Joe Mangrum’s sand paintings and multiple medium installations explore issues of the urban grid, environmentalism and its effects on the collective psyche. He has created a series of over a thousand intricate sand paintings in public and private spaces as well as a body of permanent sand paintings on canvas and carved wood. He has also  created large scale, multi-material installations in large spaces. His work is inspired by ancient traditions and synced up with a rhythm of urban free-style animation, combined with bright “Pop Art” colors.  His paintings are influenced by an abundant world of undersea creatures, botanicals and diverse forms of cross-cultural metaphors with a mash up of personal symbols. His technique with sand employs a graffiti like parallel of close to the ground sharp lines to a wide “spray” from higher up of diffused effects in alternating layers. Mangrum is based in New York City and has traveled with his work internationally.

He kicked off 2018 with a commission by Prabal Gurung for the Spring Fashion Week runway in New York. His work was featured at the Museum of Arts and Design as part of the “Swept Away” exhibit, completing an indoor project “Asynchronous Syntropy” as well as circumambulating the entire museum for a marathon 24 hrs in two days. He participated in The Flag Art Foundation’s “Watch Your Step” exhibit and has installed at The Corcoran Gallery Rotunda in Washington D.C. Mangrum has held residencies at the de Young Museum, San Francisco, at the Ashe Cultural Center, New Orleans and The Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, where he was featured in the inaugural exhibit of the Sunshine Museum. He received the prestigious Lorenzo de Medici Award at the Florence Biennale in 2003, for his piece titled “Fragile”. Mangrum’s works have been commissioned by private collectors, The Asia Society, Prabal Gurung, Jen Kao and many others. In addition, he has received commissions from the City of San Francisco, including a permanent public artwork on the sidewalk of the Mission District. Other commissions include Coachella Music and Arts and other festivals. He has created a series of sand paintings in Miami during Art Fairs at Project Miami, Multitudes Gallery and Miami Art Space. 

Mangrum grew up Florissant, Missouri and later earned his degree in Fine Arts at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Working primarily as a painter, Mangrum embarked on years of travel inspired by natural wonders and indigenous sites of North America. He continued to travel internationally, making his own connections to cultural patterns. During this time, he began using plants and flowers that he collected to make ephemeral artworks. In 1995, he made San Francisco his home until 2008 and expanded his ephemeral works to include auto parts, technology and varieties of found and fabricated artifacts, presenting his first solo installation at San Francisco State University. His large scale installations continue in such manifestations inspired by mushroom clouds, pyramid shapes and the Ouroboros. 

Mangrum has also worked with educational programs, given artists presentations and panel discussions at School of Visual Arts, Adelphi University and SUNY Geneseo. He has demonstrated his work with students at The United Nations International School, The de Young Museum of San Francisco, Eleanor Roosevelt High School in New York and Moton Elementary in New Orleans. He is an active supporter of environmental causes and has contributed efforts to Love For Japan, Riverkeeper Alliance, Natural World Museum, World Environment Day and Copenhagen 15. He has been featured on Sesame Street, and interviewed for the PBS program “Spark” on KQED. His work has been displayed in various publications including Antennae Journal in the UK. He has been featured on CNN, The New York Times, New York Daily News, LA Times,, Yahoo News and numerous blogs. In 2017 Joe  was featured by the Emmy nominated online series Humans of New York (HONY). His sand covered hands share the cover of HONY’s NY times best seller by the same name.  

