Sandi Wheaton

Sandi Wheaton came upon the Amboy, California, “Town for Sale (including businesses)” sign on an empty-desert stretch of the old Route 66. She took this photo, little realizing that a few years later it would lead her work and her life in a new direction … that along the way, would inspire others.
During the 2009 automotive crisis, Sandi was downsized from her position as a broadcast producer of training videos at General Motors. Recalling this image, she decided to travel across the United States to discover and detail what happened to the people and businesses along the historic Route 66.
Sandi bought a camper, started a blog and spent six weeks exploring and documenting what she found along the road, as well as sharing her personal journey as a single, unemployed female building a new life. Her blog readership grew quickly, as did a supportive online community of vicarious explorers. It became a life-altering trip that led to her current path as a semi-nomadic, self-employed photographer, tour director, workshop leader, writer, teacher and speaker. She has inspired many of her readers, particularly females, to take their travel and career aspirations into their own hands.

Sandi Wheaton’s work centres on the impact of human intervention and land use in places of recent desertion. She is interested in what is left behind, in changes that happen to place over time when we abandon a once-occupied area.
After completing an honours B.A.A. in Media Arts at Ryerson University, Sandi enjoyed a twenty-year video career in cable, advertising, and corporate television.
Using vacation time to travel to desert locations like California’s Salton Sea and the abandoned Route 66 in pursuit of her personal photo projects, Sandi’s photography practice grew, as did her resumé of exhibitions and awards.
After being downsized from her video producer position at General Motors during the 2009 automotive crisis, Sandi made the jump to a freelance career, and now works as a photographer, tour director, workshop leader, writer, and teacher. When not shooting in the California desert, Sandi splits her time between Windsor/Detroit and the Maritime provinces.