MFA Alum Showcases Environmental Artwork in Solo Exhibition

Posted February 3, 2017 in MFA Painting, Master of Fine Arts, News Bites, Alumni, Painting

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) alumna Sandra Hansen (’13, BFA Painting; ’16, MFA) is sharing her environmentally-focused artwork in her first solo exhibition in the United States since 2007. Artwork by Sandra Hansen is running February 2 – March 27, 2017 at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center as part of its 2016-2017 Artist-in-Residence Program.

Alumna Sandra HansenSandra Hansen (credit: Sandra Hansen)

Before coming to KCAD, Hansen turned her extensive childhood experiences with art into an opportunity to teach and exhibit art in India, later traveling to Thailand, Sweden, and Denmark to do the same. Now, she’s completed her education and refined her skills, earning the KCAD Excellence Award in Painting in 2013 along the way.

“I was impressed with the art I saw at KCAD and decided that if I was to become a strong artist I would need to be in art school,” says Hansen. “This show in America is very exciting because it shows that I can be a professional artist here despite the amazing competition.”

work by alumna Sandra Hansen"Hand Wave" by Sandra Hansen (image courtesy of the artist)

The exhibition will spotlight Hansen’s innovative use of plastic bags, handmade paper, string, and other repurposed materials to create art that both embodies and raises important questions about sustainability and environmental responsibility. Hansen says her desire to intersect her art and the environment was spurred by investigations into the impact of consumerism on waterways and wildlife.

“As I became more aware of the environmental issues surrounding water I began changing my art practice to be more environmentally sound. I switched from using oil paints on canvas and Masonite to fabrics infused with plastic resins, to recycled polyethylene bags held together with gel medium, and eventually to handmade paper. My handmade paper sheets, usually 80 inches tall by 34 inches wide, are made through a process in which I can reuse my water numerous times.”

work by alumna Sandra Hansen"Yellow Moon River" by Sandra Hansen (image courtesy of the artist)

As she works to bring her own artistic process closer to producing zero waste, Hansen is also focusing on helping others to do the same through presentations on pollution and ecologically-focused artwork. She recently spoke on the subject at Hope College through the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals on January 30.

An opening reception for Artwork by Sandra Hansen, free and open to the public, will be held at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center on February 9, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

See more of Sandra Hansen’s work at

Learn more about KCAD’s Painting program at

Learn more about KCAD’s MFA program here.