We had the good fortune of connecting with sandra teepen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi sandra, what makes you happy? Why?
Waking up is a good start to being happy. I can arrange my day with or without commitments, and my studio time is a big part of how I spend the day. Deadlines happen when I want to get into an exhibit. I love the idea of a competition. I can be very critical on my own because I am competing with me first and foremost! I am happy when I get notes from folks who have my items as gifts or send a photo of the installation and tell my how happy they are with my art in their settings.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a collage artist. I use fabric and paper. And I collect stuff — and I collect ART! I am different. I don’t know how really, but I’ve been told I have a keen sense of color. I think I absorb visual clues. I create one of a kind collages with fabric. I have a sense of history, and constantly learn more about textiles — the who, what and why of it. I like order and disorder, design and cultural references. My work is spontaneous and improvisational, like the jazz I surround myself with. I want to continue to develop artistically, and to be recognized as a professional.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would begin on my street, just a few blocks away from the historical sites one must visit if you are here in the ATL. We would go on to Sweet Auburn and say hello to Chef Sonja. See the signage from the Royal Peacock. We could go to the Market, look at Grady Memorial Hospital (another part of my story), and Centennial Park. On Peachtree Street we could go to the High Museum, visit my gym and on up to the Swan Coach House Gallery. You would love to meet the crew at Mason Fine Art and Kai Lin Art and Fay Gold galleries. Lunch? We are going to Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge. Maybe Chef Eddie is there to greet us!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many who have had an impact on me. I had a great art teacher in high school, and in grade school my teachers let me create the bulletin boards My parents saw me go off to art school and not to a traditional college. At the time, my classmates were becoming engaged and choosing silverware patterns! Away from home, I found new friends — museums and galleries — a hint at an artful life. I did marry, have a child and new adventures that included the theatre and new locations. Without a completed education I created my way, but certainly not without influences. A second marriage, a larger family for me and my daughter, and another move got me to where I am in situ. More challenges and opportunities came with that move, and I became involved with the community and eventually I could develop as an artist and think of myself as an artist. People to thank? Tom (my late husband), most of all I hope my friends know how much I love and cherish a lifetime of you!