Identities shaped by home (or homelessness); natural beauty (or disasters), memories of happiness (or loss) inspire my artwork. This results in works on glass and paper. Both materials are translucent and seemingly fragile, yet they are hearty enough to survive the passage of time between civilizations.
I make art from research. This type of inquiry also leads me not just to economic but also environmental concerns. Observations of current events, politics, and urban landscapes are my entry into these issues.
Most often I create work in series. “Pandemic Bookkeeping” measures how my middle-class domesticity stacks up against the demands of running a middle-class Victorian/Civil War era household; “Ghosts/Ships” brings to life images of slaves and slave ships through the public domain collections at the British Library and the New York Public Library. “Oil and Water,” looks at communities that live in the shadow of oil: California places like Richmond, Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach. “We Buy Houses,” examines the foreclosure crisis through glass and works on paper. Last but not least, “The Blue Wall Project”(working title) maps people killed by the police using data from the Washington Post’s “Fatal Force.”
To make my work I use a variety of glass and printmaking techniques. My cold glasswork (unfired) often takes form as sculptural mixed media, involving books and found objects. Warm glass means work fired in a kiln up to approximately 1,500°F. I enjoy layering images and text onto warm glass pieces, featuring public domain historical photographs, drawings, or my own photographs. My preferred techniques include screen-printing with glass enamels or powder printing.
My work on paper employs the techniques of image transfers, ink stamping and collage. Over the past few years I have been enjoying learning the craft of bookbinding. I recently exhibited my first artist book, entitled “Emily” about a runaway slave’s journey along the Ohio River.
Text is an important component of my artwork. I often say that I live under the tyranny of title. A phrase will get stuck in my head, such as “21st Century Capital” and I wrestle with it until an artwork is created. Thus, many of my pieces have titles before I ever make a schematic drawing, much less cut a piece of glass.
I am a visual storyteller. My work weaves personal and political geography to confront contemporary society’s relationship to place and equity.