Trained in classical figurative sculpture, my work combines the figure with natural materials, such as wasp paper and birch bark, while incorporating deep psychological and spiritual symbols from across traditions. This extended exploration of the interplay between the inner self and the patterns of the natural world have not only resulted in producing works of art, but has also extended those works to include my home, family, the landscape and my community, especially in the areas of creative place-making, spirituality and sustainability.
I received my BFA from the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design and my MFA from the New York Academy Graduate School of Figurative Art, studying under many talented figurative sculptors, particularly the sculptor Louis Marinaro.
My work has been on exhibit at Flowers Gallery in New York City, Off the Coast, Maine’s International Poetry Journal, and as far afield as Sofia, Bulgaria, and received several awards, including a Puffin Foundation Grant, Maine Arts Commission Grant, Stobart Foundation Grant. Recently, I had a solo exhibit at the Leonard J. Craig Gallery at Unity College titled: Portrait of the Ecological Self. Please see my CV for a full exhibition and award record.
As an educator, I taught sculpture and art history at Felician College in Lodi, New Jersey, for four years. During this time I had a studio along the Jersey City waterfront overlooking Manhattan. On September 11, 2001, I witnessed the attack and collapse of the World Trade Center while walking to my studio. I was five months pregnant. My husband had just left the building fifteen minutes before the first plane hit. He had recently taken a job uptown after working for 6 years on the 33rd floor of World Trade Center 2. We had many friends and neighbors in the buildings on that day.
In 2003, the US went to war with Iraq and used these attacks as the motivating message behind their campaign. Though my husband and I were environmentally minded, these two events catapulted us into action. We bought a cut over piece of land in Brooks, Maine, determined to discover ways to end our dependance on foreign oil.
We hand built an in-ground, stone house, with a sod roof, that is off-the-grid and heated solely with wood. It is where we now reside. In 2005, in order to continue our research and offer education to others, we co-founded a non-profit called Newforest. There, we trained energy auditors, permaculture gardeners and continued our sustainability research often through collaboration and art. Out of Newforest and our creative economy work with the MidCoast Magnet, my husband created his current business, Build Green Maine and continues to train energy auditors and building scientists throughout the United States.
Through my work in sustainability, I began fully intent on discovering an ‘ecological self’, a place within us that remembers it is nature. This research is what led to the project Portrait of the Ecological Self. I received a Puffin Foundation Grant towards the project in 2013 and presented a paper on the work at the 2014 College Art Association’s Annual Conference.
I’ve now extended Portrait of the Ecological Self to include public participation through an online survey. The survey collects significant images and symbols from a person’s childhood or mystical experiences from nature that I then recreate into art. Like a person’s portrait, these are specific and unique to each individual. The survey helps me to connect with interesting subjects, creates a baseline for meta themes across the survey population and begins the exploratory process of the ‘ecological self’ with others. I invite you to add your contribution to the project by filling out this short survey.
I continue to work on other ecological and collaborative projects. Please visit my Portfolio page for current projects and sign up for my newsletter and blog to hear about upcoming exhibits, presentations and workshops.