Working in oil, acrylic, alkyd, and sometimes watercolor, Sandi M. Pillsbury-Gredzens has been a professional artist for more than 40 years and an art educator for more than 30 years. In 1971, she received an Associate of Arts from Stephens College and later became a layout artist for the Monterey County Herald newspaper in California. She then became a substitute teacher and a teacher’s aide for special education in the Pacific Grove Unified School District. During this time, she also went back to school and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Certified in elementary and secondary education, Ms. Pillsbury-Gredzens went on to serve as an art educator at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, MN, an elementary school teacher at Woods Academy in Maple Plain, MN, and an art teacher and consultant for Anoka-Hennepin School District. In 1995, she received a Master of Education from Hamline University and from 1997 to 2008, she served as an art teacher and community educator in Lake Superior School District #381 in Two Harbors, MN.
In addition to her ventures in art education, Ms. Pillsbury-Gredzens has also been a prolific artist throughout her career, having displayed her work throughout the country. Previously, she was a member of the artists’ roster of the Minnesota State Arts Board for artist-in-residency programs. She was also an artist-in-residence at Silver Bay and competed in the Grand Marais Plein Air Competition. In 2017, she was a curator and guest artist at the Lake Superior 20/20 Art Tour. She considers the highlight of her accomplished career as having five of her paintings displayed at the Agora Gallery in New York City in 2015. In recent years, Ms. Pillsbury-Gredzens has rediscovered the joys and challenges of painting outdoors. Whenever possible, she likes to paint directly from nature, taking her paints and easel out on the shores of Lake Superior, into the forest, or in her garden. As an accomplished artist, she attributes her success to her mentors, including the late George Morrison, Hazel Belvo, Elizabeth Erickson, and Mary Pettis.
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