ArtAttack: Starbird’s last exhibition in Eureka Springs


“My work is continually inspired by something that wants to be said, needs a physical manifestation, speaks something someone else needs to hear (even if we have never met and possibly never will).” Sandy Wythawai Starbird

I first encountered Sandy Wythawai Starbird’s artwork at Eureka Thyme shortly after Marsha Havens moved her gallery to the downtown core.

Her primitive figures, intricately made from pieces of fabric, molded clay and sacred and everyday objects seem to evoke the past, present and future all at once. Sandy’s impeccable, haute couture-like sewing skills and use of color and organic form combined with her ability to connect into that deep unconscious place, creates primal subjects she calls family.

Sandy will be the guest three-dimensional artist at the Eureka Fine Art Gallery for six weeks starting Oct. 1 and will be present during the Oct. 14 Second Saturday Gallery Stroll.

The big news is that this will likely be Sandy’s last exhibition in our tiny town.

Sandy, who lost her husband, the great ceramic artist Ken Starbird in 2014, is moving back to California to be with family.

The couple, who had been married two years, were sitting on the couch when Ken declared, “I think I have one good adventure left in me and I want to have it with you.” That adventure began with an intuitive move to the Ozarks ten years ago and a home they bought near Hogscald. With separate studios, they worked and played together, often collaborating on creative projects.

I was lucky to be invited out to her home and studio last week where we spent more than two hours talking about her work, life with Ken, her creative process and the synchronicity that often happens when life imitates art.

Sandy’s a great storyteller and takes delight in sharing details of her characters, what inspired them, and how they came into being. A found hawk feather, raw silk from a kimono, a hammered copper amulet designed by a friend and a box of antique buttons found at a yard sale all make it into her latest works.

I know many gifted crafts people in this town, but Sandy is one of the few who takes craft to the level of fine art.

Please join Sandy and brand new Eureka Fine Art Gallery member and featured artist, Cynthia Ré Robbins, this Saturday, Oct. 14 from 6 – 9 p.m. during the Eureka Springs Second Saturday Gallery Stroll.

And while strolling make sure you check out Zarks, Quicksilver, The Jewel Box, Iris in Basin Park, Fran Carlin’s Mosaic Studio, 85 Spring St. Gallery and The Green Gourd.