Download Curriculum Vitae


1991   (BFA) The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


2022    Alibi Art, Aqua Art Miami, Miami FL

2019     Hudson Underground Gallery, Hudson NY

2018     Spectrum Miami, Solo Installation, Miami, FL

2017     “New Paintings” Chashama Gallery, New York, NY 

2015     “Sand Paintings by Joe Mangrum” Doe Museum, Zuidlaren, Netherlands

2013  300 Riverside Drive, Lobby Installation, Chicago, IL

540 W Madison St. Lobby installation, Chicago, IL

2009    “Chrysalis Stage,” Chi Contemporary Fine Art (Causey Contemporary), Brooklyn, NY 

2006    “Impressions,” Chi Contemporary Fine Art (Causey Contemporary), Brooklyn, NY

2005    “Urbis Ouroboros,” Urbis Artium (Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art), San Francisco, CA

1996    “Garden of Earthly Delights,” Daniel Arvizu Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

1995    “Hypothesis 1995,” San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

select group

2024.   “Visions of Consciousness” Promega BTC, Madison, WI

            Chashama Gala, New York, NY

            Climate Action Museum, Chicago, IL

2023    Promega BTC, Madison, WI

            Alibi Art Summer Show, Kingston NY

            NFT NYC Artist Village, Javits Center, NY    

            Artport Kingston, Kingston NY

2021    Artport Kingston, Kingston NY

2019    “Sanctuary” City Hall Kingston NY

            O + Positive Festival, Gallery Fifty 5, Kingston, NY 

2017    Tag der Niedersachen, Wolfsburg, Germany

2014    MOCA North Miami, Art Basel Special Projects, Miami, FL 

            SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo NY

            Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, Sharjah, UAE

2013    “Ephemeral” Adelphi University Garden City, NY

            Linda Warren Projects, 10th Anniversary Show, Chicago, IL

2012    “Swept Away,” Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY

“Watch Your Step,” Flag Art Foundation, New York, NY

 Corcoran Gallery Rotunda, Washington, DC

“Globalectics,” Multitudes Art Gallery, Miami, FL

2011    “After Dark,” Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

2010    “Diwali Celebration,” Asia Society, New York, NY

“Wide Open,” Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY

2009    Oasis Gallery, Beijing, China

Sunshine Museum, Beijing, China

Viridian Artists, Curated By Elisabeth Sussman Whitney Museum, New York, NY

Chi Contemporary Fine Art (Causey Contemporary), Brooklyn, NY

“Expand-Reflect-Exist,” All Points West Festival, Jersey City, NJ

Chi Contemporary Fine Art (Causey Contemporary), Brooklyn, NY

2007    “Liminality,” Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

2006     Chi Contemporary Fine Art (Causey Contemporary), Brooklyn, NY

 SFMOMA Artists Gallery @ Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 

2005    “Diversitas,” Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA

“Summer Heat,” Chi Contemporary Fine Art (Causey Contemporary), Brooklyn, NY

 Black Rock Arts Foundation – Art Festival, San Francisco, CA

 “Bayennale,” International Art Festival, Oakland, CA

 “World Environment Day,” Red Ink Studios, San Francisco, CA

 “Spiritus Mundi,” Lola Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004    “Ignite,” Cellspace, San Francisco, CA

2003     Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy

“Breathless,” 608 Folsom, San Francisco, CA

 Varnish Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA

 Coachella Music Festival, Indio, CA

2002    “9/11 Memorial,” Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco, CA 

“East/West: Art From The Other Side,” Facility 3, San Francisco, CA

“Superheroes’ New Year’s,” Bill Graham Civic  Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

 Featured Artist, Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Indio, CA

2000    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA

“Installations and Observations,” Cellspace, San Francisco, CA

1999    “Polli-Nation 2,” Kaiser Convention Center, Oakland, CA

1998    “Polli-Nation,” Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA 

1997     California College of Arts, San Francisco, CA

“Festival on the Hill,” Randall Museum, San Francisco, CA

1996    “Embarrassment of Riches,” Huntington Beach Art Center, CA

 “Gallery Invitational,” Daniel Arvizu Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

 “Alternative Landscapes,” Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

notable commissions

2021     “Layla Infusion,” Mission St. Terrazzo installation, San Francisco Arts Commission, CA

