Art has always been an important part of my life, but I distinctly remember the moment it became necessary. I was recovering from emergency open heart surgery. Holding a photograph of my own heart in my hand, I carefully applied adhesive and positioned it on a blank canvas. I felt simultaneously the same as ever and like a completely new person. I was 19 years old.
I didn’t know what to do with the extraordinary sense of dissonance I felt or how to assimilate my story and my scars into my identity. Making art within this experience was my way of getting a handle on my new perspective. It was my new way of being in the world.
I’ve continued to explore themes of identity and dichotomy in my work ever since, using liminal space as a reference, attempting to reconcile two states of being or contradictions of thought and feeling. Other themes that consistently thread their way through my work are a sense of place, resilience, and agency. Sometimes I use heart imagery and sometimes I use visual metaphors. Sometimes my geographical explorations inspire me. Sometimes the material informs and reinforces the conceptual. Sometimes I focus on my conviction that artists have a role in igniting social change and starting meaningful conversations in their communities. And sometimes I just follow my feverish brain — and heart — in an iterative & inquisitive process to the next compelling idea. Which invariably leads to four other compelling ideas. It’s a limitless, immersive, non-linear process.
More about me: I’m an artist, art educator, and architectural designer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After receiving my BFA in studio art from the University of Minnesota Duluth, I went on to earn a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota. Most recently, I finished a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine.