Elizabeth Sandvig


signed block print 9 x 12

Michael Spafford was a young art student at Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1956 when a car accident put him out of commission for months. When he returned to school, he found another young artist in the studio space that he had been using. Her name was Elizabeth Sandvig. She offered him some carrot sticks. It was the beginning of a relationship that would include marriage, in 1959; relocation to Seattle when Spafford joined the art department at the University of Washington, in 1963; and a collective body of work that would make them one of the most celebrated couples in the Northwest arts community. Their artistic styles are markedly different: it's been said that nothing he paints is personal, while everything she paints is. He is better known than she is -- partly the result of a controversy over a commission for the State House of Representatives in the 1980s -- but both have been much honored, and their work is included in some of the Northwest's most important collections, public and private.