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Whitney Sanford's Portfolio

About Me

Whitney Sanford is a San Francisco mixed media artist. Having moved several times throughout her life, coupled with a deep desire to explore the world at large, her work tends to focus on the concepts of home and community. In using watercolor, oil, paper cutout, animation, polaroid and collage, she intends to lend a unique depiction of each individual “experience”.


I’m a pedestrian explorer and seeker of security. From macro to micro, from entire civilizations to hand painted tiling, I want to know the differences and similarities among all of us.

On the macro level, I use drone photographs found on the internet as my source material. Through modern technology and surveillance, I am able to explore remote places and cultures. This exploration requires intimacy while jeopardizing anonymity and playing with questions of security. In transcribing these images into watercolors, I’ve made this searching about the frailty of life.

On the micro level, I use found photographs of interiors and turn them into paper cut-outs. What first began as a narrative about my puppy and I living in our isolated tower, dreaming of a perfect home, I wound up exploring what spaces already exist. Through paper cut-outs, I’ve been forced to simplify these interiors into studies on space and light, shapes and design.

The concept of shelter is embedded in us. The protection of our houses is what motivates most of our decisions. What started off as rudimentary structures has evolved into statements of prestige and dominance. As well, homes have found more nuanced ways of existing. Because many cultures have had to flee an unwanted power and the innovation in their re-building is astounding. From carting stones, deciding how to build, engineering how houses were to respond to their new geography and seeking the most defensive terrain, we can learn how home has evolved, both singularly and together.

My goal is to learn how to articulate one of our most fundamental needs in an imaginative, personal, and deeply exploratory method.  


The De Young Open, October 10-January 3, 2021. 


Artsy Shark, Featured Artist; 03/2020;

Ponder Savant; 03/2020;

Artsy Shark; 04/2020;

Florence Contemporary, 03,2020;

Art Resourcery, 02/2020;

Average Art 43; February Issue; 02/2020;

Daylighted, 01/2020;

Dafne Project, Lisbon; 12/2019; IwAR2bgTwkkcAGGyqKhqzotDIt1pYjdITkehwxyyHjy6cE5B8JUZHedpWzhJw

The Tall Creative, 12/20/19;

WotisArt, 11/20/2019

Creative Boom, 11/4/2019

Artwort, 11/18/2019


Light, Space, Time Gallery, Special Recognition; 03/2020;

Circle Arts Foundation, Honorable Mention, 01/2020;


Solo Shows:

2017: Asiento

San Francisco, California

2003: Adell McMillan Gallery

University of Oregon

2002: Morning Glory Cafe

Eugene, Oregon

2001: Morning Glory Cafe

Eugene, Oregon

2001: Out of the Fog Cafe

Eugene, Oregon

Group Shows:

2020: The Mission KISS,

2020: August; Big Ink and 3 Fish Studios, print project;

2020: March 16-June 13; Arc Gallery, SF; “Reflections”;

2020: May; Rice Initiative, Barcelona.

2020: May; Gallery Ring, Online; “Color”;

2020:  April; Light, Space and Time Gallery, Online; "Figurative";

2020: March; The Drawing Room, San Francisco; "Women Rising"

2019: Adobe Books, Art Shop, San Francisco

2017: MiniBar, 

San Francisco, California

2014: Wonderland, Chillin’ Productions

Mezzanine, San Francisco

2004: Garage Gallery

Portland, Oregon

2004: Portland Community College, Art Beat

2004 Abbey Cafe

Portland Oregon

2004: Regional Arts and Culture Council

2003: Saladin Gallery

Portland, Oregon

2002: Windows Alive

Portland, Oregon

2002: Jawbreaker Gallery

Eugene, Oregon

2002: Jawbreaker Gallery

Eugene, Oregon

2001: Jawbreaker Gallery

Eugene, Oregon

1996: Santa Clara County High School Art Competition

De Anza College

Cupertino, California


2004: Portland Art Museum, Terry Toedtmeier. Research Assistant. Documenting the history of photography in the Pacific Northwest from 1850-1950. Tasks included documenting 50 artists’ oeuvres and the authenticity of provenance.


2004: Portland Community College, “Art Beat”, Mini mural Project. This project involved producing murals on campus as performance and community involvement.

2000-2002: Jawbreaker Gallery, Free Skool classes. Project involved hosting figure drawing classes and open studio events, helping with installation set-up, general upkeep of the gallery, ordering, stocking, shelving, advertising, fundraising, hosting benefits and projects.


Current: Bhuna Restaurant

Portland, Oregon

2017: Photography

Craig Merchant