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Biography: I was born in Chicago in the late 1950s, and spent my child and early adulthood living in a nearby suburb. Due to a series of events both in and out of my control, I did not attend college until I was married and a mother of three. I then spent a dozen years studying art and earning the degrees necessary to become a college professor.
In January of 2010 I left Academia to pursue other more satisfying professional activities. These currently include teaching liberal arts college students drawing, graphic design and art history, and creating thought provoking essays from a work of creative non-fiction about unique connections between my life as a teacher and surviving an abusive childhood.
I hold BFA and MFA degrees from Northern Illinois University. Since 1987 I have been creating traditional, mixed media and digital artworks, and have many local, regional and national exhibitions to my credit. I am also a published writer. An essay, Art Education, about how it is I became an artist, will be published in Still Point Arts Quarterly in their Summer 2013 issue.
The artwork and writing I produce reflect and illustrate my interest in dissolving boundaries between traditional fine art, design, writing and other disciplines. Throughout my incredible professional career, I have actively sought out opportunities to collaborate with artists and scholars in other academic areas through the implementation of innovative programs and workshops on interdisciplinary topics and approaches. I have a strong interest in sharing my creative passion in a variety of ways including writing, publishing, teaching, mixed media/design and writing workshops, artist in residence opportunities – anything that explores the many connections between art, design, and writing.
Artist Statement: The mixed media and digital artwork I produce reflect and illustrate my interest in dissolving boundaries between what is considered “fine art”, design, writing and other disciplines. I play with visual and textual mixed messages while illustrating symbols of women, the work of women, and what women consider important in our culture both in the present and in the past. Through the layering of images and text I create partially obscured, complex and shifting visuals, with an element of subliminal and mixed messaging that strongly refers to manipulative techniques used by 20th and 21st century mass media, techniques that constantly barrage viewers with what they should be, do and think.
My artistic process involves assembling disparate or fragmentary elements such as photographs, advertising images, old dress patterns, postcards, text, fabric, embroidery and other embellishments. I rearrange, layer and piece them together into a new cohesive whole via mixed media, 2D digital or digital video processes. Other textual elements include poetry, prose, scientific terminology and definitions, which I choose due to their mixed meanings, and atypical or unusual connections to the images and headline text in the pieces. History, truth and memory are recurring themes in the artwork I produce. Through use of old family photographs as well as those of interesting strangers and weirdly perfect female advertising icons, combined with other documentary or memorabilia-like objects, I piece back together impressions of our culture and at times my family of origin. By doing so I am memorializing and documenting my own story, which is intensely personal, while also illustrating a documentary and memorializing process that we all engage in to give meaning and substance to our lives.