An architect with an extensive portfolio of contemporary architectural design and now a
a working artist, Sandra Vlock has created a collection of beautiful and intricately designed Functional Fine Art, that includes a large fireball with a custom cut out designs that depict elements of nature and the desert, a tall free-standing fire totem, powder-coated in white with Sandra's cut out desert elements on each of the side panels and an exceptional three-panel garden screen, powder-coated in a brilliant orange that highlights the finely cut out, a full panel of wondering vines, tree branches, cactus flowers, and other desert elements that adorn the screens.
The essential through-thread of my work is first to find the sense of a place and then to actively create a sense of place. What animates my work is bringing people together. I see the integration of art in the built environment as a way to engage in a shared experience; connecting us to where we are and one another.
As an architect, place-making is a major part of my background and training. By extension, my sculpture seeks to both shape space and contribute meaning to place-making. Using a steel plate as my canvas, these functional fine art pieces are designed to invite social gatherings, inspire curiosity, and bring visual narratives to life while defining architectural space.
Steel is a perfect medium because it is dynamic and dimensional. Positive and negative space, site and orientation, light and shadow are defining form-givers
in architecture. So too, these elements play a big role in my exploration of art-making for the built environment.
The Desert Series begins with sketchbook entries that tell the story of my own encounter with the High Desert, giving rise to an exploration of the different sculptural expressions-a journey from paper to steel. Wherever I am, sketching the life of the place draws me closer. My sketchbooks inspire ideas, stories, and templates for my work. Sketching is how I connect with a place; an act of discovery, immediate and resonant.
For the last several years, I have been a frequent visitor to the high desert of Joshua Tree. In response to the vastness, I look for intimate details that make the experience more relatable colorful cactus flowers and spiny cat's claws, tiny hummingbirds and soaring eagles, jackrabbit, and roadrunners, snakes, and lizards. These first unstudied marks on paper capture the essence of something. There's a certain serendipity to what catches my eye: negative space and composition, an architectural detail, the narrative unfolding in nature.