a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather. a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather. a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather.

Sabine Becker

Sabine Becker on her couch with white dog

Sabine is a Foot Artist and creates her intricate Spirit Dancer Dolls and Shadowboxes entirely with her feet.

Sabine Becker was born in Berlin, West Germany on January 11, 1962. I was one of the last Thalidomide Babies whose mother took the drug Thalidomide during early stages of her pregnancy. I was born with abbreviated arms, but I learned from a very early age to compensate by using my feet for daily task such as dressing, brushing my hair, writing etc.

Two framed works by Sabine

“In 1968, I attended elementary school, which in the late 60's was ill-equipped to deal with a disabled student. It took perseverance on the part of my mother to convince school officials that I was capable of attending main stream school. With a lot of hard work, I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Social Work and a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. After my years at the University, I worked with disabled children in several countries, such as France, Somalia, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.”

a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather. a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather. a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather.

“Following a creative urge and the need to survive, I went into arts. Inspired by Southwestern Native American art and Alaskan Native art, I created my own version of the Spirit Dancer. Sewn from leather, they are decorated with small necklaces, dresses and feathers. I craft their Spirit Mask from moose or caribou antler.

a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather. a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather. a small doll-like fetish with a headdress of feathers, beaded necklace, mask and dress made of leather.

“Today, much of my energy goes into advocating disability awareness and independent living. I have addressed disability conferences throughout the United States, but I also speak in schools to children as young as 5 years old to demonstrate how I use my feet.”

— Sabine Becker

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The North Fourth Art Center is operated by VSA arts of New Mexico, a not-for-profit organization, affiliated with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the national VSA arts network.