Nov 08, 2011 09:15AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
The curve of a shoulder, the sharp angle of a jaw, the way a hand drapes across the back of a couch.
These are not simple images; rather, they tell an entire story unto themselves for El Dorado Hills sculptor Sandy Allie. Over the past 30 years, she has planted her roots deep in the community. You may have passed her soapstone piece titled Maternity at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe or perhaps you were lucky enough to peruse her Seda Reclining etchings in the Pat Amundson Purchase Award Collection at Lake Tahoe Community College. The keen observer will find expressions of her talent throughout the region.
In 1987, the former businesswoman threw off convention, retired from the business world, and pursued an education in the arts at Lake Tahoe Community College. Before long, she was assisting professors and teaching courses herself. Allie didn’t stop there, though. She has traveled the world to immerse herself in the classic elements of sculpture and architecture, studying in France and Italy, as well as taking part in workshops in Italy and Costa Rica.
The list of awards and honors Sandy Allie has received over the years are vast and varied. She is unwavering as she speaks of trading the material benefits of working a nine-to-five for the pleasure of living her passion. A foundation of supportive family and friends helps to keep the challenges at bay, as well. She is ever expanding her horizons and honing her skills. “There is always something to learn. I’m a forever student. I continue to study and take courses to this day,” she says.
Allie’s sculptures deal exclusively with the human form, most often nude, which for some can be unsettling or awkward. One of her more controversial bronze pieces, Bella, tends to evoke strong emotions in the viewer. “People are either turned off by it or they identify with it and see a little bit of themselves in it,” she explains. Allie let’s the natural beauty and expression of each sculpture draw the viewer in on its own. Her bronze, Woody has also produced a great titter. On her Web site, she shares a beautiful story of the universal trials and tribulations an artist endures, and how it was so named with an image.
There is a reverence for individual humanity that shines through as Sandy Allie coaxes each sculpture into its form. This thread runs through her entire collection. Distinct feelings and emotions about her work are part of the creative process, but Allie does not aim to impose them on those who view it. The inherent life of each piece is born of her ability to communicate what emerges in the process of sculpting. “I try to draw life into the sculpture,” Allie clarifies, “and at some point in time the sculpture draws the life into me.”
For more information, visit sandyallie.com.