My work is shaped by my experience in the natural realm - years spent exploring wild places and abandoned urban landscapes - and by a passion for earth sciences, which informs both content and process.
Much of the work investigates change and the act of becoming. I am fascinated with physical transformation in natural phenomena, whether on a geologic time scale or in a moment's reflection. A winter beach, scorched riverbed, road cut exposing ancient seabeds, or the forces of wind and snow on a high Sierra conifer - all are fodder for my imagination and sense of history. I am equally compelled by human behavior and the transformative role we play in shaping our environment. A longtime urban dweller and explorer, my daily walks and regional hikes reveal moments of mystery and discovery, informing my studio process.
Growing up in rural northern California with trails, fields and creeks at my door and a feral imagination, I roamed, created forts and treehouses and delighted in unfettered freedom. Learning the true nature of plants from a lifetime of observation, I carry their secrets today from my own urban garden to wild open spaces.
A similar freedom guides my studio practice, working intuitively and driven by exploration, chance, and the physical characteristics of pigments, water, mediums, paper and canvas. My process entails building a history of surfaces, forces and materials over time, working between what I feel and what I know.
Saundra U. McPherson lives and works in San Francisco.
2001-20018 Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco
2009-2021 SFMoMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco
2010-11 Block Gallery, Oakland
2007-08 Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, Utah
2007-08 SPUR Gallery, Portola Valley
2002-03 HANG Gallery, San Francisco
Oracle Corporation, Redwood City California
Charles Schwab Corporation, San Francisco California
Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Wisconsin
education, affiliations & publications
2010 Winner, NRDC Environmental Art Prize
2007-08 Folly Magazine
2008 Studio Visit Magazine
Accepted to the National Association of Women Artists, New York
San Francisco Art Institute Extension, and University of California, Berkeley Extension
M.S. Non-Profit Art Management, Drexel University, Philadelphia
B.S. Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley