Continuous engagement in studio work is essential to who I am as an artist and an art educator. Over the past 15 years my choice of media has evolved even as my color palette and the visual imagery I work with has remained somewhat constant. This dichotomy between evolution and constancy positively influences my body of work and my interactions with my students and viewing audience. My work over the past 10 years has lead in divergent paths from functional fine craft to abstract sculptural forms.
Needlepunch is hugely labor-intensive with one piece taking 30 to 40 hours to complete. In our era of instant gratification, I find great satisfaction in completing a project that requires seemingly endless steps over a period of time. In terms of subject matter, my work has consistently reflected my love of late 19th century decorative arts. My clearly repetitive choices are based in the tenets of the art movements I adhere to so closely. Yet as my thesis work progressed, my choices moved into a vastly different direction; skirting the line between beauty and the grotesque. In the classroom my visual choices open up many discussions. Sharing my studio experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and sharing my beliefs about why we create art has enriched my personal art experiences and has hopefully proven beneficial to my students as well!
Felting has been a welcome diversion from the extreme commitment required of needlepunch. With nuno, I can complete a fairly large scale nuno piece inside one weekend or a vessel within a day. Furthermore, the nature of felting, specifically its lack of minute predictability, lends itself to abstraction. In the larger historical body of my work, abstraction is fairly rare; therefore, sculptural felting has forced me to explore new directions and foreign compositions. Felted sculpture and installation pieces have become the heart and soul of my MFA program.
When I am not in my studio or classroom, I can be found in my kitchen overlooking Lake Quinsigamond attempting to cook dinner (or at least baking cookies) for my two boys Nick and Marc, and my husband Gary.
The year prior to marrying Gary, I graduated from UMass Dartmouth with a BFA in Painting. I earned a M.Ed. in Art Education several years later when my children were young, and in 2015 was granted an MFA from the Heartwood College of Art in Biddeford, Maine. Through showing at various juried venues throughout central New England and teaching at both secondary and adult levels, I am able to maintain continuous studio engagement.
It is my hope that my vision of what is visually beautiful, will transport others, even for a moment, into a place beyond routine, and stress, and the anxiety that seems to permeate life in our time and place.
All students deserve an empowering education that will prepare them to lead their lives in school and beyond. With this statement as my premise, it is my responsibility as an art educator to ensure that all my students are taught according to their needs in a positive environment that encourages exploration and growth both in the studio and beyond.
As an art educator, I will open avenues to discovery and creativity while providing a foundation of knowledge based upon history and research and a foundation of skills learned through personal experience. Understanding the needs and learning styles of individuals and tailoring instruction accordingly is imperative to this process.
My studio will be free from prejudice and limiting attitudes. Through the exploration of cultures, media and techniques new to them, my students will learn to redefine their potential. It is my responsibility to create this opportunity.
It is also my responsibility, as an adult in a position of influence, to act as a role model. I will model behavior appropriate for a professional artist and educator as well as behavior appropriate to a productive, respectful, and compassionate member of our local, regional, and global communities.