Growing up in Ocean Springs provided many rich experiences for painter Sandra Halat. Among those
was her friendship with Leif Anderson, an accomplished artist and dancer, and daughter of the legendary
artist Walter Anderson.
“During the 1950s I was fortunate to have Leif as my best friend,” said Halat. “She was an inspiration to me because of her love and dedication for ballet. I was a ‘wanna be’ ballerina until I tried on Leif’s toe shoes and found them too painful for me.”
But Halat’s love for ballet remained with her throughout the years, grew stronger, and came
full circle through her accomplishments in the
“I found my love for painting and later was drawn to the scenes of ballet dancers by the French Impressionist Edgar Degas,” she said. Building on her memories of watching Leif practice her steps, Halat decided to bring her love of dancing alive on canvas. “Ballerina with
Ginkgo Leaf” is just one of her myriad works.
Symbolism often finds its way into Halat’s art. And one such image, the ginkgo leaf in the lower right
corner, represents longevity and sends this message from the artist:” I hope my dancers will live on forever.”
“Ballerina with Ginkgo Leaf” was selected and exhibited in the juried show of the Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. It currently hangs and is available for sale in The Pink Rooster/Gallery Garbo in downtown Ocean Springs.