Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Elizabeth Sandvig is a distinguished artist and longtime contributor over many decades to the civic and cultural life of Washington State. As Peggy Weiss, Art Program Director at Harborview Medical Center, states:

“Elizabeth Sandvig has created an outstanding, curiosity-driven body of work that reflects her sense of adventure…. Now in her seventh decade, her work continues to be fresh, vital and relevant; in my view, Elizabeth Sandvig is today producing the most important work of her long career.

Frequently inspired by dreams and forays of the imagination, and imbued with the celebratory spirit the artist absorbed as a young girl living in Mexico, Elizabeth’s work is bold, sometimes humorous, and often delivered in color that is explosive and joyous…. She has learned to bring her flawless sense of composition together with a kind of surrender, working with purpose while leaving the way clear for the unanticipated spark of imagination, the moment of surprise that moves a painting beyond a well-constructed assembly of marks into the realm of the visceral, for painter and viewer alike.

Beyond her skill and intuitive ability as a practicing artist, Elizabeth continues to contribute meaningfully to the health and vitality of the regional art community, as a teacher, advocate, mentor, model and friend. A pioneer in the advent of public art legislation and a leader on behalf of women, Elizabeth Sandvig is recognized as a central creative figure in Washington State, and an inspiration among working artists at all stages of their careers.”

Sandvig washonored at a reception on September 2007 at the Frye Art Museum. Friends, family, colleagues, fans and well-wishers celebrated the life and work of one of our most beloved Northwest artists.

Artist's Addenda: Elizabeth was featured on Seattle Channel's ArtZone

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

Thank you for the wonderful tribute. I am honored to be the seventh recipient of the Twining Humber Award and to be included in the group of six distinguished Northwest women artists previously selected.

If I’d had a choice, I don’t believe I could have chosen a more satisfactory career. To think that one can spend one’s days moving shapes and colors around, trying this way and that way until they look the best you can make them… and then changing your intentions without having to please anyone else… because you’re searching for something surprising and special. What a wonderful process. It is my way of answering the unspoken questions that abound in everyday life.

I was born in Seattle and raised by an extraordinary mother in Washington D.C. and Mexico City.  By the time I was 14 and went to live in Mexico, I knew I wanted to be an artist and I have spent the last 56 years making the attempt. At first I was just not sure how you did that but now I know that you just keep working at it and occasionally something “visual” happens. This does not mean that everything is inspired or even creative but the possibility that something wonderful might happen is one reason to keep on making the effort.

After receiving a B.A. at Pomona College and an M.A. at Harvard University, I spent three years in Mexico City making and exhibiting my work. In 1963 I returned to Seattle with my husband and infant son and in 1966 had my first exhibition at the Francine Seders Gallery, where I continue to have the privilege to be represented.

I believe that the Pacific Northwest is a great place for artists to live and work. The museums, galleries, schools and arts organizations create an energy that supports and encourages each succeeding generation of young artists. Artist Trust is a perfect example of this kind of energy. I can remember when it got started and artists made and bought each other Valentines.

Thank you again for this special award. I am happy to say that I heard about it while in my studio moving shapes and colors around.

Elizabeth Sandvig