Fresh off having his artwork featured at ArtBeat of Cville, longtime Abundant Life participant and STRIVE graduate Amdane Sanda will display a large-scale, intricate work titled “Person in the Woods” at the Welcome Gallery’s First Friday exhibit opening on December 6. Amdane is one of 11 artists participating in New City Arts’ 2019-2020 Artist Exchange, a program that brings together local artists to create and exchange a unique set of artworks with one another.
A native of Togo, we noticed Amdane’s artistic talents at an early age – he designed our 2011 Bible Camp t-shirt as a 5th grader! Now a student at Piedmont Virginia Community College and employee of The Local, Amdane is a custom clothing entrepreneur and multimedia artist whose work has also been exhibited at Blue Moon Diner, Eunoia, The Local, and Junction.
A budding entrepreneur
Amdane has long experimented with different mediums for his work. In high school, he painted his cell phone case, and soon dozens of students were paying him to paint theirs too. He has since moved on to painting custom designs on shoes and t-shirts, which he markets under the label The Masking Tape through Instagram and his website. His brand ambassador, Appiton Weyee, is a fellow Abundant Life alumnus and STRIVE Class of 2018 graduate. Amdane says he can really trust his longtime friend Appiton for support.
Art with a purpose
Not only is Amdane’s art unique, but his socially conscious mission is as well. He says, “Whatever is designed, created and sold by The Masking Tape isn’t driven by the purpose of making money, rather it’s to make art that makes a change. Our goal is to always seek to help those who aren’t able to help themselves, not only in our own communities but also in various parts of the world. For every purchase an individual makes, a donation of clothing and shoes are made or a portion of the sale itself is donated. This is art with a purpose. We hope you’ll join us in our journey of shaping smiles and creating a better future.”
Amdane’s future directions
Amdane’s creative pursuits don’t end there. He is currently working on his first three books: a picture book, a book of poems, and a novel based on his childhood experiences. Drawing inspiration from everyday emotions, he is also developing a project that incorporates art into a toy that could ease anxiety symptoms. Amdane says he hopes to see The Masking Tape grow to something bigger than himself and perhaps pass it on to his brother someday.
According to Amdane, “Person in the Woods” maps the complexities of understanding emotions both metaphorically and literally. See below for more details about the First Friday exhibit opening, where you can mingle with Amdane and discuss his work. You may view “Person in the Woods,” along with works by the other Artist Exchange artists, at Welcome Gallery through December 20.