For two Cornellian pals, art meets life — now in book form

When Gordon Sander ’72, BA ’73, began an artist residency at Risley Residential College in 2002, he was returning to familiar ground. The author, photographer, and journalist had come back to the Hill twice before to work on books and had a history of hiring Risleyites as assistants.

But this time would be different. Not only would Sander end up doubling his planned one-year stay, he’d also meet a fine arts major who’d go on to become a lifelong friend and collaborator.

That student was Jonathan “JJ” Manford ’06—the subject of Sander’s ninth book, titled Rooms, to be published by a small Latvian art press in January 2024.

“Back at Cornell I envisioned writing a book about JJ at some point,” admits Sander, whose byline has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications. “The idea was like one of those bubbles at the bottom of a glass of soda.”

Now a painter whose work has been mentioned in the New Yorker, Manford was named by the popular online art marketplace Artsy as one of its most sought-after “emerging” artists in 2022.

Read the full story on the Cornellians website.

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Two people stand together in a studio with paints and paintings
Olya Frank/Provided Gordon Sander and Jonathan “JJ” Manford ’06