Sandra Lira has enjoyed sculpting since early childhood. Her limited editions, public art and commissioned work in bronze, precious metal, fired clay, resin, and steel-reinforced concrete are in private collections and public spaces worldwide.
She has won awards for both her sculpture and jewelry designs, including a Chesley Award for best three dimensional art for her Millennium Angel. Her work has been included in several editions of Spectrum Fantastic Art annuals.
Unless working directly in concrete or water-based clay, she generally uses either an oil-based clay, polymer clay, or wax depending on whether the finished work will be in bronze, resin or precious metal. While she enjoys sculpting or painting a realistic subject or portrait, she truly loves the process and challenge of inventing fantastical creatures.
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.
And the long-winded version:
My mom used to like to tell a story about me playing with a piece of string when I was two or three years old. I had twisted it into a shape and told her it was an animal (I think it was 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 I always had plenty of art supplies around to experiment with.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. Frank Frazetta's work made a particular impact on me at an early age and also Ray Harryhausen and his work in Jason and the Argonauts. I also admire the work of the animalier, Antoine-Louis Barye, especially his bronze sculpture of a tiger hunt.
As far as training, I think my style was pretty much ingrained by college age, however, I gained a lot from studying at Syracuse University, Hartford Art School and the Lyme Academy of Fine Art.
Unless I'm working directly in concrete or water-based clay, 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.
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