"A watercolor naturescape seems to create an underground haven buried beneath a papercut rock surface. Many of her works fall under the series title, “Cairn,” referring to an ancient type of gravestone or marker, typically a pile of stones. .../Sacksteder’s [pieces] tap a very vital sense of collective memory; there is an underlying motif of cellular forms in many of the works, suggesting a spiritual heritage that might be hardwired into our systems. .../Sacksteder’s work might be considered a visual chimera of magical realism and science fiction.
Sacksteder’s scenes convey an “X-Files”-like sense of something unsettling sitting below the surface of unassuming situations, issues so fundamental that they might be rooted in our very biology, radiating discord on a mitochondrial level."
Knight Foundation blog, February 9, 2016.
“Two of Amy’s paintings were shown; one at PASSENGER’s temporary project space and another at The Museum of New Art Detroit’s annex space at The Russell Industrial Center. The imagery in both paintings refers to water and islands from an aerial view. The paintings are displayed vertically confusing the typical vantage point of the viewer, making us unsure of our relationship to these constructed images. (Are we looking down? If so, how can we be standing on the ground? Or are we really still standing on the ground? Where is gravity?)
In this age of easy information and phenomenal scientific developments, we sometimes forget that there are things that we don’t know, events that are inexplicable and mysterious despite attempts to figure them out—from the origins of our own existence to the lonely last words of the forever missing Amelia Earhart.
Occupying an aesthetic territory that can neither be defined as clearly representational nor abstract, Amy’s work pulls us between images we can recognize and marks that we cannot. She creates unexpected connections between highly rendered imagery coupled with spills of paint, bursts of volcanic ash, grass stains and delicate paper cut-outs. / The result is a body of work that is both unsettling and lovely, a collage of disparate experiences, maps that reveal as much about being lost as being found.”
TSV, The Studio Visit (thestudiovisit.com), May 27, 2012.
'Sacksteder has created an entire universe built from a dangerously blue abyss, an unsteady horizon and the mysteries of mortality. The imaginary otherworld is both beautiful and delicate, just as we imagine Earhart's plane might have looked on its final descent somewhere over the middle of the Pacific.
Focus / on Sacksteder's gorgeous oil-painting interpretations /, whose vast canvases are delicately balanced on sea glass, rocks and pebbles wedged between their edges and the gallery's floor. That juxtaposition alone is reason to love this installation, but there's more standout work in a collection of drawings titled "Last Map," painted in gouache and, on occasion, fleshed out with volcanic ash taken from Iceland, Sacksteder's geographic muse.'
Chicago Tribune, October 22, 2010
In another article surveying the best 2010 exhibitions in Chicago, she writes:
'Northeastern Illinois University's modest Fine Arts Center Gallery /played host to more than a few good shows (among the best was Amy Sacksteder's "We Are Running...," inspired by Amelia Earhart's final words)…'
Chicago Tribune, December 17, 2010