 2020)
(June, 2020)
(May, 2020)
(April, 2020)
(March, 2020)
(February, 2020)
(January, 2020)
(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
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