Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I am originally from York, Pennsylvania and am currently making art in the mountains of Basalt, Colorado. Except for a few basic art classes, I am self taught and always experimenting and researching.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
I first discovered making art, ceramics in particular, in high school. My family discouraged me from going to art school, so I ended up lost and confused about my direction, and dropped out in my junior year. It wasn’t until later in life that I decided to take a ceramics class in an effort to express my stifled creativity. That is when everything blew up.
What do you like most about working where you do?
I love the peace and serenity of living in the mountains. It provides the fresh air and space to think about what I am working on, and what is next.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
My work currently addresses form, and the way shapes and patterns create either symmetry or asymmetry. I also explore the way light and shadows interplay with the forms.
What is your process like?
About half of my work is improvisational, and the other half is planned or a combination of the two. The entire process of casting is a very in-depth process with many steps. I try to do it when I have had good rest and am feeling focused, otherwise I end up with a big expensive mistake on my hands. From start to finish, a piece takes about two weeks or longer to make. I generally work on one at a time, but will be thinking of ideas or drawing sketches for future works during this time. I also dabble in constructing these complicated cardboard works that I will work on off and on for months.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
I recently had a crit session with Will Brown of MOMA Cleveland and he turned me onto the Brazilian Constructivists. I was familiar with Lygia Clark, but was blown away by some the others like Helio Oiticica. His large sculptures inspire me to make something enormous with a lot of presence.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for art?
I can’t think of anything strange that I had to do off the top of my head. However, I think some of my neighbors might think I am running a drug lab out of my garage studio, since I am often going in and out of it with a full face mask and strange garb covering every body part.
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
I run a pet care business in Aspen, Colorado part-time. Prior to this, I was an art consultant and worked for a professional contemporary ballet company. All along, knowing I needed to tap into my creativity, instead of follow it. Of course, there is nothing creative about walking dogs, but it gives me freedom to make my own schedule and leaves time for art. Ultimately, I would prefer to make art full-time.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
1) Don’t listen to opinions other than your own when it comes to making decisions about a passion in life.
2) It is never too late to access your creative side.
3) Don’t hold back. Make what you want, not what other people want.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
A community is vital when it comes to making art. It does not directly influence my work, but it is nice to have some support and backing. Without community, art would never be appreciated, and that would be boring.
What is your studio like?
I am currently working out of my neighbor’s garage. It is great because I can open the garage door for ventilation and easily go from inside to outside which is crucial when working with the materials I use. Ultimately, it would be amazing to have a heated studio with a great ventilation system in place someday.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
I clean. Cleaning helps me feel more organized than I actually am.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
Living in the mountains. It has been difficult to network with galleries, other artists, etc.
How would you define “success” in art?
When you make what you want, from the heart; not what others want to see.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?
Creating this new body of work. I am beyond excited about it, and so excited to share it with everyone.
What are you working on right now?
I just completed a new body of work for a solo show called “For[u]m”, and am still processing everything! The show was a success, and I feel a lot of energy propelling me to continue on to whatever the next endeavor may be. My plan was to use “For[u]m” as a platform to get another exhibition lined up, hopefully outside of the mountains in a city where it is accessible to more people.