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Born in Colorado Springs in 1969, Sanford Wakeman moved to Greenville, South Carolina before the end of his first year. A close family and the youthful experience of a small town helped nurture Sanford through his teens. Although a small city, Greenville was large enough to offer him the opportunity to study printmaking and drawing at the Greenville Fine Arts Center, where Sanford also developed an early interest in photography.
Scenes of graffiti and buildings in disrepair were the subjects of many of his early works. The conjunction of form and color in these urban images would have a significant influence over his later creative expressions as well.
Sanford’s unique, boldly abstract portfolio gained him entrance into the Fine Arts program at the University of Georgia. He continued drawing and added painting and sculpture to his repertoire as well.
During this time, Sanford had the opportunity to return to Colorado and live in the Rockies. This solitary immersion in nature, as well as the difficult death of his grandfather, greatly shifted his life perspective, and caused him to choose art as his full-time career.