Why make art?
I don’t know why I make art. I just have to. Because art seems to be the only thing in my life that understands me. Art doesn’t argue with me, or hurt me. It never lies.
I thought I ought to get a degree in art, so I did. But most of the juicy stuff I learned came after school. I didn’t find Dada or Surrealism until after I graduated, those seem to be the two art movements I identify with the most, though sometimes I’ll play with Pop Art. Dreamlike imagery and feelings is something that compels me in art and life. I’m not trying to paint a landscape, or represent something as it looks in real life… It’s ok for lines to be imperfect, for lines to skew, for things to look and feel unfinished… that’s life. My canvases say, “a human touched this.” I’m not looking for perfection.
A career in art?
It’s been a lifelong passion. I grew up watching my father create with stained glass, write poetry, and play the guitar. I was always using art to calm myself. Art is the perfect escape. My study of art wasn’t linear – I studied at four different colleges, amidst much personal exploration, before I graduated from UW-Green Bay in 2002. As a senior, I started a mural painting business, Hire.O.Glyphics, doing commissions for residences and businesses. In 2004, I started Back Room Gallery, an underground venue where I specialized in curating and exhibiting emerging young artists. In 2006, I was part of the original cohort of artists at the Art Garage. Later that year, I was hired as Assistant Curator of Art at the Lawton Gallery at UW-Green Bay. I have been selling my paintings and collages throughout Wisconsin since my late twenties. For the past several years, I have been a Parent Educator and working with children, feeding a desire that I have to teach (I do occasionally teach classes at the Art Garage and elsewhere). Though I’ve continued to make art, I’ve missed working on larger projects. I’ve realized that my most prolific year was when I was last at the Art Garage – this is what has brought me back. I’m going to explore larger paintings, things that have a more substantial presence – something that can envelop the viewer, so that for the moment, there is nothing else.
Next fall, I’m returning to UW-Green Bay to take some studio classes and seek an education certification. My gallery work, education efforts with young people, and most especially, my experience as a mother makes me want to help young people express themselves through art. I want to be a high school art teacher. But if they offer me Kindergarten, I’ll take it!