Brandon Sanderson



A native of Kansas, Brandon Sanderson spent his formative years in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the base of Cheyenne Mountain. He holds a B.S. from Colorado State University-Pueblo in Printmaking and Computer Programming and an M.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of South Dakota, where he studied under Lloyd Menard.

Sanderson has been teaching printmaking and drawing at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke since 2008. From 2005 to 2008, he taught at College of the Sequoias and Bakersfield College in California. He has exhibited in a total of 126 exhibitions since 2004. This includes 60 juried, 52 invitational, and 14 international shows. He has organized 4 print exchanges and participated in 29. During his time at UNCP, he has co-organized one exhibition and brought in 9 visiting artists. He has been a participant at Frogman's Print and Paper Workshop since 2002. His work is in collections in the United States, Austria, Mexico, and Spain.


Teaching Philosophy


A strong vocabulary of technical skills is quintessential to the emerging art student. At the conclusion of the foundation courses, the student should have a broad pool of methods and procedures that can be used in the later development of style and content. In classes beyond the foundations, such as beginning printmaking, familiarity with technique and media should still precede development of content and style.


The following forms the basis of my teaching philosophy: the technically adept beginning student will be better prepared for the pursuit of style and content that occurs between the late sophomore and junior years of college.



Observational drawing is the first skill a beginning draftsman should achieve. In this respect, sight measuring is vital. The student that understands how to correctly translate the relationships of a three-dimensional matrix onto a two-dimensional surface will have taken the most substantial step in the development of basic drawing skills. Additionally important to the student are techniques regarding value, light, texture, perspective, and pattern as they relate to the effect of light and value in rendering volumetric objects and creating space. Charcoal is an appropriate material to this approach as it is malleable and allows the image to be worked quickly.



A printmaking class should begin with a brief synopsis of the history of printmaking. The student that has some understanding of the printmaker's commercial background will be better able to relate to the current state of the medium. Furthermore, I have found that students who meet and work alongside professional printmakers have a higher level of motivation in their studies. These students also form an individual style more quickly when mentored by a variety of professional artists rather than a single instructor. Thus, any printmaking class should first emphasis technique, history, and exposure to contemporary artists.


Artist's Statement


My work is based on the interaction of mechanical and organic parts within myself and in the world around me. The tools man creates have gradually become physically integrated into his body. Having my own artificial parts, I find the android and automaton to be an appropriate symbol of our capacity for alienation and devastation - but also of the ability for growth through constant education. However, it is not machine itself that engages me. Rather I am intrigued by its impact on the human psyche. Within my process I seek to not only depict this paradox, but also to consider how I exist within it.

The characters in my prints and drawings are collages of personal symbolism, art historical imagery, and mechanical metaphor. My recent images combine early cold-war science fiction illustration with the line quality and compositional structure of old master etchings and engravings. I enjoy addressing oft-visited art historical themes and reinterpreting them with my own symbolism and vocabulary. Invasions, apocalypses, revelations, and raptures are an environmental characteristic of my work and form the setting for relationships between central characters. Such encompassing elements reflect wryly on the fate of the players themselves by shifting the context in which they exist.

The images are surreal tapestries of human, mechanical, and landscape elements - a collection of symbols indicative of an underlying psychological struggle. Nevertheless, it is not necessary for the viewer to understand this investigation. There is a deliberately established sense of mystery and ambiguity. I want the viewer to become involved with the atmosphere, characters, and narratives of the work to such a degree that they invent their own interpretation.

Printmaking forms the largest portion of most of my work due to its proximity to drawing. Having a background in computer programming, I enjoy the technical processes involved in creating a print. I utilize specific effects only afforded by the limestone, plate, and block -- these are vital to the character of the imagery. As a result, technique and content work symbiotically within my creative process.


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