I consider myself quite lucky to have been born into my family. For the most part I live a charmed life, I am filled with gratitude.
Early one February morning in 1967 I arrived on the scene in Gainesville, FL. I was in a hurry then to get out and see the world. This sense of wonder-lust has proven to be an underlying theme in my life. When I was three months old we moved to Charlotte, NC. This would be home for the next thirty/some years.
I attended Charlotte Country Day School from K-12. At CCDS I was allowed to flourish in art, dance, music, and theater. Today I am still active in all of these fields. After graduation in 1985 I headed to the Rhode Island School of Design. This education gave me the confidence to take on any design challenge. While at RISD I was involved in student government, residence assistant, and teaching assistant programs. I founded an experimental theater collaboration with Brown University that is still running today. Though a textiles major, I spent a great deal of time in the Glass Department. In 1989 I earned my BFA in Textiles.
After graduating I moved back to the South, this time to take a job at Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, SC. In a way this was returning home. While in high school I studied cello at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. My mother would drive me each Saturday for lessons. Milliken was a phenomenal education into the inner workings of the business world. I was designing wovens and prints for the Drapery Fabrics Business. Aside from the world wide travel, I greatly enjoyed my time with the people in the Research division. Through these collaborations I received two US Patents for textile patterning technology. While this was stimulating in many ways my hands never got dirty. All of my design work was on the computer. During this time I also taught adjunct at Converse College.
In 1994 I returned to Charlotte. I stepped into my mentor’s shoes at CCDS and began my teaching career. My former teachers became lifelong friends. Through teaching I was re-introduced to the idea of summer vacation. This little chunk of time became quite valuable. I chaperoned school trips to France and still had time to take classes for myself. I took Metal Basketry at Arrowmont (Gatlinburg, TN), Introductory Blacksmithing at Penland (Penland, NC), and Sheet Forming at Haystack (Deer Isle, ME). After four years of teaching 9-12 grade art and rejuvenating my studio practice it was time to move on.
Receipt of a NC Regional Emerging Artist Grant in 1997 helped me set up a studio of my own. I use the money to buy tools and equipment. By this point I was participating in craft shows throughout the Southeast and Midwest. I was becoming a Fine Craftswoman. The lure of materiality kept driving me to search for more. I was looking for a way to refine my thinking about art and art practice.
In February of 1999 I began a low residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Art. This was a transformative experience. I learned of content beyond the craft. I learned to place myself in context in regards to any subject. I learned the importance of three words; empathy, perversity, and pedagogy. In February 2001 I warned my MFA in Visual Art. To this day I continue to be involved with this community.
From graduate school I took a job as Visiting Art Instructor at Wingate University, Wingate NC. I became aware of the importance teaching would have in my life. I curated an outdoor sculpture show in conjunction with the Tri-State Sculptors Group as part of the Centennial Celebration of the town. Involvement at the community level continues to be important.
In search of a larger artistic community and grater diversity I moved to California in 2002. I wanted change, I found it in the San Francisco Bay Area. Landing in West Oakland has been an education in diversity, urban renewal, and hope. As for a larger artistic community...yes, there are more artists. However, I have come to realize that my artistic community is not based on geographical convenience. It is global.
I began 2006 by spending two months in Venice, Italy. Through a connection with Vermont College, I was asked to participate in a large format printmaking residency. This was an education in art history like no other. The luxury of sights and studio is a rare opportunity.
Currently I teach at The Art Institute of California - San Francisco and The Crucible in Oakland, CA. I am a docent at The di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature in Napa, CA. I show my art around the country. My relationship with Vermont College has continued to grow. I now work as a residency assistant for the college spending February and August in VT each year. This summer I will be in residence at The Vermont Studio Center in Johnston for the month of July 2009. My studio practice is thriving. I’ve got a roll up door and a utility sink. What more does a girl need?
As an artist, nature is my muse. Inspiration comes from my personal life experience. The work of art is a byproduct of the creative process, which is life itself. I am a collector of seed pods, corks and rusty bits (treasures from scrap yards, industrial detritus). My practice is one of experimentation. With experimentation comes repetition, working in multiples and series. I exploit the possibilities of play and improvisation creating an ambiguous coexistence of subtlety and surprise. I continually ask “What if?”
My approach to art making allows chance to play a vital role in my creative process. My art is an amalgamation of seemingly incompatible elements through aesthetic play. My material choice stems from a proclivity for eclecticism and irony. I am an environmental artist in that my work documents and celebrates endangered Beauty. Biomorphic forms evoke a synthesis between creative thought and the senses. I cultivate my imagination through music, dance, travel, meditation, writing. This allows me to extract the innate essence found within a myriad of materials. I poeticize the beauty of the commonplace.