Sandy attended Te Aute Boys College in Hawkes Bay and received his formal art training at Ardmore and Dunedin teachers colleges. He became an arts specialist for the Department of Education’s Advisory Service in the 1960s, helping introduce the new “Māori Arts in Schools” program. In 1993, he was appointed principal tutor at Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne, formatting a wananga (place of learning) arts direction for Toihoukura School of Māori Visual Arts.
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