I am a visual artist and writer. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In January 2018, I left a career as a speechwriter and scientist in the Washington, DC area. Six months later, I moved to Eugene, Oregon to live my dream of becoming a full-time artist. In my work, I process my experiences growing up sansei, or third generation Japanese American. My work examines what it means to be Asian and American, while reclaiming my identity as a descendant of a people incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. This body of identity work takes on new urgency in this time when we must not look away from systemic racism. My intent is to build shared understandings of the past as present and future. My hope is that these understandings in some small way help us make better choices going forward.
My way of working involves physicality with my materials. I engage in a process of excavating and rebuilding layers of ink drawings on paper, digging and tearing into the paper always in a back-and-forth conversation between the random and intentional. In this very physical and dynamic process, I excavate and rebuild self.
Before turning to abstraction in 2019, I was a representational artist. I began as a colored pencil artist in the early 2000's. In 2013, I transitioned to painting in oils. I was represented by New Masters Art Gallery in Rockville, Maryland, until it closed in 2017.
I live and work in Eugene, Oregon,
the homeland territory of the Kalapuya.
I have had the privilege of wonderful teachers in the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia region, including J.Jordan Bruns (my mentor), Glen Kessler, Gavin Glakas, Walter Bartman and others at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo, Maryland, Compass Atelier in Rockville, Maryland, and The Art League at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. I am deeply indebted to my Oregon artist friends and teachers, Christopher St. John and Mika Aono, for their generous and insightful guidance about art and life, and to ArtCity’s founder. Charly Swing. for her commitment to growing and enriching Eugene's art ecosystem. Many thanks to Vicki Krohn Amorose for shepherding artists like me into the world of writing about art and for introducing me to the Eugene contemporary arts scene.
Invisible Possibilities, The Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, Oregon, May 3-August 10, 2024
Asian Celebration Art Exhibit, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, July 19-30, 2023
PERFORMANCE: Healing Interrupted, with Mei-ling Lee, Walters Cultural Arts Center, Hillsboro, Oregon, February 7, 2023.
re-member, Mika Aono & Sandra Honda, Walters Cultural Arts Center Gallery, Hillsboro, Oregon, February 7-March 24, 2023.
Fault Lines: The Japanese American Experience (invited), Sandra Honda, University of Oregon Adell McMcillan Gallery, January 3-February 2, 2023.
Invisibilia (invited), Sandra Honda, Mei-ling Lee & Jefferson Goolsby, The Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, Oregon, June 21-August 7, 2022.
Asian/American Contemporary Women Artists (invited), Eugene Cultural Services Windowfront Exhibition, 224 W. Broadway, Eugene, OR, July 1 - November 14, 2022
Salem on the Edge Gallery, group show guest artist, July 1-30, 2022
Social Being, Kathleen Caprario, Sandra Honda, Mei-ling Lee, Charly Swing & Kerry Weeks, Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, Oregon, January 14 - February 11, 2022.
