"Up to the age of 18,1 lived in Coraopolis, then a small town some 30 miles from Pittsburgh, with my two deaf sisters and a deaf brother ... as
well as a hearing sister. I was the baby of the family and started signing language at birth.
"After graduation from the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf,
I entered Gallaudet where I completed my fine arts training by 1976. Then I looked for an immediate change of scene by making a sojourn to Austin, Texas, to try my hand as a layout artist with the 'Spectrum: Focus on
Deaf Artists' organization. There I became a founding member of the American Deaf Dance Company and had the role of 'Beauty' at the University of Texas in a TV production of 'Beauty and the Beast.' I also worked on some
theater productions, though not as an actress. My home consisted of: a dearly beloved goat, a bossy crow, parrots, beautiful white doves, two Siamese cats, a Manx, a Doberman called 'Ballerina,' a well behaved fighting
rooster, a not-so-smart turkey, a couple of rats and two bona fide love birds, to say nothing of a chicken coop. These were three busy years of 1976-1979, when I was an actress-dancer-artist-and animal-mother.
1979 I had to relinquish these roles to accept an invitation to become an actress with the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD). I thoroughly enjoyed being a family member of NTD for more than 14 years and had the
opportunity to travel extensively around the country and take part in festivals in many foreign countries. I was also involved in several TV productions.
"It was not a time of much art production for me so I decide
to devote part of the 1991-1993 school years at RIT for a master's degree in teaching art. There I tried several different art media and discovered that I really enjoyed all of them, including computer art. Batik
remains my favorite medium. I have completed my Master of Science for Teachers in Art Education.
"All of my art is, of course, somehow influenced by my being a Deaf woman. Visual communication is so important to me.
My art work is related to the world of visual communication through themes both personal and evocative. My interest in art began at age three. Most of my works stress and enlarge the Hands and the Eyes and de-emphasizes
the mouth and the ears which are generally absent from my compositions except when HANDS emerge from these organs. In the case of animals and myth figures, I depict silent creatures that relate to us through their eyes
as powerful indicators of needs and feelings. Color, a sine que non of Batik, is the most difficult component of the work to capture. Color holds the power to enhance the mood and meaning of each composition. In art,
the Deaf artist can soar as high as desired even in an atmosphere of silence."
From 1994 to 1999 Sandi had an exciting life. She enjoyed working at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf as an art teacher who also did
some computer teaching and drama coaching. She and her husband, Andy, acquired a brand new 2-story house in northern Phoenix. They now have 9 "kids": two Rottweilers (Fumichi Kami - 3 years old and her sister
Mikata Yuki 2 1/2 years old); a Red Point Siamese (Tsuki Kaki); a Blue Point Siamese (Kakki Sora); a Burmese Manx (Ki-Hoshi); Red Point Siamese Manx (Asobi Kumo); Seal Point Siamese twins (Kawaii Kaze and Kawaii Taiyo);
and an African Grey (Akai Ryuu). They are having fun with a house full of love-able creatures. Sandi feeds them all, including Andy. "Andy is a fabulous househusband. He turned 72 last December 31st and is still on the
"My art work is related to the world of visual communication through themes both personal and evocative.
"Most of my works stress and enlarge the hands and the eyes,
and de-emphasize the mouth and the ears ... except when hands emerge from these organs. In the case of animals and myth figures, I depict silent creatures that relate to us through their eyes as powerful
indicators of needs and feelings. Color, a sine qua non of art, is the most difficult component of the work to capture. Color holds the power to enhance the mood and meaning of each composition. In
art, all is possible without being able to hear."
A note on Batik:
The word "batik" is of Indonesian origin, and means "wax writing." Batik is a form of resist printing that consists
of the application of hot wax, an effective barrier to dye, to fabric that is subsequently exposed to cool dyes that do not melt the wax. Only the unwaxed areas of the fabric take the color. Very fine
patterns can be made with a tjanting, a specialized tool for applying hot wax.