Studio Visit: mary margaret sandbothe

mary margaret sandbothe is an artist based out of Missouri. She was featured in PLEAT's March 2015 exhibition "bi•fur•cated" which can still be seen in the archives section of this site.  See more of her work at

Could you walk us through a typical day in your studio?
Sure…I’m sorta juggling a lot with graduate classes; teaching beginning fibers and being a pastry baker in life, but the weekend offers more time in my studio for sure. I usually spend a lot of time organizing (I’ve been called delightfully obsessive) before moving into working on art stuff. Typically, I have more than one work going at once, from stitching, print making, doodles, to painting and paper making. I like to move around constantly. Sometimes, I start with a set of goals in mind (a to-do list of sorts) other times I just set to play. The main thing is making sure I don’t get stuck and that I’m always going. 

What role does color play in your work?
Depending on the project, the role of color tends to change in my work. With the mat board drawings, the only the common color is a “sad pink” with a yellow glue stripe down the board. For me, the pink directly relates to the flesh (the body) which also dealing with the subject matter of queer (ness), gender identity, and ambiguity in those regards. Pink, can also be seen as this heavily gendered color, yet that’s not its position in the work. Sure…I’m a girl making pink works but that’s not the point. Pink is just a color not flesh not “girl” or “femininity”.

In your experience, what is the most rewarding medium to work in?
I’ve been making paper for 8 years now. I rarely use it in my artwork, but beat pulps and form sheets at least once a week. And, I’m pretty good at it (not to toot my own horn). The process is very meditative and “normal” to me. As a medium, paper is so versatile. You can draw on, collage, print large scale digital photographs, use it in etching and other printmaking processes, use it sculpturally with casting methods…the sky is the limit.