Sand Artist | Charlene Lanzel

 Charlene Lanzel, NYC.


Charlene Lanzel is a world-renowned American sand animation artist from New York City, who uses her hands in the sand to create living sand art stories. This is an amazing live performance using sand, a light box and a projector. Charlene creates these fluid story illustrations for large audiences, with an overhead camera instantaneously projecting onto a large screen for audiences in the US and worldwide.

As a life-long artist, feeling limited by one image painted on canvas, Charlene Lanzel became fascinated with live sand animation. It wasn’t until 2010 though, that Charlene embraced the idea of becoming a performance artist herself. A spark of a storyline suddenly raced through her mind. Charlene then lost no time in building her first sand box, and started to experiment with this new found art form on her own. Although difficult, she was able to master sand animation techniques, due to her artistic inclination, her career as a muralist and fine artist... and a lot of patience and practice.

In February of 2011, Charlene released her first sand animation video on YouTube, and within weeks she was scouted to perform for Cirque Du Soleil's opening night party for Zarkana at Roseland in New York City. Soon after, Charlene began traveling around the World, fascinating audiences with her magical sand animation performances. 

Charlene Lanzel has created over 80 custom sand animations for corporate and private clients. She's done animations for MTV, Travel & Leisure, Doodle 4 Google, Girard-Perregaux and many more. Charlene has performed at amazing venues, like Caesar's Colosseum in Las Vegas, The Fillmore in Philly, The Smithsonian in D.C. and Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC. She has traveled to international locations, like Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Playa Del Carmen and Montréal... and has performed at events featuring: Jordin Sparks, Brené Brown, John Mayer, Wynton Marsalis and The Roots.

Charlene’s sand art combines her passion for artistic expression with her love of music, storytelling and performance art into one unique and mesmerizing art form.


Reserve Charlene today for your next project or event!

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Check out more of Charlene's artwork at:

Charlene Lanzel is a self-taught American artist, born in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Charlene started painting at the kindergarten easel, and continues to create to this day. It had always been her dream to pursue a career in the arts. Her Father, Mother and Grandfather were visual artists themselves, and spent ample time exposing Charlene to drawing, painting, wood carving, ceramics and other visual art forms that provided a sound foundation for her artistic mastery.

Charlene was first published in an instruction book for elementary school art teachers at age 9. At her high school in Onalaska, Wisconsin, she was invited into the Gifted & Talented Artists program. Upon graduation in 1985, she received OHS's Senior Art Award and Art Scholarship. After a short move to Minneapolis in 1985 to explore life on her own, the restless artist relocated to New York City in 1987 at the age of 20.

Charlene Lanzel began working as a display artist a year later in 1988, when she joined the art department of lower Broadway's once notorious Unique Clothing Warehouse, a center for New York City underground fashion in the 1980’s. Charlene’s responsibilities included: window displays, mural painting, sign painting and props. Charlene worked hard and eventually became Art Director of Unique Clothing Warehouse until the store’s closing in 1991, when she began working as a freelance muralist.

Charlene attended the Fashion Institute of Technology from 1992-1995. She focused her study on the History of Art & Architecture, Screen Printing and Entrepreneurial Business.

From 1996 to 2008, Charlene Lanzel was represented by one of the world's leading mural painting companies, Silver Hill Atelier (formerly Modeworks). As a lead artist for Silver Hill, Charlene designed and painted murals for casinos, restaurants, retail stores, theaters and private residences worldwide. Some projects include: Planet Hollywood, Godiva Chocolatier, Hong Kong Disneyland, W Hotel Chicago, Mohegan Sun Casino, Nobu 57th St., Mesa Grill Las Vegas, Cheesecake Factory and Disney's Tokyo Sea Resort, among many others.

In 1999, Charlene Lanzel teamed up with California muralist Tracy Lee Stum to paint Italian trompe l'oeil murals for the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas. The two artists also competed together at the prestigious XXVII Centro Italiano Madonnari Street Painting Festival in Mantova, Italy. Their effort produced a bronze medal and the two artists appeared on the front page of the Gazetta Di Mantova newspaper, which stated they are, "...technically considered some of the best in the world...". In 2003, they collaborated with over 30 of the world's top street painters on a 70 ft. reproduction of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling at the Youth In Arts Festival in San Rafael, CA. In 2010, Charlene worked with Tracy at the USA House of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, where they created spectacular 3D interactive chalk art murals.

Charlene Lanzel is well known for her fine art paintings and has shown her work in galleries around New York City, in Chicago, Las Vegas and Amsterdam. Charlene and her work have appeared in many publications, including 2010 appearances in The New York Optimist and Time Out NY Magazine. Time Out has called her, "...lovely and talented...”. In 2010, Charlene was invited to show her art at the prestigious Fountain Art Fair in New York City, which supports emerging artists working in diverse genres.

In 2010, Charlene began creating amazing sand animation films, synched to a musical soundscape. By 2011, she was performing live, worldwide, with her artwork projected on a large screen for audiences to experience.

Charlene Lanzel is a multi-faceted diamond who shines at every point. Charlene currently resides in Chelsea, New York City and works as a traveling sand animation artist and fine art painter.

Reserve Charlene today for your next project or event!