Katherine Sandoz: Tahoe Hybrids

Words by Libbie Summers
Photography by Anna Heritage
Artwork by katherine sandoz

It’s not uncommon for me to hang up the phone with artist and friend Katherine Sandoz and head straight to Webster’s Online Dictionary. And, I’m not ashamed to admit between Katherine and my husband I’ve made the online dictionary the first bookmark on my laptop.

Months ago, as Katherine was describing the paintings she was working on for her current exhibit, Tahoe Hybrids, now showing at SCAD’s Pinnacle Gallery, I thought I must be getting smarter. I knew exactly what she was talking about. The feeling she was trying to relay in the grandeur of Lake Tahoe and the work it inspired. But, I had spent time on the lake many years ago…so maybe I wasn’t smarter.


If the exhibit space of the Pinnacle Gallery hadn’t smelled like new carpet and more like a sweet lake breeze, I would have thought I was standing on a North Lake Tahoe shore looking across it’s crystal waters. Seeing Katherine’s 40′ panel that lines the west wall in the intimate gallery took me back to my first visit to the lake in 1990…riding my bike for hours and feeling so alive I thought I would die.

So I did it again right there in the gallery, and not unlike my first visit to Lake Tahoe, there was a police officer standing near by.

I was moved by the work of my talented friend. Moved that she captured the feeling I remembered of Lake Tahoe. The clean simple life. The colors that pop off the crystal water and what seems like the bluest skies outside of Chapel Hill, NC. A kind of teeth cleaning earthy wonder.

What I can’t find the words for was looking across the gallery and seeing my assistant, Candace, taking in her first look at Katherine’s work. How tears welled up in her eyes looking over a series of six panels in the exhibit. I’ll need Katherine’s or Webster’s linguistic help for that. It was something I’ll never forget and I only wish Katherine would have been there to witness it.


There are only a couple of days left to see Katherine’s exhibit, Tahoe Hybrids. I encourage you all to stop by, grab a painted rock and think about how it makes you feel standing in a room of greatness and beauty.

For me…it made me jump-up happy. Happy to be back in Tahoe (if only within a painting), happy to experience the beauty in Katherine’s work and happy to not be arrested.


  1. Where is the exhibit? Address?

    Comment by Nita Ann on August 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm

  2. I LOVE Katherine’s work and I LOVE your energy in the gallery. Both you and Katherine are inspirational!!!

    Comment by Lyn Bonham on August 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm

  3. Nita Ann, The exhibit is at the Pinnacle Gallery on Liberty. 320 East Liberty! Please do stop by. Such beautiful work!!

    Comment by Libbie Summers on August 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  4. I type this from my home in Lake Tahoe. I too have been quite moved by Katherine’s work inspired by her time here. We just returned by boat from a lovely day recently on the east shore where we played and swam in the beauty she replicates here. I only wish I could see her work in person. Really enjoyed reading of your experience with her paintings and your time in Lake Tahoe, a place only those that have been can truly know how special it is. Thank you.

    Comment by domonique| a bowl full of simple on August 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm

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