Since their Donna Monro Retrospective in 2020/21, Rio Bravo Art Gallery, located in Truth or Consequences New Mexico, has committed to holding at least one fibre exhibition each year. Sandy Hopper, a silk artist, is the second fibre artist featured in the gallery. For each of these artists, this is their first major presentation to the public
Sandy Hopper is originally from El Paso, Texas but in 2000 she moved to Elephant Butte, New Mexico where she switched her focus from acrylic painting to dying silk. In 2003 she created her website, Grasshopper Silk and began welcoming the public to her studio and offering workshops.
About her life and work, Sandy says,” For years I have focused on evolving my silk painting techniques and knowledge. My silks are created using a layering process – silk, dyes and soy wax which create the imagery. I have added felting to the process which is called Nuno silks. I love painting on the silks then adding the felting for a more complex piece. Embellishments are often added following the Nuno process. I am currently exploring eco-botanical printing: silk painting followed by Nuno felting to create wearables and wall pieces.
In 2016 Sandy’s life changed when she lost her husband of many years and took on caretaking her mother and brother. During this time, she took up beading and sculpting:
“My exhibition at Rio Bravo Art Gallery will be a fusion of my evolution. Wearables in their simplest form and pieces which have evolved into more complex works of art. In 2019 I created a series of silk works using old rusted railroad pieces. Using a modified version of Shibori I created multiple silk pieces that I am combining with copper, flax and driftwood to create unique hall hangings. I refer to them as my Iron Horse Series.”
Sandy's exhibition Silk Wearables: Hand Painted, Botanically Printed & Nuno Felted Flax Sculpture & Experimental Resin Works, is running at the Rio Bravo Fine Art Gallery from November 13 until January 30 2022. Find out more on the website.