2020.    Intersect by Lexus, New York NY

2018     NYFW Runway for Prabal Gurung, Fall 2018, Spring Studios, New York, NY

2017    Tag der Niedersachen, Autostadt Volkswagon Headquarters, Wolfsburg, Germany 

            World Science Festival, Rose Hall, Lincoln Center,   New York, NY

2001    “Layla & Swingdaddy,” Mission St.Terrazzo installation, San Francisco Arts Commission, CA 

1998    “Trans-mission,” temporary installation, San Francisco Arts Commission, CA

notable collections

2014    Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL

2012    Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY

public works

2017    “Sand Series,” 85 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY

2016    “Sand Series,” 129 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY

2015    “Sand Series,” 86 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY

2014    “Sand Series,” 107 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY

2013    “Sand Series,” 154 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY

2012    “Swept Away,” Circling the Museum Project, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY

  “Sand Series,” 116 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY

  “Sand Series,” 2 sand paintings, San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico 

2011    “Sand Series,” 146 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY 

2010    “Sand Series,” 169 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY 

2009    “CO2 Cube,” Copenhagen 15, Copenhagen, Denmark

  “Sand Series,” 47 sand paintings, public spaces, New York, NY 

2002     Muni Stop, Mission St.Terrazzo installation, Funded by San Francisco Arts Commission, 

1998    “Trans-mission,” temporary installation, Funded by San Francisco Arts Commission, CA

1997    “Virus Series,” public spaces, San Francisco, CA

1996    “Echoes of Corrective Surgery,” public spaces, Laguna Beach, CA

1995    “Creation, Capitalism and Corrective Surgery,” public spaces, Laguna Beach, CA


2003   Lorenzo De Medici Award, Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy

1998   Market Street Art In Transit, San Francisco Arts Commission, CA

1991   Merit Scholarship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1990   Dr. R. A. Koetting Prize, St. Louis Artists Guild, MO

1987   Juried Prize, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

1986   Portraits of India, Asia Society, New York, NY


2013   Ashé Cultural Arts Center, New Orleans, LA

2008   Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

2007   de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA


2018    Laura Neilson,”At New York Fashion Week, 48 Hours With Prabal Gurung”The New York 

            Times Feb 12th 2018 Fashion

             Nicole Phelps, “Fall 2018 Prabal Gurung Ready to WearVogue Magazine Feb 11th 2018 

2017    Humans of New York: The Series Premiere Episode on Facebook Steaming, 

            Brandon Stanton, Michael Crommet Producers

            Fios 1 News Push Pause TV , Greg Blank 

2015    Antennae Journal of Nature in Visual Culture Issue 34 Winter 2015

            Priscilla Frank, “Behold, Hypnotic Sand Paintings That Will Turn Your Brain Into Goo”                        

            Huffington Post June 29

            Alberto Motta, “Sand painting, l’arte di Joe Mangrum in time lapse” July 23rd

            Christopher Jobson, “New Time-lapse Videos of Spontaneous Sand Paintings by Joe  

            Mangrum”, June 24


            Naturally Hyper-natural Conference, School of Visual Arts New York, NY

SUNY Geneseo Artists Talk


            National Performance Network Visual Arts Network Annual Exhibition Catalogue pg 22-26

Ephemeral, Artist Panel, Adelphi University Garden City, NY

Adelphi University, Artists Talk  

Shelley Goldstein, ed, “Drawing Lines in the Sand,” American Lifestyles Magazine, January/February pgs. 25 – 29 

2012    “Sand Portrait of Murray and Ovejita,” Episode 43/16 3:28 , Sesame Street, PBS 

“Word on the Street – ‘Stupendous’,” Sesame Street, PBS

Featured Press Release, “Swept Away Projects: Joe Mangrum,” SOFA ART & DESIGN, NEW YORK April 20 – 23

Ron Lieber, “Why It’s So Hard To Transfer Cash To Your Friends,” The New York Times, Feb. 25, pg. B1 online version Feb. 24.

