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Georgetown Public Library

june, 2021

02jun(jun 2)1:00 am18jul(jul 18)1:00 amDiane Sandlin and Sam Elkins: In Our Own Company . . . a Conversation in Texture, Light, Layers and Line

Event Details

Exhibit June 2-July 18
Reception and Informal Artists’ Talk: Sunday, June 13, 2-4 p.m.

Some of the best collaborations begin with asking the “what if…?” questions, as Sam Elkins and Diane Sandlin did when considering their quite different, yet parallel crafts: contemporary weaving and abstract painting. Instead of focusing on differences, the two artists looked for commonalities in their respective art forms. With a progression of multiple layers of paint and the addition of marks, abrasions, and surface materials, Sandlin’s work is a study in undisclosed history, curiosity, movement and color. Symmetrically, the fiber pieces Elkins weaves relate directly to her history in northern New Mexico, with abstracted minimal landscapes, subtle surface designs and a sense of letting the all natural fibers form the story.

Both art forms are engaging on their own, but the visual transition from tactile to painted surfaces and back again provides the viewer with additional ways to see each artist’s art in the context of the other. One artist provides the perfect foil for the other. Weavings harken back to traditional, almost ancient times, yet these evoke a minimalism, full of nuanced conjecture in a modern world.

Contrasting with the fibers are paintings with enmeshed references and textured backgrounds, contemporary and at the same time, evocative of another place and time. One style plays off the other…complementary yet strongly individual. Sandlin and Elkins offer an intention of quiet introspection into these works…asking the viewers to look more deeply, finding joy in the expressions of each and perhaps even their own place in the work.

Diane Sandlin
Diane Sandlin’s paintings, filled with lines, gestures and judicious color, offer a slice-of-life glimpse of a woman who celebrates life as a journey. Freedom. Energy. Palimpsest. Quiet beauty of the ordinary. These expressions are all evident in her abstract paintings. Full of twists and turns, her life path informs her artistic practice and describes her own unique expression.

Like the pieces she paints, Diane’s personal history has meandered from a creative childhood in a small Texas town to a residence in picturesque Rhineland Germany, a degree from UT-Austin and then on to a corporate career centered in Dallas and San Francisco where she specialized in risk management insurance solutions for large multi-national corporations.

Returning to Austin, Diane became immersed in the art world first with textiles by making whole cloth designs using dyes and fabric manipulation techniques. Textiles evolved into mixed media paintings while she benefitted from robust self-directed art studies involving exceptional teachers and mentors. For Diane, painting is a way of communicating visually. She creates art that lays the groundwork for stories to be told. Ordinary experiences such as wind swaying tall grasses, the sheer magnitude of the night sky, graceful interactions between people captivate her imagination. She paints intuitively with minimal pre-intent and depicts what is felt and unseen – such as the sensation of dusk, not just the way it looks but a visceral reaction to the experience. With art as the catalyst, her hope is for the viewer to pause, observe, discover and be transported.

*University of Texas at Austin, BA, 1975
*Art Cloth Mastery Program with Jane Dunnewold, 2010-2012, Art Cloth Studios, San Antonio, TX
*Art2Life Creative Visionary Path Program with Nicholas Wilton, Sausalito, CA, 2017 and 2018
*Mentoring with Pamela Caughey, contemporary artist, Hamilton, MT, 2018
*The Artist Mindset program, Cheryl Taves, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2019
*Various workshops with Lauren Mantecon, Santa Fe artist, 2018 – present and current invitational Deep Dive program
*The Language of Color, Mark and Marija Eanes, Bay Area, CA, 2020
*Mentoring with Cheryl Taves – ongoing
*Critical Discussion Group with Bill Porteous and Cheryl Taves, 2020–present

Learn more about Diane Sandlin at her website,

Sam Elkins
“Sam” (an early childhood nickname) Elkins is a contemporary fiber artist and weaver in Austin, Texas. A native of northern New Mexico, her art reflects an early awareness of natural fibers, a lifelong respect for traditional weaving techniques and a deeply beloved vision of the vast beauty of the sheep ranch where she spent her childhood in the blue shadows of the Sangre’ de’ Cristo mountains.

Her textile work has been varied and has traveled from simple sewing to professional tailoring, to wearable art, from traditional weaving to off-loom fiber construction, to contemporary quilting to three-dimensional fiber sculpture. But Sam always returns to the loom and the simple act of weaving, where her roots began.

In addition to a career in social work and counseling, Sam studied fiber arts at Texas Woman’s University, completed a course at the Apparel Institute in Dallas, Texas, and has participated in weaving, dyeing, and spinning courses with various fiber artists/weavers in New Mexico and Texas.

Elkins’ work has been shown in galleries from Santa Fe to Boston. She has participated in curated exhibits in New Mexico, Dallas and Austin and today continues her work in the small community of Georgetown, Texas. (But each Fall she packs a small rigid heddle loom and heads to northern New Mexico to just to revive her vision.)

Art affiliations:
International Textile Art Collective
Handweavers Guild of America
Fiber Arts Network, US
Wimberley Valley Art League
Quelle Zine, New Mexico Fiber Arts Collective
Dallas Fashion Institute Alumni Association
Georgetown Arts Center
Williamson Co. Art Guild

Jane Dunnewold, Creative Strength Training
Rebecca Mezoff, Intensive Tapestry Structure
Liz Gipson, The Yarnworker, The Weaver’s Trifecta Course
Tierra Wools, Los Ojas New Mexico, weaving, spinning, dyeing courses.
Dallas Fashion Institute, Tailoring/Fabric Construction
Miriam’s Well, Santa Fe New Mexico, weaving/fiber construction.
Texas Woman’s University, survey studies in fiber arts, weaving, textile design
University of Texas, Austin, design seminar
Laguna Gloria, Austin, pottery, fiber sculpture

Leaning In, First Unitarian Church of Austin, S & B Moore Gallery
Wild West Weaving, Silver City, New Mexico
Denton Visual Arts Center, Denton Texas, Materials Hard and Soft
Texas Women’s University, Fiber Arts Show
First Unitarian Church of Austin, Visual Arts Gallery, Members Show, 2
Dallas Fashion Institute, Fashion Construction Exhibit,
Boston University Visual Arts Gallery, Boston MA
Colors Gallery, Wimberley Texas
Colors 2 Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Rhinestones and Coconuts Gallery, Dallas Texas
Jazz Gallery, Denton, Texas
Boston University Visual Arts Gallery, Boston MA

Learn more about Sam Elkins at her website,


June 2 (Wednesday) 1:00 am - July 18 (Sunday) 1:00 am


Georgetown Public Library - Bridge & Hall Galleries


Dana Hendrix