What’s your art form?
My primary pursuit is mixed media. This most often takes the form of collage or relief sculpture but can also encompass book making. I love working with paper, glass, wood, metal, fabric, ribbon, and anything else that catches me eye.
Will you share a piece of advice for aspiring visual artists or artists in general?
Enjoy the process.
This continues to be a lifelong lesson for me. I am too often focused on the end result of my efforts and don’t soak in the process of creating. It is in the process that we grow and learn as artists. If we don’t take risks we can’t make new discoveries. Yes, sometimes that means the final product is a disaster but the lessons learned through the unfolding of that piece are more valuable than holding back for fear of what might be squandered.
How does teaching your craft to youth affect your own art?
Teaching students serves to inspire me in my own art making over and over again. Every time I leave a residency or workshop I am so excited to get to my own work and start creating. Some of my favorite moments teaching have been when I was able to create alongside my students. Together we share ideas and nurture creativity. That’s the power of a group context; it encourages and feeds us, reminds us of what we love and inspires new ideas.
By the end of a week with you, what are 3 things you hope most students have learned?
Art isn’t just drawing.
You can communicate your ideas visually.
Allow yourself to play with materials and be amazed.
What does being a COMPAS artist mean to you?
Being a COMPAS artist means quite simply that I get to take something that I love to do and share it with others. I help release creativity and get to share the joy of art making with my students. It’s revealing, inspiring, encouraging, and is often happening in contexts where access to the arts is limited.
Why do you think arts education is needed in our community?
Because the arts are sometimes the only voice a student has and if they are not given the opportunity to discover that voice they may not believe in their own potential.