Ben Valentine, “Sand Painting at Columbus Circle,” HyperAllergic BLOG, June 8, 2012


John Doyle, “A ‘fine time’ for city park performers,” New York Daily News, December 3 

Lisa Foderaro, “City cracking down on performers in Washington Square,” The New York Times, NY/Region Section, December 5, pg. A20 

Jacob E. Osterhout & Amanda P. Sidman, “Best Street Performers, New York Daily News, July 3 pg. 5

Trevor Kapp, “…Joe Mangrum whips up magic on sidewalks..,” New York Daily News, June 6 pg. 16

Martha Stewart, “Raising Money for Japan at EN Japanese Brasserie,” Martha Stewart Blog, March 30, 2011 (Image 5 of 40)


            Laurel Pinson “Jen Kao: Zombie Brides and a Runway Made of Sand,” NBC Thread

Lauren David Peden, “Fashion Shows:Spring/Summer 2011:Jen Kao,” Vogue.UK, September 9 (Images no credit).   

Bianca Posterli, “Jen Kao Likes Walks on the Beach,”, September 9

David Goldman,“The Week in Pictures,” New York Times, July 23 (Image 9 of 12/Caption)

Claire Cain Miller & Nick Bilton,“ Cellphone Payments offer Alternative to Cash,” The New York Times, April 28 (online) April 29, B1  

Jefferson Siegel, photographer, “A Salute to Union Square,” The Villager, Volume 79, Number 49, May 12 – 18 (Image/Caption) 

Nov 2nd Mollie Kirk “Shifting Sands Make Beautiful Art at AS”

Micki Steele, “Ancient Art Form Hits the Pavement Anew,” Columbia News Service, February 26  

Ilya Marritz, Street Vendors Pivot From Cash to Plastic, WNYC News, May 28

Craig Warga, photographer, “Drawing on the City’s Inspiration,” New York Daily News, February 4, pg. 20 (Image/Caption)

Briannon Gillis, “New York’s Finest Take to the Streets,” Washington Square News, Vol. 37, Issue 63, February 9, pg. 4  


“Portraits,” Viral Video, Repertorium Films, Leandro Sanchez, Director

“My Year in 30 Seconds,” CNN I Report, December 18

“New York Street Artist Extraordinaire,” CNN I Report, Sept 19

Joe Mangrum, PAINTING NEW YORK…WITH SAND, Compilation Book of 40 Sand Paintings

Marilynn K. Yee, “Lens: Sight/Site,” New York Times, September 30 (Image/Caption pg.A25)

David Ferris, “Day 358: Obama in a New Light,” A Year in New York: A Daily Bite of the Big Apple, June 23  (Blog)

Sadhbh Walshe, “Chrysalis Stage @ Ch’i Contemporary, Williamsburg,” Sadhbh Walshe Online, June 26 (Blog)


John Del Signore, “All Points West Saturday: More Radiohead, More Crowded,”, August 10  

Brian Dubé, “Conflux,” New York Daily, September 15 (blog)  photo here

Christopher Sanchez, ““…Mile High Fest. hits a high note on its first take,” Denver July 20 (Note: Joe Mangrum was mis-named as “Jason Mangrum”)


Randy Rosenberg, curator, ART IN ACTION, Natural World Museum, pgs. 64-65


           “Playing With Technology,” 10 minute segment, SPARK!, PBS-KQED

“Playing with Technology: Joe Mangrum,” Sparked Educator Guide, PBS – KQED 

R.C. Baker, “Best Of Village Voice: Joe Mangrum,” Village Voice, April 4

Rebecca Migdal, “Share A Moment,” Go Brooklyn, April 15  

Featured Article, Bioneers conference annual report 


            Interview with Greg Scharpen, KLAX Radio

Tom Palmer, ed., ART OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, Alcove books, pgs. 162-163

