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Against the Grain: Timeless Impressions

50 Years of Political Cartoons by Bill Sanders

"Even if only for one fleeting moment, [Sanders] wants to shock you out of your political complacency and admit that 'the emperor has no clothes'"      - Jo McReynolds, Exclusively Yours

Exhibition Dates
October 28 - November 18, 2016



Can you help us take this show on the Road?

The Time is Now.

 Gofundme Campaign


Open Night Reception Video tour and presentations.

Many thanks to Paul Richmond Studio for the video production!

Bill Sanders Invterview about his work, this exhibition, and his early beginnings.

Many thanks to Paul Richmond Studio for the video editing and presentation!


This is a landmark exhibition for Open Ground Studios for multiple reasons: Twenty years after retiring from a thirty-four year career where Sanders produced over 6,000 cartoons which appeared in over 200 publications, he can’t seem to stop putting ink to paper. His current work can be seen in his blog “Sanders Cartoon Commentary.” Sanders’ work spans five decades and ten presidencies. Against the Grain: Timeless Impressions will showcase political controversies that have been a mainstay throughout history and especially relevant today, including civil rights, gun violence and the NRA, the environment and the two-party political system. This collection reveals the evolution of Sanders’ sharp wit, cunning use of metaphor and mastery in executing complex ideas through pen and ink. During a two-week period leading up the 58th Presidential Election, Sanders current work as well as some of his most iconic pieces will be showcased at the Monterey Democratic Center for Change. Open Ground Studios founder and director, Denese Sanders, is honored to bring her father’s life’s work to the Monterey Peninsula in celebration of this election as well as his 86th birthday.

During the exhibition Open Ground Studios will offer a sneak peek at Sanders’ soon to be released memoire, Against the Grain (New South Books Publisher, slated to go to press in November 2016). Pulitzer Prize winner, Jules Feiffer, when asked to write the book’s introduction wrote, “I will consider it not just an act of friendship, but of citizenship.”


The evening will include a “progressive opening reception” with exhibition installations at both the Open Ground Studios Gallery and at the Democratic Center for Change. The event is free and open to the public.



Ann O'Connor

Anne Johnson

Bob Rocco

Brad Barbeau

Cheryl Connell

Cheryl Sward

Christine Boschen Ghodrati

Christine & Swarup Wood

Cindy Davis

David Urban

Donna Cressman

Erin Detka

Giulie Garland

Grace Oh

James Silk

Janet Laster

Jeffrey Mallory

Jim Nelson

Jim & Sue Urban

Joann Glawe

Joel Hoffman

John Ittelson

Joyce Sanders

Karen Moore

Kirstine Hansen

Kristen Wheeler

Kristi Heath

Laura Heian

Lily Yu


Lorraine  Wells

Lynn & John Price

Marty  Manson

Mary Ellen Schmider

Mary Stanik

Paige Augustine

Paul Richmond

Polly Deardorff

Renata Abma

Roberta Brunet

Susan Howe

Sam Russo

Vicky Jungers

Walter Flint

THANK YOU to the wonderful VOLUNTEERS who offered their support to frame, catelogue and promote this labor-of-love exhibition!!


Susie Berteaux

Pam Motoike

Deb Burke

Paul Richmond

Andrea Monroe

Vinz Koller

Gus Leonard


Dana Powell

Letecia Ferreira

Kirstine Rainer Hanson

Corinn Hillstrom

Vicky Jungers

Valya Dudych

Ruby Nightengale

Terese Garcia


Sanders was born 1930, in Springfield, Tennessee. He attended Western Kentucky University on a football scholarship and established a single season NCAA passing record, completing 66.7% of his passes in 1953. Sanders served in the U.S. Army in Korea as a mortar platoon leader and, later, as the commanding officer of the Pacific Stars and Stripes Army Unit in Seoul. He took his separation from the Army in Japan and worked as a Department of the Army civilian reporter-artist for Pacific Stars and Stripes in Tokyo (1957–1958). During this same period, he freelanced political cartoons to The Japan Times. Returning to the U.S., he was hired by the Greensboro Daily News as a political cartoonist (1959–1963). He then moved to the Kansas City Star (1963–1967), where he was nationally syndicated. The Milwaukee Journal hired Sanders in 1967, and he worked there until his retirement in 1991. He moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, where he draws and writes for his blog, Sanders Cartoon-Commentary. In addition to national syndication, his cartoons were frequently reprinted in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The London Observer and Izvestia.


Awards: He received the Kansas City Civil Liberties Achievement Award (1963), the International Solon of Cartoon Award (1975), the National Headliners Award (1977), the United Nations Population Institute Award for the best cartoon on women’s rights (1975), the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Award (1979) and the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to study technology in a democratic society at Georgia Tech (1979). He has been inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame and the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame at Western Kentucky University. His cartoon originals have been collected and hung in the White House by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.



  • Political Cartoonists, Lerner Publications, 1972

  • Run For The Oval Room, Alpha Press, 1975

  • The Sanders Book, Milwaukee Journal, 1977

  • Adventures in Whopperland, Lulu Publishing, 2006

  • Whopperland II, The Last Chapter, Lulu Publishing, 2008.



Award winning Open Ground Studios is a fine art school, cooperative visual art studio and coworking space that provides dedicated, inspiring and sustainable workspace for creative adults, professionals and teens. OGS is an affordable and accessible shared facility offering 24/7 access to co-op and coworking members. OGS promotes community entrée into creative productivity by hosting workshops, open studio time, classes, social events, and exhibition space.

About the OGS Gallery

Our intimate exhibition space mounts eight exhibitions per year. We are open to proposals from OGS members for solo and group shows. Contact us for more information.

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