In 1965 Arturo Alonzo Sandoval took a beginning weaving course while a graduate student at California State College – Los Angeles, and after completing duty during the Vietnam War as a USNR officer, he went on to complete his MA specializing in sculptural fiber art. He completed his MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1971. After exploring a variety of textile arts through an NEA Fellowship and teaching at several colleges, in 1974 he accepted a position in the Dept of Art at the University of Kentucky where he has been teaching since 1974.
Sandoval feels his Hispanic and Native American (Tano) ancestry may have led in part to his interest in fiber. At age 40 Sandoval discovered that men on his paternal grandmother’s side of the family have been weavers of colonial Spanish textiles for over 250 years. There are many similarities between colonial Spanish designs and Sandoval’s fiber art, the most striking being the use of symmetry in brilliant color along with symbolism.
Sandoval has created a new aesthetic with his contemporary fiber art projects constructed using 20th century recycled industrial materials such as computer tape, battery cable, Mylar, Holographic film, Lurex and microfilm. Whether using a floor loom, sewing machine, interlacing, or simply combining new materials in a collage or assemblage, Sandoval pursues the cutting edge in his chosen medium.
Sandoval has been an arts advocate throughout his career and he has received two NEA Visual Arts Fellowships along with numerous other state and national awards including the Osolnik Award and the Governor’s Award in the Arts Artist Award. The University of Kentucky created the first Endowed Professorship Chair in the College of Fine Arts in his name in 2008. He was elected into the American Craft Council Society of Fellows in 2007 and his work has been shown internationally.
Sandoval’s works are in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, The Renwick Gallery, the J. B. Speed Art Museum and most recently the Columbus Museum of Art.
Sandoval continues to pursue innovative issues in his field through solo, invitational and group exhibitions. He continues to enjoy teaching and mentoring young artists. He is a juried member and has served as a board member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen.
Works by this artisan can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.