Creating Art Out of Sand

Photos by Al Anderson

Letting the earth itself be a medium for her art Juana Duran works with natural sand art, derived from a Navajo traditional method using undyed sand and minerals. Now 21, Duran has been a sand artist since age 13 and is now studying art education at SIUC.

The Cobden graduate was mentored by her late neighbor, international artist Victor DeGraff. Now working in her own studio behind her family’s home, she uses a 50/50 mixture of glue and water to paint the canvas before covering it with the naturally colored sands, some of which she grinds from rocks and minerals and others of which she is given or trades. Her collection of sands and rocks now numbers more than 500, and speaks to the many pieces she will create in the future.

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