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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Living In Arizona's History

The skilled American sculptors Frederic Remington, Charles Russel, and many more brought western lifestyle images to life in the early 20th-century. The tradition continues with Arizona artist Sandi Ciaramitaro. Sandi began her fine arts career with en Plein air painting, capturing the magic of the Southwest's natural landscapes. Recently she traded her canvas and paint palette for clay and bronze, developing captivating sculptures for the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, Arizona.

The subjects of the Western lifestyle are a long way from East Detroit, Michigan, where Sandi grew up and worked 15 years for one of the top three automakers. Her training in auto body design, with a styling specialty, eventually landed her a top spot as coordinator of small truck design. She states, "My imaginative sculpting style today provides hints of my draftsperson, engineering roots." Ultimately, Sandi didn't find her 'most creative spirit' nurtured by the button-down world of auto manufacturing. As a result, Sandi enrolled in several painting classes. She found success in various paint mediums fueled by inspirational views from her studio loft, overlooking the Tonto National Forest.

"My imaginative sculpting style today provides hints of my draftsperson, engineering roots."

A few years ago, Sandi introduced bronze reliefs to her collection. She explains, "The process requires using natural materials to provide unique textures for each piece such as stone, granite, mesquite and pyrite." Building on the relief concept, Sandi has now moved to free-standing bronze sculptures depicting a variety of western subjects and capturing everyday scenes of life on a ranch.

In 2019, just before the pandemic took hold, Sandi's bronzes sculptures caught the attention of the benefactors of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. They were looking for life-size sculptures of local wildlife to add to the grounds of the 392 acres preserve. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum was founded in 1924 as a desert plant research facility and "living museum" by William Boyce Thompson. Thompson, a mining engineer, created his fortune in the mining industry and has a long legacy in Arizona's mining history. Today the Arboretum is a State Park and a not-for-profit scientific research facility with a long affiliation with the University of Arizona. It is also a National Historic Site. Sandi answered the invitation to complete several commissions; today, she considers the opportunity a great honor and one of her most significant accomplishments.


The sculptures by Sandi Ciaramitaro now in the Boyce Thompson Arboretum are Bench Bunny, Follow Me Home, The Scouts, and Friends Forever. A collection of bronze statues that will warm your heart, make you laugh, and thrill your children and grandchildren. Sandi is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in the annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour each November. Visit Sandi's social media for further details.

Website: www.sandic.me



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