WASILLA — Local artist Sandra Cook has made art for countless reasons over the years, for her businesses, for events, for her art students, and most importantly, for herself.

Cook recently participated in a question and answer interview to discuss her various artistic endeavors why the action of creation is so important to her.

Q: So, I heard that you dabble in all kinds of mediums, is that the case?“Yeah, I do a little bit of everything,” she said with a laugh.

Q: What mediums are you gravitating toward the most right now?“Well, right now I’m doing a lot of water colors, just small six by six watercolor paintings, usually with some sort of word on them of encouragement. I decided back in May— after the pandemic shut everything down— that I needed to do something for myself. It was getting kinda depressing. So, I need a purpose I guess. I started producing these little paintings and posting them on my Facebook page.”

Q: How’s that been going?“So, I started out with a commitment for 100 days. So, I did that, and I committed for another 100 days. I’ve now done 266 days, going for 365 days.”

Q: That’s every day?

“Yeah, every day. Usually every morning I try to get it published before noon. Sometimes I don’t make it and it’s later in the day, but I’ve managed it for every day. So, it’s become my art practice… It seems like the people have a little bit of a following on my Facebook page; and getting comments from people, that it’s brought them joy or they look forward to it every day. I started doing it for me because I needed that uplifting part, and I thought maybe other people would too.”

Q: How long have you been making art?“I started doing pottery back in the late sixties, early seventies. I made my living doing pottery for 15 years back in Illinois, which was my home, where I came from. When I moved up here… I worked for the feds and for the state, but I had a pottery studio as well… I’ve also been doing it at the Art Cafe… I’ve also taught art at Cyber Lynx, the homeschool, a little bit of everything with the kids.”

Q: So, it sounds like art is something that’s something that’s very important to you, has that always been the case?“Yeah, it has been. It seems like I can’t not do it… It’s just something that I have to do.”

Q: Why is art so important to you?“Well, I think it really forces you to be a problem solver. You have this image in your mind of what you want, and then you have to figure out how you’re gonna’ execute it.”

Q: What’s your take on the local creative scene?“Oh, I think it’s great. The first thing I did was get involved with the Valley Arts Alliance. I did some of their first shows that they have and got involved with Wearable Art. It’s always been really fun… I kind of slipped away from the Arts Alliance… I’m still very interested in what they do, and I’m still on their board.”

Q: What do you think of the Valley Arts Alliance and what they do here in the community?I think it tries to be all inclusive through the community. I think they’re just really great service. We’re just so fortunate to have that kind of energy and interest in wanting to promote art in the community and bringing people together. I just think that they’re a great asset.”

Q: What do you think about the Valley’s pool of talent?“I am just always amazed at how many artists there are in the community, and I think Palmer has the reputation for being an arts destination.”

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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