The Art of Fame


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An artist in every sense of the word, local creative force Sarah Sandin reflects on her roots, life in L.A., and spreading her wings southbound. 

Here, artists are neighbors and cheerleaders to one another. Rounding each corner is not unlike surveying a bright, beckoning buffet. One turn in particular reveals multi-sized canvases sprayed in a splattered shine - call it a cubist-meets-graffiti style. In the lower left hand corner of a wall supporting nine such works is a skateboard peeking from behind a longboard. To the left, a mirror and an image of two horses (a mom-and-baby perhaps) silently watch the room and the patrons of The Stables wander.

 

Enter Sarah Sandin.

A leather jacket compliments a light corset top and short skirt combo. Her pink heels accentuate her height, and I look up to study her face and ask where she got her earrings. She smiles and we formally meet.

The owner and founder of The Stables, Sandin lives as colorfully and resourcefully as her work. The fact that she lived and worked and, to an extent, “made it” in Los Angeles does not surprise me. She looks L.A.—  the artist matches the art in this scenario.

If you follow her on Instagram, the hints are there. The art in front, the creator standing next to or casting a shadow onto. The woman in vogue, the artist shimmering. A video of her painting. An in-memoriam of Anthony Bourdain smoking directly into the camera - a rare archival of neither Sarah nor her canvases. She does not simply put a face and figure to her work. She is the art.

 

 

Color Her Uncustomary

Sandin considers her life one ongoing performance piece/art project. With everything from a stint in rehab, stories of stealing emeralds from a drug lord she worked for in Fiji, a career as a backup dancer for the likes of Madonna and Lady Gaga, and friendships with eccentrics including Bourdain, she lives the type of existence only written in novels. Having followed her on Instagram to educate myself on her aura, her followers are allowed a rather intimate view of her adventures. This summer, her followers saw her camping in a teepee in California while visiting her sister and taking photos of coffee canteens and her silhouette against the sun’s rays descending into the mountains.

After first meeting her in person, her life presented in the social sphere made sense, and I grasped how such a subdued, sweet woman in pink heels might be the perfect piece of work the South needs.    

A visual and conceptual artist by profession and personal accounts, Sandin expresses herself, as she always has, through any means necessary and available. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, she comes from “an extremely unconventional family,” and learned about art and how to recognize it anywhere early on. She grew up in California, but was also raised on several “cultish communes” in the Canadian woodlands.    

“As I grew older, I learned to decipher what I thought was art as compared to what most people thought was art,” she explains, musing on her upbringing. “It doesn’t really match up. I see art everywhere: the way light catches a moment, the decay of a building, the way someone may talk with their hands as if conducting a symphony.”

She recalls how her parents refused to limit their minds to what they saw or heard. Their willingness to live “outside the box” and on the edges of society’s code of normalcy shaped Sandin’s world.

“I have always been creative and my parents really nurtured that in me,” she says. “I believe they would’ve rather I had become an artist and musician than a doctor or lawyer. Even as a small child, I was creative in the way I dressed and the things I wanted to do, like dance.”

 

 

The Artist Paints the Town

Shortly after moving to Savannah, Sandin noticed a significant lack of spaces for artists, photographers, musicians and “creative folk.” She immediately set out to create an artistic haven and community with The Stables, what she calls one of her proudest accomplishments.

Unsurprisingly, the South’s spell emerges in her art, particularly, as Sandin puts it, its “haunting darkness that tends to lurk in the moments between quaintness and charm.”

“I paint intuitively,” she says. “That’s my favorite aspect of abstract art. There is no end and no beginning. It is just a suspended moment in time.”

Whether sharing her adventures on Instagram or releasing her emotions through her painting practices, Sandin has lived a lot, achieved much success, and reconciled a rich zen within herself. She cherishes the artists and creative powerhouses she’s befriended and encountered in all realms. Call it another one of her favorite life-long projects.

“I am a very ambitious person, but what drives me and what I’d like to accomplish in my life seems a bit different than most. I see myself more as grateful than successful. There are only a few things that make you truly happy and successful in life: Connection with yourself, connection with others, and a connection with nature.”

The true testament of Sarah Sandin manifests in an open interpretation of the meaning of imaginative freedom. For her, that involves the ability to dismantle the narratives we are told about identity, profession, and behavior, and rethink the value and definition of success, beauty, wealth, and fame.

Sarah Sandin

Follow Sarah on Instagram at @sarahsandin.

 

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Scenes of the South

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

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2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.

Royce Learning Center Annual Low Country Boil & Oyster Roast

The Royce Learning Center held their annual low country boil and oyster roast on Saturday, February 1st. Guests enjoyed mingling over the seafood selection. Royce Learning Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its unique programs.