2021 Artworks Northwest Biennial Exhibit, June 11-August 20, 2021. Umpqua Valley Arts Association uvarts.com, Roseburg, Oregon, juried selection 2021 (Grace Kook-Anderson, juror)
Asian Celebration Fine Art Exhibit, May 7-July 7, 2021, 856 Willamette St., Eugene, Oregon
ArtCity Studios on Broadway @ Eugene Airport, Main Terminal, October 26, 2020 - January 20, 2021
Mayor's Art Show, juried selection 2020, City of Eugene, Oregon, August 7-September 8, 2020 (https://www.eugene-or.gov/3868/Mayors-Art-Show)
A Change of Space (online fundraiser and members show) Maude Kerns Art Center mkartscenter.org, April 13-May 15, 2020
Emerald Print Exchange Group Show, Emerald Art Center, Springfield, OR, November 2019
Emerald Print Exchange Group Show, Sequoia Gallery, Hillsboro, Oregon, October 2019
Plein Air Painters of Lane County Group Show, Saginaw Vineyards, Saginaw, OR, Summer 2019
Mixed Media & More!, Group Show, May 26-28 - Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery, Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD
Transient Moments, Group Show, April 7-27- Culture Coffee Too, 300 Riggs Rd NE, Washington, DC 20011
Interlude, 4-person show, New Masters Art Gallery, Rockville, MD
7th Annual Yellow Barn Drawing Show, Yellow Barn Gallery and Studio, Glen Echo, MD
Honorable Mention, Yellow Barn Annual Holiday Members Show (juried), Glen Echo, MD, Honorable Mention Award for "Blue Nude" (2016)
Juried Selecton "Plated," Washington ArtWorks, Rockville, Maryland
A Show of Summer, group show, Summer 2015 Compass Atelier, Rockville, Maryland
Rising Tide. Students of Glen Kessler, Washington Art Works, Rockville, Maryland
Women's Club of Potomac Art Show and Sale, Potomac, Maryland
2006 Juried Selection, "Colored Pencil," Colored Pencil Society of America, DC Chapter,
Chestertown Art League, Chestertown, Maryland
2004 Juried Selection, "Colored Pencil Society of America, DC Chapter,"
Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, Maryland
Pine Meadows Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture, Fall 2023 & Fall 2022
Oregon Arts Commission, Career Opportunity Grant, 2022
2023 "From Silence to Activism: One Artist's Journey," Minidoka Pilgrimage 2023, Hunt, Idaho
2022 "Invisibilia Book Discussion," The Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, Oregon
2022 "Invisibilia: Artist Talk," The Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, Oregon
2022 "Invisibilia: Artist Q&A," The Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, Oregon
2022 "Social Being Artist Panel," Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, Oregon
2021 "Social Justice in the Visual Arts," panel discussion, Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene Oregon
2023 Workshop leader, Oregon State University SMILE Program, handcasting workshops for middle and high school students (STEAM programming), April 4-5, 11-12, & 18-19, 2023 at Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR
2022 Juror, Lane Community College High School Art Exhibition 2022, Eugene, OR
2021 Judge, Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts 2021, Lake Oswego, OR
2021 Juror, Mayor's Art Show 2021, Eugene, OR
CRITICAL WRITING ABOUT ART
Critical MAS: Sandra Honda on "Inevitable Transitions" by Kum-Ja Lee Eugene Contemporary Art blog, August 13, 2020, http://www.eugenecontemporaryart.com/critical-mas-2020-curators-choice/
Critical MAS: Sandra Honda on Josh Sands' "Breathe, Step, Arrive." Eugene Contemporary Art blog, August 29, 2019, http://www.eugenecontemporaryart.com/critical-mas-sandra-honda-on-josh-sands-breathe-step-arrive/
"Erasing Boundaries Through Art," Nugget News, October 20, 2023.
"Storytelling & Historical Narrative in Visual Art," HillsboroArts Magazine, Winter 2023.
Cathy Carroll, "Interactive Art: Hands on the Land," Roundhouse Foundation News & Highlights, November 2022.
Beth Sorenson, "Loss, Memory and Connection at the Reser," Oregon Artswatch, July 2022
Mary Bell, "Women’s Perspectives on Display, Maude Kerns Art Center Hosts ‘Social Being’,' March 14, 2022, doublesidedmedia.com.
Sandy Brown Jensen, “Intriguing, Intelligent, Interactive Installations: “Social Being” at Maude Kerns Art Center," VizCity, KLCC (NPR affiliate station), 2022. https://www.klcc.org/show/viz-city/2022-02-02/intriguing-intelligent-interactive-installations-social-being-at-maude-kerns-art-center
Matthew Denis, "Eugene Cultural Services' 2021 Visual Arts Week promises to be a creative extravaganza," The Register Guard, 2021.
Sandy Brown Jensen, “Mono no aware”: Asian Celebration Storefront Art and "Discoveries" at the Karin Clarke Gallery, VizCity, KLCC (NPR affiliate station), 2021. https://www.klcc.org/post/mono-no-aware-asian-celebration-storefront-art-and-discoveries-karin-clarke-gallery
Asian American Women Artists Association (San Francisco), member