Mary Sanders

I have lived most my life in northern California. My husband and I provided emergency housing for people in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. As we were raising our children, I went to nursing school and became a registered nurse, but having always loved art I finally decided to go to art school. I received an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

I have lived with a kind of survivor’s guilt, because I wasn’t the one born with life long medical problems that required my sister to be institutionalized from birth. It was also a family secret, as my parents felt faulted by the social service and medical communities for conceiving a child with such problems. I was told to say I only had a brother. Because of this, I always felt like I was the lucky one so I should “help people.” After many battles with my thought life, I was able to release myself to do art.

Celebrate the Night


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Celebrate the Night

Oil on Canvas 30" x 24"As a young girl, I wanted to take dance lessons, but my parents said they could not afford it. Refusing to give up and trying not to be discouraged, I dressed up, put some children's tunes on my little record player, and danced throughout the...