Michael Fields Agricultural Institute logo
Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

Spring Art Exhibit

State line Artist Opens Lunar Exhibit: The Orb Series, A Meditation on Rising by Sandra Fink May
March 31st to June 15th, 2018 — OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Abstract landscapes and photo luminescent paintings by state line artist Sandra Fink May are cause for reflection (literally) and meditation. She laughs when she advises, “Don’t hang one of these in your bedroom; its light might keep you awake.” That’s because Sandra uses a unique process to literally “charge” her paint with reflective light, so that in certain shadowed space, they truly glow in the dark. For paintings of the moon, surely that is appropriate.


Sandra’s Orb Series began after she witnessed a lunar perigee atop a mesa in Sedona, Arizona. The perigee is the time when the Moon is closest to the Earth as it makes its monthly rounds. At that time it appears about a third larger while it is truly physically closer to us. Sandra’s experience of this natural phenomenon felt “other worldly” to her and she knew she had to paint it. Since then, her moon series evolved … moons rising and setting in many phases emerge from abstract landscapes with a meditative and persistent presence. For her now, the moon symbolizes the creative circle of being, the forces of life and energy, rebirth and wisdom.

While she is creating some of the orbs, she literally charges them with light that her brushes have absorbed using special paints. And some of these orbs are painted in the sheer darkness, when she can work “interactively” with her brushfulls of special paint and the shadowed surface of her canvas.

Sandra was born and raised in Brookfield, Wisconsin. She began painting at age four; her first “studio” was a closet in her family’s home, where she experienced “pure heaven.” As a young adult, Sandra studied art at UW Whitewater and taught art for 40 years. Toward the end of her teaching career, predominantly in Woodstock public schools, she got her MA at Aurora University in Williams Bay, as one of the first graduates through its new programs. Later she affiliated as part of the Home School Network, giving private instruction after retiring from public education. Today she is a full-time professional artist, and a volunteer for Gallery 223 and the Geneva Lake Arts Foundation. Sandra is also the married mother of three grown children, whom she raised on farmland outside of Woodstock, where caring for horses and dogs, goats and peacocks created plenty of opportunities for her children to learn the discipline of faithful attention to meaningful tasks. Now that her children are grown and settled in their own careers, Sandra works full-time as an artist whose works are shown in galleries in Illinois and Wisconsin as well as in Florida, Arizona, Colorado and California. In addition to painting, Sandra works as a recycling artist, using discarded metals, glasses, plates, bowls and other waste or found objects to create weather-hardy garden sculptures. She will be part of the Garden Fest at McHenry County College on April 7 this year, which is open to the public.

The works of this State line artist are part of a series of quarterly art exhibitions featured at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and hosted by the Good Earth Church of the Divine, an Interfaith community. Part of the Good Earth mission is to recognize the healing effects of the arts upon the human spirit, even as it draws attention to earth care as a moral obligation and sacred calling.

Admission is FREE. The exhibition will run from March 31st and is open to the public weekdays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 pm and weekends by appointment. All sales of artwork are direct to the artist. Please join us to share the work of this planet-powered artist.