Alan Bamberger, “San Francisco Art Gallery Openings First Thursday,”, November 3

Michael Leaverton, “Night & Day,” SF Weekly, November 2 – 8, pg. 22 (Online version: “This Week’s Day by Day Picks)

“The Trend,” San Francisco Magazine, November, pg. 88 (Image/Caption)

Alan Bamberger, “San Francisco Gallery Openings,”, June 1

“The Trend,” San Francisco Magazine, November, pg. 88 (Image/Caption)

Jane Ganahl, “The Granite Lady sure knows how to host a ball,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 14

Paul Liberatore, “Not an SUV crowd,” Marin Independent Journal, Saturday October 15, pg. A1 (Image/Caption)


            Guy Denning, “A funny thing happened on the way to the Tate,”,

            January 2004 (Image with Joe Mangrum and Deborah Mangrum-Price)


            Interview at Florence Biennale, Sky TV Europe, aired on SKY TV, Dec 22-25

Annalee Newitz, “Hot Spot,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 16, pg. 53  

Meredith Tromble, “The Wednesday night preview party must have been a doozy..,”, June 27th

Aruna Vasudevan, et al, “Pro/Con: Arts and Culture” Brown Reference Group, Grolier, 2003 pgs. 10-15

Jou Jou, “Lilt” CD cover, released, 2003 

Shades Magazine  


Pollen Media, Forest issue #3, May (Image/Caption) 


Michael Wells, “Does Our Art Really Matter?” San Francisco Art Magazine, November 


Jakub Moser, photographer,“Pistahan Festival, Filipino Pride is order of day,”San Francisco Examiner, August 16 pg. D10 (Image/Caption)

D.K., “A Transporting Mandala,” Art Week, May pg. 27 

Steve Rubenstein, “Sculptor Tears Down Car For Art,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 26, pg. A22 Col.1 (note: this article was incorrect in regards to a “trade” with the city for parking tickets)

Chuck Shepherd, “News of the Weird: Great Art!,”We’re LIving in Funny Times, September pg. 21

Chuck Shepherd, “At the edge of Credulity: American Ingenuity At Work,” The Washington Post   (Syndicated from San Francisco Chronicle) March 26

Chuck Shepherd, “Year of the Weird 1998: American Ingenuity,” year 99, issue 7 ibid syndicated News of the Weird in Universal Press Syndicate/was syndicated in various columns. 

Judy Malloy, Editor, Artswire, “Parking Tickets Inspire Temporary Installation, San Franciso Chronicle, March 31, 1998 (Mentions that arts commission was unaware of parking tickets) APRIL 3, 1998.

Mad Dog Mildon, “New Barking Lot, San Francisco Pays Outstanding Parking Tickets,, 1998


Marilu Knode, AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES, Catalog, Huntington Beach Art Cent er

Suvan Greer, “An Embarrassment of Riches..,” Artweek, November pg. 23

Doree Dunlap, “Art: The Golden Land, In the name of progress,” Orange County Weekly, March 8 – 14, pg. 22


Leslie Earnest, “Finding a Stepping Stone for His Art,” L.A. Times – Orange County, December 14 pg B2

Mark Conley, “Artist arrested: Student center gallery artist arrested on campus, Golden Gater (San Francisco State University), October 3, pg. 1

Marc DeSaussure, “Letter to the Editor,” Golden Gater Vol. 58 Issue 9, October 17  

Romesa McDaniels and Josh Finney, “Big bash for center’s 20th,” Golden Gater Vol. 58 Issue 5, September 19 pg. 1 


Andrew Horan, “Laguna won’t tolerate park art,” The Orange County Register, November 18, 1994 pg. Metro 4  

Leslie Earnest, “Creating a Stir..,” L.A. Times – Orange County, November 17 pg. B1


Anon., “Focus On..,”SPAN Magazine, US Information Agency, New Dehli, May pg. 40