My Savannah: Katherine Sandoz

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Photo by Chia Chong

Local artist Katherine Sandoz gives us an inside peek at her favorite things, the perfect day and what she admires most.  

What brought you to Savannah?
I arrived in 1995 to complete graduate studies at SCAD and in the process, I found home.

What keeps you here?
The photographer Jack Leigh published a book about this area called The Land I’m Bound To. I feel bound here as well—by the water, trees and sky, by the passing of seasons, the cycles of work and movement of people.

What work are you most proud of?
I like that my work celebrates the beauty in this particular part of the world, and because my paintings so often travel to other places, I’m sharing a part of Savannah. I’m also rewarded by having taught and worked in this community over the past 20 or so years.

What neighborhood do you call home?
Vernonburg—or as some call it, the “real” Southside.

What does “Savannah style” mean to you?
To me, it’s considered but never overwrought or outlandish. Erring on the side of overdressed, occasionally veering toward costume, but still elegant and restrained in some way.

What Savannahian do you most admire?
I’m drawn to the mold-breakers, those fierce individuals who are working hard to innovate for their families and neighborhoods
and for Savannah. There are too many to name, but their fire warms this city and propels it forward.

How will you leave Savannah better than you found it?
I support, encourage and engage with a number of organizations and institutions that work to better our city, particularly those whose missions benefit
young people, education and the arts. Some of my favorites include, in no particular order: SVT Martial Arts Academy,
Telfair Museums, SCAD, Isle of Hope Elementary, Jacob G. Smith Elementary, Hancock Day School and A-Town Get Down. I also collaborate with local artists and artisans, and collect their work.

Savannah’s motto should be…
One Flannery O’Connor character said of his hometown, “Beauty is our money crop.” That sounds about right.

Tell me a story or describe a scene that made you think to yourself, “that’s so Savannah.”
Any time things are at once special and a little bit at odds: A shrimp salad sandwich served on china, accompanied by silver and pressed linens. A 6 year old
in a bowtie possessing the etiquette of an octogenarian. A silver-haired doyenne who cusses like a sailor. Teenage neighbor boys who hunt their supper and still stop by to hold your babies when they’re born.

Describe your perfect Savannah day. 

6am: An early morning yoga session with one of our city’s skilled instructors. My favorite leggings feature a Will Penny print.

7am: A quick dip in the Vernon River.

8am: Breakfast with my family—we love Perc coffee and Beetnix juices.

9am: Studio time! I work in a barn on our property, and it’s my happiest place.

1pm: I usually eat lunch in my studio, and the menu changes depending on the day: sandwiches from Back in the Day Bakery, a full spread from Smith Brothers Butcher Shop, or anything from The Vault.

5pm: After a full work day, I like to unwind with a lecture, art opening or kung fu class.

7pm: For dinner, with or without kids, my current faves are The Wyld and The Grey’s Diner Bar. I’ve been loving my naturally dyed silk dress by SCAD grad Jamie Bourgeois, and I always throw on a little lip tint from Savannah Bee Company.

10pm: There’s no better way to end the day than with a nightcap and conversation at Circa 1875. After we make our way home, I usually read for a bit—especially local writers like Harrison Scott Key and Jane Fishman—and drift off to sleep.