Visual Arts

At 81, artist is still passionate about her work, exhibits at Alper JCC

Sandra Sher Goldman with many of her artworks at the Futernick Family Gallery.
Sandra Sher Goldman with many of her artworks at the Futernick Family Gallery.

Sandra Sher Goldman grew up in the Boston area and had been passionate about art since as far as she can remember.

“I never thought I’d be anything else but an artist. I just always loved to draw and when I was a kid, there were many ways to enjoy life. You had to find a way to enjoy yourself. For me, it was always drawing and coloring and painting,” said Goldman, 81, who is currently exhibiting her artwork at the the Futernick Family Gallery at the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center, 11155 SW 112th Ave.

Goldman recounted a time when she was about 6 years old and her sister her brought her to a gathering of World War II soldiers and sailors. Young women would dance and spend time with the men. Goldman would sit at a table and draw pictures of the festivities.

“My life has always been involved in making art in one way or another,” she said.

Goldman took art classes in middle school and was also invited to take more classes at the Boston Museum. She received continuous support from her parents.

She graduated from Malden High School in 1953. After spending a year at the Massachusetts College of Art, her family moved to Florida because of her father’s health.

Goldman continued school at the University of Miami and met her future husband, Jerry Goldman, who was studying to be a writer.

At UM, art professor Richard Merrick took her under his wing.

“I really became a better painter when I worked with him. You can always learn. I’m 81 but I’m still learning. You learn from the kids around you and from experimentation. You never stop. I still continue making art. I never stopped,” she said.

Through the years, she has taught at Miami-Dade County Schools and Miami Dade College.

Goldman has a son, Andrew, whom she takes care of, and a daughter, Bonnie. Her husband died when she was 47.

After his death, she received her a master’s of art education at Rhode Island School of Design. Still, she wasn’t satisfied and Goldman earned a master’s of fine arts from the University of Arizona.

“For me, it was important,” she said. “I love working around young people because they inspire me. I love the way they think they have energy. I've never been any different.”

She has continued to make and show her art throughout the years.

Her pieces at the Futernick Gallery are all themed around earth.

“The way I interpret nature is how my image looks. They become a part of me. Pushing something as far as I can is an exciting notion of art,” Goldman said.

Art is everything to Goldman. “For me it’s like breathing, I need to make art.”

Visual Arts and Museum Director at the JCC, Suzy Breitner, lauded Goldman’s work.

“We select only the best and I think Sandi is one of the best local artists around,” Breitner said. “She’s a very prolific artist and her show is particularly wonderful. I love her work.”