Joyful Resistance: Mixed Media Self Exploration Workshop

Join me on Saturday May 21st for two mixed media workshops at the Center for Contemporary Art; 2020 Burnt Mills Rd, Bedminster, NJ 07921

Register for my class online by clicking here or call 908-234-2345.

Joyful Resistance… Create a self-portrait, an autobiographical composition unifying diverse materials to illustrate Joy. Consider what brings you joy and what may be standing in the way of you being joyful. With this as your guide, collect autobiographical images, sketches and textiles for your story that provide context and bring them to the workshop.


The visual fusion of diverse materials describes the mixed media process. The juxtaposition of “found” things (recycled fabric and plastic waste), mixed with art materials create visual tension.

We’ll explore diverse materials, memory and the processes used to create rich juxtapositions and powerful compositions.

Mixed Media processes enlist a variety of mediums to bind different papers, fibers, textured and 3D materials & paints together.

Use a mixture of color relationships, shapes and found images to create a figure with abstract pattern and color.

Consider the contrast of complimentary colors; Red/Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow/Violet…  

And contrasting shapes: geometric against more organic shapes, rectangles, circles, squares, maps, stamps, music score…

Or the use of meaningful words laser printed in various fonts/sizes layered in the background.

Collage materials are important ingredient for your compositions- Bring a variety of images from different sources (magazines, old books, postcards, photos (laser prints work best in mixed media works).


Personal Objects: Please bring items that are unique to you and will help tell your story. Bring photographs, laser printed images or drawings in pen, pastel, charcoal, colored pencil to be incorporated into larger works.

Materials to Share: Please bring 10-15 scraps of paper, a magazines, fabric, plastic, or other materials to share with other members of our group. Bring things that are interesting, and things that are not so interesting for negative space. Recycle items from your everyday life.

Substrate: We will focus on 2D and 3D compositions. Layering and a denser relief will be demonstrated.

Paper: Please bring whatever paper, old books, torn maps, stamps, paper currency, tissue paper, newspaper, magazines or any other kind of paper that you might like to use. I use a lot of tissue paper to layer and obscure images.

Acrylic Paints: If you want special colors bring it with you.

Brushes: Please bring brushes. They do not need to be expensive. Two Home Depot 1”flat and 2” flat (soft, flexible brushes), and one nicer #7 or #8 round (also soft, flexible, white or gold nylon) are great tools for your mixed media kit.

Pencils: You may want to bring drawing materials, pencils, colored pencils, etc.

Pens: Bring a couple of your favorite pens. My favorites are Uni-ball Signo, Faber-Castell PITT, gel pens, acrylic markers, and Sharpies of various sizes.

Glitter & Confetti: Craft glitter, confetti or shredded paper can be interesting.

3-D Objects: Small beads, buttons, metal parts, plastic bottle caps, broken jewelry, small beads. shells, watches, found objects etc.

Glue: Regular matte medium (NOT FLUID) and YES paste.

5 Minute Epoxy: To apply heavier items, E6000 is my favorite. You can find this at Home Depot and Amazon.

Scissors & Knives: A pair of scissors and an X-Acto knife.

Rulers: Rulers, triangles and other drawing/drafting tools may also be useful.

Gloves: You may want to wear gloves. I use non-latex gloves.

Clothing: Old clothes or aprons may be in order. You know your own working style and comfort needs. Dress accordingly.

If there are specific tools or materials you do not have, do not stress. Someone will likely share what you need. I have a large tub of scrap paper, tissue paper, deli paper you can use. I will also prepare some other materials you can play with too.

Theda Sandiford: Emotional Baggage Carts


On April 30th, 2022, the world unites in celebration of sculpture during the 8th annual International Sculpture Day!

Sky Garden Gallery invites you to play with Theda Sandiford’s Emotional Baggage Carts. Interact with the cart and leave behind any emotional baggage you are carrying.


