Patricia Sannit

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Arch 23.5 X 13.5 X 6 © Santa Fe Clay
Citadel, detail of a work in progress, 2010 © Courtesy of the artist & Arizona State University Art Museum
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
California College of the Arts, 1986, MFA
Representing galleries
Gebert Contemporary Fine Art, Abel Contemporary, Meyer Gallery, ASU Art Museum, Santa Fe Clay

Through history, humans have perpetuated a cycle of creation and destruction. Cultures grow and fade, individuals are born, live vibrant lives, are forgotten; we invent, abandon, build again. As I work, I try to understand what it means to be alive.  I feel pain, I feel beauty. I feel empathy. I am stunned by the randomness of existence. I try to find meaning, I look to the steady passage of time, the migrations of people seeking something better, the monuments we have built, and to the personal objects we use that connect us with each other and to a time and place.  I love the story of an object, especially one that has lived through time; once perhaps useful, then a discard, then a discovery by an archaeologist, an object of study, then swooned over in a museum, then maybe again, found lying on its side in a storage room. History resonates within our creations. We walk in circles, creating magnificent cities, reaching for something better, leaving it behind. Making a mark. Leaving a mark.


Born Cleveland, Ohio.

Lives and works, Phoenix, Arizona

Raised in a Swedish-American home, Patricia Sannit was exposed to art and crafts as a child and went on to study art while attending school in Norway. After completing the ceramics program, she returned to the USA and received her BA in Art History, Norwegian, and Fine Art from the University of Minnesota. Sannit then attended California College of Art and was awarded her MFA with High Distinction. Post grad, Sannit worked on archeological sites in the Near East and Ethiopia, excavating and studying early cultures and art. Sannit’s work connects with her archeological experiences, and her research into the migration of people, ideas, and culture. She is always trying to understand what it means to be human. Patricia works mainly with clay, a material deeply connected to human history. Her process balances control of the material with allowing it to retain its essential properties, often leaving cracks and marks that occur naturally.


Patricia Sannit exhibits nationally and has work in many prominent collections. She is the 2016 Arlene and Mort Scult Contemporary Forum Artist Award, has received the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Artist Development Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts Professional Development Grant, the Contemporary Forum Artist Grant, is a “Master of the Southwest” and has been profiled by “Ceramics Now”.  Sannit is also a founding member of the Artist Advisory Committee of the Ceramic Research Center at ASU. She has been an artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, Red Lodge Art Center and the Belger Crane Yard in Kansas City, MO. Recent exhibits include Connections to the Natural World in Los Angeles, a solo show, Time Stands Still, at Gebert Fine Arts in Scottsdale and Rise Fall Rise, a solo show at the Phoenix Art Museum.

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