My Art Story
"You have to gather a lot of fragments to capture reality."
I love this quote by artist Ai Weiwei.
My work is a lifetime of small bits that come together to form the art that is my particular point of view.
After practicing various avenues of making things for more than five decades and not giving up on art, I define myself as an evolving artist. Life calls upon us and we respond.
The oldest of four children in the Town of Tonawanda during the 1950s and 1960s, there was little access to art aside from the pictures of Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol I saw in the mid-century popular magazines. Visiting the Albright Knox Art Gallery a few times was significant--seeing a large exhibit of Van Gogh was especially memorable--the image of his tiny room with bed and other items of daily life was familiar and otherworldly at the same time. The magic of painting became a tangible thing for me.
I did not know any “real” artists, but my world was touched by various makers. My maternal grandmother drew with me and proudly pointed out a couple landscape paintings hanging on her wall that were made by her own mother. My father built simple furniture and woodworking projects. His mother made paint-by-number oils. She also sewed, crafted dolls, and crocheted blankets. I learned how to do some of these things from her and my creativity was sparked. A childhood dabbling in drawing, sewing, and crafts led me to a studio art program at SUNY Oswego where I had a good dose of creating. I also visited New York for the first time on an art department fieldtrip--visited Soho galleries and artist studios. A seed was planted--a vision of a real city and possibility of an artistic life. I left school with a wobbly ambition to pursue an this sort of life, the only model of the adult world that made sense to me.
I started that endeavor in SanFrancisco, a place I imagined would be conducive to such exploration. I learned to create Batik-dyed textiles and made a line of items to sell in the hippie craft markets downtown--a the while, working as a waitress. I was also learning to examine the world around me through the lens of a camera. The last Batik works were called “Snapshots,” a series that was more still life photograph than fabric design. My involvement with making art has always gone hand-in-hand with reading and writing. Much of my inspiration came from writers Simone de Beauvoir and Anais Nin, women who conveyed the importance of creating an intentional life.
By the early 1980s I was living in the East Village of Manhattan where small galleries were emerging on every block. I was seduced by the allure of the Neo-Expressionist painters and startling works of the Pictures Generation artists. My art practice took a turn toward figurative abstraction and experimental processes that has evolved into an approach to working that continues today. I supported myself with various day jobs in the garment industry, The Metropolitan Museum, and a photo bank. My work was included in an array of small gallery group shows and the first Employee Art Show hung in a glorious pristine gallery within The Met.
During the late 1980s I became interested in eastern philosophy and meditation. Much of my work has been informed by memory, nature, and the senses. My approach is a process of improvisation with materials through layering--adding and subtracting elements to arrive at a play between action and stillness.
I moved out to Colorado during the 1990s and received a Masters degree in art therapy. I worked in healthcare for several years while making art and submitting work to a few local group shows in Boulder and Denver.
Back in Buffalo since 2005 after a serious illness, engaging with art has been central to my time here. I have resided at the Artspace Buffalo Lofts since 2011. I have shown work in several group shows in the gallery here, as well as the former C.G. Jung Center Gallery where I coordinated exhibitions during 2014. I have also participated in many of the local membership shows—Big Orbit, CEPA, Hallwalls, and Burchfield Penney.
During my evolving art story, I have had one solo exhibition. The year I turned sixty, I assembled over 100 works for a survey show called “Curious Evidence” that spanned the years between 1982 to 2012. I have also published articles in Art Therapy Journal, The Myeloma Beacon, Artvoice, and The Public. Most recently, I have revisited my early interest in textiles as I have transferred my original painted designs to a digital platform to be printed on fabric that I have been sewing into a line of neckties and other items to be offered for sale in the near future. Some of these textile pieces are already turning up in paintings.
I have aproper resume of shows and credentials, but the narrative presentation strikes me a more inviting format for this moment in time.
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