Madison, GA

An Interview With Sandra Vales, Featured Local Artist

Crystal Jackson
Flower of Life by Sandra ValesImage by the artist

Southern Living Magazine has named Madison, Georgia, one of the South's prettiest towns, and it's not hard to see why. With its well-preserved history, beautiful homes, lush gardens, and a charming historic district, it's no wonder so many artists thrive here. The Madison Artists Guild and Gallery (MAGallery) proudly displays and sells the work of authors, artists, and craftspersons. I reached out to the artists showcased in the MAGallery and asked them about their background, creative processes, inspiration, and work.

For this feature, I spoke to Sandra Vales, a contemporary artist who features her work in the gallery. Here's what she had to say:

What is your background?

I am a retired Art teacher from Riverdale, Georgia. I was an elementary art teacher for 31 years in Fulton County Schools in the metro Atlanta area. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) and also earned a Master of Art Education degree from the University of West Georgia (Carrollton, Ga.).
Fusion #1 by Sandra ValesImage by the artist

What is your artistic medium?

I consider myself a contemporary painter/mixed media artist. I enjoy painting abstract designs, still-life, and portraits.
Sandra ValesPhoto provided by Sandra Vales

As an artist, do you have a favorite tool you use to create?

I love quilts. I use fabrics in some of my still-life paintings.
Flowers of Reflection by Sandra ValesImage by the artist

Who are your biggest influences?

My artwork is influenced by Impressionist artists, Abstract Expressionist artists, Pop artists, folk artists, African American artists, and Haitian artists.
Flowers of Hope 3 by Sandra ValesImage by the artist

How do you share or promote your work?

I am the owner of Shining Star Creations where I sell my work, and my work is also available through the Madison Artists Guild and Gallery. You can also follow my work on Instagram.
Black and White Abstract by Sandra ValesImage by the artist

What makes your work stand out?

I use colorful, bold, and bright colors in my artwork. I enjoy creating work that is festive, vibrant, and thought-provoking.
Fusion #2 by Sandra ValesImage by the artist
Lyric by Sandra ValesImage by the artist

You can find more of Sandra's work at Madison Artists Guild and Gallery located at 125 W. Jefferson Street in historic downtown, Madison, Georgia. When we make an effort to shop local and support small businesses, it's important to remember that this includes the artists who call our community home.

Madison Artists Guild is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to education and encouragement of artistic endeavor in its members and the community through outreach programs, classes and workshops, social gatherings, and support of local artists through MAGallery. For more information or to become a member, visit   

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails:

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