Southeast Missouri State University, 1998, BFA
I am an artist, craftsperson, and educator. To communicate ideas through making, to nurture the symbiotic relationship of teaching and learning, and to gain a broader understanding of the world through dedication to these two things are my most important goals.
About my most recent body of artwork:
While in the United States, my work was rooted firmly in American heritage and ideologies. Living and working abroad has allowed me to examine the nature of different backgrounds as they are blended, borrowed, traded, and merged. Due to its central location in Eastern Asia, Taiwan has a diverse population informing its present day culture. Its images, patterns, and objects evoke notions that are simultaneously foreign and familiar, providing the impetus for my current work. The collage of ceramic objects that come together to complete each work reflect the fabric of cultures that exist in my surroundings, but also give a personal view of the quest to understand them.
As I have continued to live abroad, the initial culture shock has worn off, and I have become less fascinated with the tangible things around me. I've become more acutely aware of the emotional and psychological impact of acclimating to a new environment and creating relationships that transcend the verbal language barrier. Introspection in conjunction with the subtle forms, patterns, and rhythms present in everyday life provides a subconscious framework that I rely on when building the physical forms of my work in the studio.
Through making, I aim to further examine both the struggles and comforts that exist in the ebb and flow of our construction of modern culture. As information travels with increasing speed across cultures, we share experiences from the agonizing to the mundane at an equally increasing rate. I question the pace with which we ravage information and sprint through critical decisions. In response, I yearn for a pause, for a way to slow down but not fall behind, for a temporary allowance of reflection that is void of the push to progress.
The nature of clay and the ceramic process parallels this sentiment through both the patience required in construction and the repose of a once fluid matter as finished work. But, to fully offer respite from the questionable seductions of an increasingly homogenized modern life, I employ a subdued color palette, affected figures, and undulating forms adrift on the wall. Bare, unglazed surfaces stained with glassy fragments of pattern further support my message. In sum, I set my artistic practice against a background of anthropology; the exploration of my own heritage, gender, and culture in relation to others’ will continue to inform my personal narrative.