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Art Teaching Professor Sandy Brunvand Retires

Sandy Brunvand

We bid a happy farewell to Art Teaching Professor Sandy Brunvand, who retired over the summer! We're excited to announce her exhibition It's Not Always Black and White opening September 7 in Gittins Gallery.

Associate Professor (Lecturer) Sandy Brunvand has been described as a friend to all, supportive colleague, inspirational educator, and powerful artist. Her presence and unique abilities have made an indelible mark on her students and the Art Teaching area.

Sandy retired at the end of spring semester in May 2021 after teaching for 17 years in Department of Art & Art History. Prior to receiving her MFA in 2003, she was an art instructor in the Jordan School District for 12 years. Initially she was an adjunct instructor in our Department from 2004-2011 and became an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in 2011. For the past decade she has been one of two full-time faculty members in the Art Teaching Area and has played a major role in the education and preparation of Art Teaching majors. She was one of those outstanding and rare mentors and educators that some people are lucky enough to come across once or twice in a lifetime. She was awarded the College of Fine Arts’ Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching as well as the Utah Art Education Association’s Higher Ed. Art Educator of the Year Award. Her students recall her impact years after graduating.

Former student Aalia Fields stated that, “Sandy made an indelible impression on my experience at the University of Utah…. Her inspiration will follow me for the rest of my life as both an educator and individual.”

Art Teaching alumna, Rebecca Blue, attributes much of her success to Sandy. She wrote, “Professor Brunvand is one of the most excellent teachers at the University of Utah that I had as an undergraduate. She went above and beyond normal teaching by becoming a mentor to me. She never stopped teaching, even outside of her classroom…I can proudly say that I would not be where I am if it was not for this amazing person.”

Sandy was recently granted esteemed Emerita status by her colleagues who will miss her greatly but are so very happy for her and celebrate her many new adventures with her art, her travels in the wilds of Utah, and her new non-profit entity, Paper. Ink. Paws.

Words: Beth Krensky, Photos: Amelia Walchli