Hometown: Farmington, Michigan
Current town: Tucson, Arizona
Job Description: Artist/Teacher
Bio: I attained a BFA with a major in education from Michigan State University in 2005. I have been teaching and making art in Tucson, Arizona for the past six years. Recently, I’ve participated in several major exhibitions across the nation and now have my work included in the private collection of the Gwangju Cultural Foundation in South Korea.
What are you working on/describe your work.
I am intrigued by the dichotomy of dark and playful imagery. My work approaches serious content through the use of bold and bright elements. Social issues concerning consumption, beauty ideals, gender equity, and reproductive rights are prominent themes within my work. Currently, I’ve been working on a “Fashion Monster” series.
What is your art background?
My background includes ceramics, painting, art education, and women’s studies. My overall body of work incorporates the use of acrylic, ink, collage, and mixed media methods.
Describe what’s inspiring you?
Throughout history women have been underrepresented in the arts. Today women continue the struggle for inclusion in major museums, collections, and galleries. I want my work to open societal blinders, I want people to care.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?
Aside from being a full-time artist I couldn’t ask for a more satisfying career. The biggest challenge I face is finding balance between my role as an art educator and wanting to focus on my personal work.
Any exhibits coming up/past you’d like to mention?
One of my favorites was the “Reverse the Gaze, Man as Object” exhibition at the SOMARTS Cultural Center in San Francisco. My work was on display right next to the Guerilla Girls. I almost fell over with excitement when I saw this because the Guerilla Girls are my idols. Last fall I had the chance to be included in the WCA sponsored show in South Korea, “Woman+Body.” Three of Korea’s leading feminist artists’ had work displayed and my piece, “Macho Metal Culture,” was selected for the press release at the Gwangju Cultural Foundation’s MediaCube 338. The show got a lot of press in major publications; I’m still in awe. In the near future, I will be attending a meet the artist event in San Diego for the Women’s Museum of California’s exhibit, “The Wonder of Women.” Also, I’m looking forward to being a part of the “Provocateur” exhibition at the Riverside Library in NYC next month.
Are you involved in any organizations?
Yes, I am an active member of the Women’s Caucus of Art and the Tucson Art Salon. Joining artist communities at a local and national level has been important in my artistic growth. The Women’s Caucus of Art, with it’s roots in activism and community provides the chance to connect with like minded artist. Participating in WCA sponsored exhibitions and conferences has opened up many professional and personal opportunities. I highly recommend self-identified female artist to look into getting involved, check out the WCA at http://www.nationalwca.org/
What are you listening to these days?
I can’t get enough of Mr. Gnomes “Madness-in- Miniature.”
Favorite artist and why?
For their perspective into the human condition, application of elements, and grotesque beauty: Jenny Saville, Peter Joel Witikin, Egon Schiele, and Francis Bacon. For their use of bold elements and sociopolitical statements: The Guerrilla Girls, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Barbra Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Karen Finley. Also, I’ve always adored Keith Haring for his simplistic, bold, playful symbiotic imagery, and engaging social activism.
What are you reading?
“Post Modern Heretics, The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art” by Eleanor Heartney.
“Obsessive Genius, The inner World of Marie Curie” by Barbara Goldsmith