Power Puff with Black Racing Stripes

Power Puff, Black Racing Stripe Baggage Cart

  • Theda Sandiford
  • Bike reflectors, paracord, Fresh Direct bag yarn, doggie poop bags, plastic newspaper bags and plastic grocery bags woven on gold spray painted recovered shopping cart.
  •  36 x 40 x 24 in
  • 2021

Joy is a form of resistance.

We all carry emotional baggage Naturally; these manifests differently for each of us. Some of us push shopping carts of pain and bitterness while some of us just have a backpack.
I carry a lifetime of racial trauma.

Being alive means having the capacity to carry past experiences and learn from them. But there’s a point when this baggage becomes too much. Carrying too much emotional baggage can literally stop us from being open to new experiences, intimacy and growth.

How we choose to handle our baggage makes a difference. We have the choice to let it define us or to let it go and move forward.

Keep up with me on IG @MissTheda

#emotionalbaggagecarts #ThedaSandiford

The Great Resignation: Baggage Cart

  • Theda Sandiford
  • Vintage silk ties and leather belts, paracord, black zip ties & ribbon, LED strip lights, mesh on recycled commercial fishing net and gold spray paint on recovered shopping cart
  • 42 x 25 x 46 in
  • 2022

International Sculpture Day @ Sky Garden Gallery – CANCELLED

I am so sorry to have to cancel the opening of our rooftop garden to visitors today. The plants are planted but with this slow to start Spring the plants are not splendiferous yet.

I also have an opening in New Canaan CT, and I’m trying to swing by Art House Productions’ Snowball gala tonight.

I promise to open the garden and emotional baggage cart display for frolicing later this Summer when the lavender is blooming.

International Sculpture Day is being celebrated on Governors Island today. My emotional baggage cart “Donda Donda Deluxe” in honor of Kanye West’s relationship with his Mother Dr. Donda West is on display all Summer at Art Crawl Harlem’s house 406b. Stop in and take a photo.

Free Your Mind Installation

by Theda Sandiford

Free Your Mind is a textile public art installation aiming to collect, embed and release personal narratives about Microaggressions.

Microaggressions are subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.

The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.

Free Your Mind intends to expose these interactions and provide a release for the participating individuals. Participants have the feeling of being seen and acknowledged while interacting with the installation.

The installation evolves with each new ribbon, keeping a public record of disempowering interactions, that can be exposed and addressed.

Last year, Free Your Mind toured, collecting story ribbons in Bayonne NJ, Jersey City NJ, and during Miami Art Week. This summer at Governors Island, Free Your mind is documenting your story.


You Are So Articulate

In this weaving, each piece of yarn is representative of a conversation where I was acknowledged for being able to express my thoughts and ideas. Being told I’m well-spoken often comes off as a backhanded compliment. It carries problematic connotations that, it is unusual for someone of my race to be intelligent or eloquent.

The completed weaving is displayed on a DYI loom, as if the work is still in progress because some version of this conversation, continues still…

You Are So Articulate, January 2021, 72 x 30 x 2 in, $4,000.00

Immersive Tag

The assignment… collage one iPhone photo, to pass the time while riding NJ Transit 123 bus from Union City NJ to NYC the summer of 2015.

Have you ever had someone put their hands in your hair without asking first?

This was a regular occurrence for me while riding the bus or subway… before the Pandemic. This is not ok. Please don’t pet me like a dog because my hair fascinates you.

Today, I rarely use public transportation and work mostly from home. I wonder, has social distancing caused a shift in this behavior?

“Immersive Tag” Digital photo collage printed on polysheer. 120 x 60 in, 2015

Blackty Black Blankets

Protective zip tie blankets draped on two 8 foot antique library ladders.

I know you are tempted to touch…

April Exhibitions & Installations

Craft Nouveau!

Exhibition Dates: April 1 2022- May 28th, 2022
Opening Reception: April 16, 2022, 4:00 – 8:00pm
Closing Reception: May 21, 2022, 4:00 – 8:00pm

Location: Blue Lines Arts: 405 Vernon Street Suite 100, Roseville, CA 95678

Emotional Baggage Cart Installation @ Expo Chicago

The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art

Exhibition Dates:  April 7 2022 – April 10  2022

Location: Navy Pier Chicago, Booth #377

Mixed Media

Exhibition Dates: April 22, 2022 –May 22, 2022

Location: Site:Brooklyn Gallery Online Gallery

Theda Sandiford’s: Joyful Resistance

Exhibition Dates: April 22 2022 – June 4, 2022

Location:The Center for Contemporary Art; 2020 Burnt Mills Rd, Bedminster, NJ 07921

Sculpture Walk Springfield 2022-2023

Exhibition Dates: April 23,2022- May 21, 2023

Location: 411 N. Sherman Parkway, Springfield MO 65802.

International Sculpture Day

Join Sky Garden Gallery for a fun interactive rooftop photoshoot with Theda Sandiford’s Emotional Baggage Carts. Come play and have your picture taken.

Saturday April, 30 2022 from 12:00- 3:00pm

Location: 150 Bay Street, PH9, Jersey City, 10th floor


Visions & Voices

Exhibition Dates: February 4, 2022 – May 21, 2022

Location: The Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St Dover DE 19901

NJSCA Fellowship Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: March 22, 2022 – May 21, 2022

Location: Artworks, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, NJ 08611, USA

Free Your Mind Public Art Installation @ Governors Island 2022

Exhibition Dates: May- September 2022

Location: Governors Island, 406b Colonels Row

International Sculpture Day @ Sky Garden Gallery

Im sorry but I have to cancel opening the rooftop Garden. The plants are planted but they are not ready yet.

Plus I have an opening in CT, I need to get to today.

On April 30th, 2022, the world will unite in celebration of sculpture during the 8th annual International Sculpture Day!

Join Sky Garden Gallery for a fun interactive rooftop photoshoot with Theda Sandiford’s Emotional Baggage Carts.

Come play and have your picture taken.

Location: 150 Bay Street, PH9, 10th floor

Saturday, April 30 from 12:00- 3:00pm

JC Friday Art Supply Swap is Coming…

Do you have leftover materials from an art project? Have WAY too much Cadmium White when you need Pastels? Do you have skeins of yarn you are not using? Or supplies from an art practice you no longer use?

We’re on the lookout for art supplies that can be used by someone else. Marie Condo your art supplies and make room for more joy in your life.

Here is how it’s going down:

Start rummaging in your closet and pulling out supplies you want to get rid of.

Come to Sky Garden Gallery’s Art Supply Swap
March 4, 2022, 5pm – 8pm
150 Bay Street, Jersey City, NJ PH9, 10th floor

with your items and trade, them for something else.

DM your Questions to @SkyGardenGallery or @MissTheda on Instagram

Feel free to contact me about specific items I am currently sourcing such as colored T shirts, sheets, fabric, rope, beads….

Swapping starts at 5:00pm. See you then!

JC Friday: I Am My Hair

  • September 10, 2021 6:00pm – 9:00pm

On Location: Art 150; 150 Bay Street, Jersey City NJ, Studio #231

Of Friday, September 10, I’m hosting my first open studio session in 18 months.

Audience participation is encouraged. Come wrap and hitch knot yarn onto rope to become a part of a hair installation and find a common denominator amongst us all, HAIR.

We are also making strings of beads made with recycled bottle caps in the 2nd floor common area of Art 150.

NOTE: Entrance lobby for the 2nd floor studios is separate from that for the residential units of 150 Bay and can be found at the NE corner of the building, at the corner of 1st St. and Provost St.

New Directions 2020 Artist Talk Tonight

You are invited to my Zoom Artist Talk Tonight. I’ll be talking about my fiber work, Trench Town.

When: Oct 28, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. See you tonight

“Trench Town” Mixed Media Fiber 100’x 1/2″ 2019