Sandra Lira has enjoyed sculpting since early childhood. Her limited editions and commissioned
work in bronze, precious metals, fired clay and resin are in private collections worldwide and
she has won awards both for her larger sculptures and her jewelry designs.
She has studied at Syracuse University, Hartford Art School and the Lyme Academy of Fine Art.A native of upstate New York, she now lives in central Connecticut.
PO Box 7332 Kensington, CT 06037
My mom used to like to tell a story about me playing with a piece of string when I was very young. I had twisted it into a shape and told her it was an animal (I think it was a bird or a dog) and she said it looked just like whatever I'd said it was. So, being the indulgent and supportive parents they were, they made sure that my brother and I always had plenty of art supplies around to experiment with.
My style can best be described as Imaginative Realism (coined by James Gurney, I think). I'm especially drawn to speculative/science fiction, fantasy and classic horror themes, probably due to early exposure to books in these fields, Bullfinch's Mythology, local comics dealers and especially lots of classic science fiction and old black & white horror films on Saturday afternoon and late night TV when I was little. In fact, this has been such a strong influence that, since I was seven years old, I've wanted to work in a creature shop making monsters and aliens for films.
I’ve loved ancient art, Assyrian and Greek in particular, since I was very young, as well as work by the Renaissance masters. Contemporary work by (my hero!) Frank Frazetta made a particular impact on me at an early age, and also Ray Harryhausen and his work in Jason and the Argonauts. I also particularly admire the work of the animalier, Antoine-Louis Barye, especially his bronze sculpture of a tiger hunt. And although I can't list him as an early influence, I'm also a huge fan of Brom's work.
As far as training, my style was pretty much ingrained by college age, however, I gained a lot from courses in foundry techniques with Rodger Mack while at Syracuse University; animation with Rick Eriksen at Middlesex College; and especially a three year course in anatomy with Deane Keller, Jr. at Lyme Academy of Fine Art in Old Lyme, CT. We were even taken to Yale for dissections on cadavers. It was amazing.
The medium I use for original work is dictated by what material the final piece will be and its size. I generally use either an oil based clay, polymer clay, or wax depending on whether the finished work will be in bronze, resin or precious metal. The original sculpture is often destroyed in the mold-making process. While I find sculpting or painting a realistic subject or portrait interesting and challenging, it's so much more fun for me to actually invent the subject.
While I think of myself primarily as a sculptor, I also am drawn to painting, stop-motion animation, and digital work, including visual FX and 3D modeling and animation.
I'm very proud to say that my Millennium Angel was awarded a Chesley for best three dimensional art and is featured in the new book: The Chesley Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy Art: A Retrospective. I’m also very proud that my work has appeared in Spectrum 5, 8 and 9.
Phone: (860) 828-3336 or 1 (800) 747-LIRA
Fax: (860) 828-8842