Artist and Educator
My functional and sculptural clay-work explore layering caused by forces of growth, deterioration, weathering, gravity, and pressure. Through the physicality of my mark making I investigate and capture subtleties of overlooked nooks: fungi, a new plant sprouting in the dirt, peeling bark, rotting wood, compressed sediment striations in a rock face, the pattern of bricks in a wall, the slant of a building, or chipping paint. Like the evolution of these surfaces, my process becomes both subject and vehicle.
Another layer of my work includes educating Chicago 9th-12th grade girls. Each student is a unique composite of layers, made up of the individual’s innate dignity, intuition, emotion, knowledge, talent, experience, attitude, circumstance and soul. This delicate lattice is subject to the same natural forces of growth, pressure, and weathering. While these forces are more readily understood in nature, the process of understanding their impact on the person invites a constructive participation. The student possesses her own potential and dreams, some realized, some undiscovered. Navigating obstacles ranging from family poverty, neighborhood violence, poor education, self-doubt, unstable relationships, and filtering the messaging of society, she seeks to be understood. Teaching, questioning, and dialoging moves through these layers to build a genuine encounter, helping her become the best version of herself.
While my artwork records elements of formed layers across the clay surface, my work in each student assists in forming her layers, helping to develop character, grit, and goals. Partaking in the process of helping the human person flourish is analogous to the process of developing a piece of art. The most engaging part of sculpting clay and young minds are the acts of contemplating, understanding, and manipulating the overlooked subtleties and highlighting them in my art.