The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Mary Sand: Jane-of-all-trades conquers the artistic side of Sacramento
City College student and artist Mary Sand. Ella Morgan | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

Jovonny Devicente

Guest Writer

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Photos by Ella Morgan

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There’s something about Mary. This artist does it all.

Mary Sand, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and multimedia artist, creates innovative art. The City College student has designed the campus newspaper and magazine, and makes money on the side by freelancing as a graphic designer. She owns an artistic wedding décor business that recycles flowers from past weddings into new artistic pieces. She also creates other design elements for weddings.

There is no surprise in learning she comes from a creative family, which was her main artistic influence when she was growing up.

“My mom’s an artist, so I grew up being trained as an artist,” Sand says, “and she is an entrepreneur, also. So I saw her go through many, many phases of trying to make money selling her work. That’s what I think made me want to get into graphic design, because it’s like art, but it’s more of a modern way where you can make money.”

Sand is also a musical artist, who plays a variety of instruments, including the guitar and her favorite, hand drums. You can catch her performing and hosting at the oldest bar in Sacramento, rightly named the Old Ironsides, every Wednesday at 8 p.m.

In a politically charged city such as the capital city, many Sacramentans dedicate themselves to 9-to-5 lives inside an office, cooped up until retirement. Living in the state capital makes it easier to find people who are more politically conscious and conservative, worrying about conformity, comfort and security. It’s especially hard to find creative people who create in a variety of forms, such as music, sculptures and graphic design. One might even call Sand a jane of all trades in arts.

She says she got her innovational, entrepreneurial spirit from her family, as well. Aside from her mom selling art for a living, her dad has his own business.

“My dad’s also an entrepreneur,” Sand says. “He owns a business in Sacramento. He is a mechanic, a jeep mechanic, so you could say it came from both sides.

He is also a musician, too, so I guess I got my musicality from both my parents.”

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“He was a musician before I was, and he was the one always telling me to get into it and start playing the guitar more,” says Sand.

Sand is not originally from Sacramento. She was born in Redwood City in the Bay Area on Cinco De Mayo in 1994. Specifically, she grew up in the Delta, growing up in several different small towns in that area.

“My whole family and my whole close family have been a huge inspiration in my life,” she says.

Mark Gonzales, also known as Gonzo inside Old Ironsides where Sand performs and hosts a weekly open mic, is a close associate. Gonzo is the night manager and bartender who hired Sand after the previous host personally chose her to be the successor after she left her hosting duties. He has also witnessed Sand and her creative family perform at the bar several times.

“She is talented, too,” Gonzo says. “Her family, they all play music, which is kind of interesting to me too because her mother comes in sometimes and plays, and her brother plays,” Gonzo says. “It’s kind of interesting to see that kind of talent in the family. It’s pretty cool.”

Gonzo has noticed Sand’s knack for creativity, ambition and talent, especially in her graphic arts.

“She is a go-getter, she has a lot of energy, and I think she has a lot of good ideas,” he says. “You can probably see that in some of her graphic arts work that she does. I think you can see her creativity.”

Sand’s major at City College is graphic arts, and she has been contributing to the school magazine, Mainline, since fall 2016. The faculty adviser to the magazine, journalism professor Jan Haag, praised Sand’s talent as a graphic designer.

“I think Mary Sand is one of the most talented graphic designers we’ve had in the journalism department,” says Haag, who worked with Sand on the magazine in the fall, and more recently, this spring. “Her pages are always readable, that is, she doesn’t design just for the sake of being fancy.”

You can see Sand’s work online at her business site, Mary Contrary, Design & Décor, where she has built a foundation for her work to be sold. She has bigger-than-life goals for her art and business, hoping to inspire humanity all over the world.

“I’ve always wanted my work to appeal to a really broad range of people, instead of just art lovers, so that I can inspire people that dont think creatively,” says Sand. “Most people in the world aren’t creative, and I think it’s because they’re not exposed to it. My goal is to find something that inspires people of all ages, all cultures, something that is really universal.”

An attitude that is quite contrary from the dull office life of Sacramento.


The most recent Mainline magazine will be on campus newsstands May 2017. Go to to view Mary Sand’s wedding creations.


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