Sandy Brooks had a successful, thriving career in pediatric orthopedics – until her own health issues forced her in to early retirement. Her rediscovery of an old pastel set from childhood reminded her how passionately she had wanted to become an artist. She realized that this was the opportune time in life to start pursuing that dream again. Noting the lack of high-caliber, non-academic training available to artists, she decided to start her own. Sandy sought out accomplished, nationally and internationally renowned instructors and founded the Academy of Nature and Wildlife Arts. The Academy offers courses in a wide variety of disciplines and skill levels while working to reunite the studies of the arts and sciences.