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Exhibit Opening (In-person): Friday, June 4th 5-7pm | 6pm Artist Talk
Artist Statement: In my work I strive to tell a story through my experiences and imagination. My creativity and life stories are expressed with coastal marine themes that capture the wild beauty of my home, Alaska.
The medium of encaustic is my material of choice; a blend of molten beeswax, damar crystals, and pigment.
The inspirations for these paintings are weathered canneries, set net sites, and fishermen working their gear. My first hand experiences with the dangers and excitement of fishing draw me to the historical Bristol Bay. Here, ghosts of past storms emerge through the fog. From a 32-foot wooden sailboat without navigational equipment, to the eroding river banks, dilapidating canneries, all surfaces are beaten by heavy winds and torrential seas, developing the rustic landscapes I find beautiful and tell a compelling story.
I live in a coastal community where the natural elements of wind and salt are constantly altering the environment. With every year there are subtle changes and inspirations for a fresh perspective.
I’m drawn to these surfaces with textural layers that disclose a story of the lives they had. Using encaustic, painting, scraping, and scratching, I seek to reveal pieces that speak of the past and the present. For me, inspiration is often a mystery. One thing inspires while another fades away, the ideas warp and changes are absorbed and lost, as in the landscapes with eroding edge.
Artist Statement: Currently I am making Porcelain vessels inspired by a life spent primarily on the coast of an island in Southeast Alaska, there barnacles cling to everything along the shoreline. Shore crabs hide under rocks, kelp and a variety of seaweeds sway in silky water, constantly in motion. Many share the feature of clinging to rocks to ensure survival in a sometimes turbulent sea. In the same way their representations cling to my ceramic forms.
The simple palette of white in most of my work is a reference to fine china (which it is) or the durable service ware found in diners and restaurants everywhere. I am slowly integrating figurative elements into my work. These provide a broader emotional interpretation of my relationship with my environment and the inclusion of elements of my current drier and landlocked home.
The barnacle is an accretion that demonstrates a ubiquitous and persistent experience that is indicative of time passing whether desired or not. It adds texture to life and vessel.
Shore crabs express my delight of lifting a rock at the beach and finding crabs that scuttle for safety. I always have a strong impulse to pick them up regardless of trepidation for their pinching claws and poky, toes. Their presence can also represent irritation and the persistence of memories and dreams.
Travel, motion and the serendipity of destination are held in glass floats, bound in nets that strained to hold them but are ultimately cut loose by the elements into the movement of ocean currents.
My work always contains a narrative whether as simple as the origination of barnacles on a mug or a complex representation containing many elements of my experiences living and moving through this world.
Biography: I grew up on a remote island in Southeast Alaska. Ketchikan is a place that is well known for its inclement weather which drives one indoors and induces creative work. In my youth this was dance, sewing, knitting etc. I decided to pursue an education in dance. Amidst this educational endeavor a sculpture class helped me realize that working with my hands was a more readily available skill and provided me with a flexible lifestyle, which included my desire to have a family. I attended Humboldt State University in California. While there I had my children and achieved my bachelors degree in art with ceramic sculpture as my focus.
Returning to Alaska after school, I taught at the University of Alaska Ketchikan Campus and in many public schools as an artist in residence. I exhibited art in solo and group exhibitions in galleries all over the country and at all of the major museums in the state of Alaska. When my boys were grown and I grew weary of Alaska’s winters, I went south for a residency at the Archie Bray Foundation. The Archie Bray is a prestigious residency program for artists working with clay. My rich experience there prodded me on to pursue an MFA at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Afterwards I returned to Helena Montana (the home of the Archie Bray Foundation) as I had found the rich creative community there and the more persistent appearance of the sun to my liking. I spent a few years, including several years as the president, on the board of The Holter Museum of Art. I continue to give workshops and make art, it is a passion and compulsion that will be with me always.