What is your background?
I grew up in Connecticut in a family that has always supported and encouraged my interest in the arts. My mom had a craft store where she taught art classes and I spent a ton of time there in awe of what she and her students created. I always knew that I wanted to be an artist. I studied ceramics in college, but also took classes and summer workshops in painting, printmaking, figure drawing, and sculpture.I've always had a tough time staying within one medium; I'm always experimenting with new materials and techniques.
What does your work aim to say?
My current body of work focuses on urban life. I've spent some time traveling to different cities and countries around the world, sketching and journaling about my experiences. I'm interested in the both the similarities and differences between cities: the aesthetics, culture, energy. The feeling that sometimes all cities feel the same, yet that they can also feel so completely foreign. While I recognize modernization is necessary, I worry about the rapid growth I've witnessed in Portland (and across the U.S.) and the history we lose as we make improvement. Ultimately my art is meant to capture the feeling of wandering around a city- any city, or countryside. It's about the places we call home, and the emotions those places evoke.
How does your work comment on current social and political influences?
In a way, I think my work comments on our culture's drive for bigger, better and faster. Our desire for more, and the changing landscape- both physically and politcially. While my cityscapes and landscapes don't portray people, all those buildings were made for people to live in and interact with. In Portland, there are giant cranes and new construction everywhere, yet we're experiencing a housing shortage and homelessness crisis. So many shiny new buildings, but the rising cost of living is pushing longtime Portland residents out of their homes. My cityscapes are my way of thinking through all of that.
How do you want to be perceived in the art scene?
I'd love to be perceived as a facilitator of community. I think we need to have more in person interactions and conversations about art, culture and politics, and not just with people we agree with. I'm working to use my art as a way to connect with and have dialogues with more people from different places and view points.
Portland - Oregon - USA