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Heather Sandy Serving as OCC Art Instructor

Heather Sandy PhotoHeather Sandy is sharing her lifelong love of art with students at Olney Central College.

Sandy was hired in August to serve as a temporary full-time art instructor. A native of Dayton, Ohio, she earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting with a minor in art history from the University of Dayton. She also holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Sandy brings a broad range of experiences to the classroom having worked with kindergarteners to college students.

As a graduate student, she taught design, drawing and art introduction classes at SIU-E. She also worked as a substitute teacher for a year and was employed as a teacher’s aide and substitute teacher at Fresh Start Treatment and Learning Center in Effingham.

“I’m really excited to get back to teaching and talking about art,” she said. “I enjoy working with college students. You never know what the students are going to do or say that will impact a lesson. You come in with a lesson plan, but it becomes fluid as you adapt to the students. The students have been great to work with and everyone here has been very supportive.”

Art has always been an integral force in Sandy’s life.

“I was the child whose mother was always telling her not to color on the walls,” she said. “I’ve always had an interest in art and I’ve always been trying to express myself through art. Growing up, I was always fortunate enough to attend schools that had art programs. I went to a very large high school and I had opportunities to be in art club and participate in art programs.”

Sandy’s artwork has evolved over the years from oil paintings of flowers to abstract collages she now creates with her favorite medium, acrylic paint. Her work has been featured at the SoHa Studio & Gallery in St. Louis and in Chicago. She recently served as an instructor for a summer art program in Dayton, where her artwork also was displayed.

While living in Dayton, Sandy collaborated with a team of artists to paint a 50-foot pedestrian bridge spanning a local highway.

“It was a fun opportunity,” she said. “I had never worked on a piece on that large of a scale before.”

Through SIU-E’s Sculpture on Campus program, Sandy also built a giant 6-foot-tall cupcake using fiberglass, resin and foam.

Sandy relishes the process of taking an idea and watching it evolve into the final product.

“A big part of art is the problem solving,” she said. “It really challenges the way you think and that is important for everything you do in life.”

Those are skills students can apply in all their studies.

“The students are very fortunate to have an art program here at the college level,” she added.

Sandy is currently in the process of relocating to Olney. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and participating in activities like hiking. Other hobbies include reading and traveling.

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