What does your work aim to say?
In my art, I explore the world in which I live, as such my artwork is a personal exploration of my environment and emotions. Each individual views his or her surroundings in a unique way. As an artist, I have an opportunity to portray images of my everyday life through my line of vision. Living in Philadelphia and Lancaster has had a vast influence on my subject matter. My interest in depicting an urban environment gradually developed into a fascination with the city at night, and the depiction of light and motion. For me, the city has always been an intriguing environment. I experience it as something that never sleeps; it seems more like a living organism than a place. During the day, people overpower the city. The buildings become a backdrop to the diverse crowd wielding its way through the streets. However, at night, the city itself comes to life and the people are the backdrop. The lights and the sounds create an atmosphere all their own. This energy of changing light and motion makes it a place of constant interest for me and has created a vast subject for me to work in my paintings.
How does your work comment on current social and political influences?
The goal of my work is to capture the kinetic energy of a city. I have always loved walking down a city street at night, and feeling like the lights from the buildings and cars were alive around me. It always makes me feel alive with potential. I hope to capture that feeling in my work. Therefore, my work isn't exactly political but it does represent the environment in which I live. It could be argued that the lack of people in my work is a social statement, but I don't intend for it to be a negative commentary. I've always felt that the more people are in a space, the less we notice our surroundings. Therefore, I chose not to make them a part of my urban landscapes. I'll leave the political commentary to the late night masters of comedy.
What are the obstacles that female artists still encounter today in regard to their art, or the fact it's made by women?
There is still a large discrepancy between how many male artists are featured in galleries compared to women. When I was in art school, I had a teacher make a remark that there shouldn't be any "pageant queens" in painting. Unfortunately, women still need to work hard to get recognized for their work rather than their gender.
What advantages are there for being a woman in the art world?
Women have learned to ban together through social media, and technology. The #MeToo movement has brought attention back to the women's' rights movement. More women are speaking up and standing strong. As an artist, it's inspiring to see the artwork that is resulting from what is happening. My hope is that this inspires more women to believe in themselves and to continue to create amazing work.
Social media has helped me to have a voice as well as show my work. I think women are very open and the ability to self-advertise outside of a traditional art gallery had lead to significant growth for many female artists out there. We are used to having to work a bit harder to get our work shown. Now we have a say in how that happens.
How do you feel/want to be/are perceived in the art scene?
I'd love to be viewed as someone with a strong work ethic, and a lover of art. I can't spend too much time worrying about how I'm perceived or I that could take my focus away from my art. The goal for me, when painting, is not to capture a fleeting moment in time but to capture a permanent memory of a feeling, a place, and energy. I hope when people view my work they have that experience. I'd like my art to speak for itself, but I'm aware that people like to know or feel connected to the artist as well. I try to show my studio space, and some of my process on social media as well.
Lancaster - Pennsylvania - USA