I love cutting things up – paper, metal, Mylar! My work explores the complexities of the natural world through mixed media work and outdoor public sculpture. Fascinated by botanical forms and biological systems, I create work that embraces the fluidity and mysteries of nature, reveling in curves and the interlacing plant or cellular forms. Vascular systems, in natural forms such as leaves, with their complex networks of interconnected loops inspire me. I immerse myself in the world of plants and insects in my garden. My idea of a great day is visiting a botanical garden, discovering the growth patterns of plants and intricacy that is found in nature. It doesn't hurt to have a palm tree nearby!
My smaller scale studio work involves the cutting, sewing and weaving of painted paper and Mylar. Drawing with brass rod is often added to the work and sewn on. Final pieces integrate craft based techniques and materials with fine art concepts. In these drawings, some parts are pre-determined; others come into play purely by chance. It’s a balance between forethought and the unexpected. I'm often surprised by the results - making the work journey interesting and fun!
The drawing and I interact until some solution coincides with the intended scheme. This improvisational process of give and take ultimately appears as a work expressing movement and exuberance. My desire is to draw viewers into the mysteries of nature as well as the process, engaging them in discovery.
My large-scale public artwork is fabricated primarily in aluminum. I incorporate images of cell structures, leaves, and plant forms. Open and closed forms and positive/negative space are issues that interest me, creating lively plays of light and shadow. I develop my designs through pencil drawings that are digitally rendered and cut from aluminum using a water-jet technique. The water does the cutting for me in these instances, even though I have cut metal in the past with a jigsaw.
As a visual artist interested in sculpture and public spaces, I have designed and fabricated a number of public artworks in the Baltimore/Washington regional area. I totally LOVE the idea of a community being surprised and embracing both pride and ownership of sculpture in the public realm. 2019 has been a big year for me. Ladew Topiary Gardens commissioned a Nature Walk gate the leads to a mile long trail through a variety of forest elements and meadows. I never designed a bench until Brookside Garden selected Sassy bench – a bright read bench near their Visitor Center. This led to designing and fabricating (with the help of Paul Daniel) two benches for Alexander House in Silver Spring this year. Check out the images of the Dogwood and Fern benches.
Other works at Brookside Gardens include the Ferngateand GinkgoCanopy. Drive by the Maryland Public Health Laboratory on Ashland Ave. east of Fells Point and check out the big blue expansive gate.
Additional works are Passage, a sculptural entrance to Jesup Blair Park, in Silver Spring, MD and fountain gratesat Baltimore's City Hall plaza.
To be clear, public art is not for the faint of heart. After being selected for two light rail stations for the Redline Light rail project in Baltimore City, the whole project was canceled. In 2017 I was awarded an Art-in-Transit commission for the Riggs Road Station for the Purple Line Light Rail in Washington, DC. I am designing fence panels for the walkway to the station that will be installed by the end of 2021 (almost 5 years later)!
I am deeply committed to education. I have been visiting lecturer and workshop leader in many colleges and universities. I retired after 13 years from my position as Education Director for the Creative Alliance where I was the founder for literature-based visual and performance arts programs after school and in summer serving youth in Baltimore City. My strongest hope is that the ALL young people in Baltimore City are presented with opportunities for thinking creatively and critically.
I received my BA at Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY and my MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art. An NEA Fellowship and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Consortium grant are among honors I was fortunate to receive.
Photography thanks to John Dean, Howard Ehrenfeld, Norman Watkins, Mitro Hood, Mike Koryta and Joseph Hyde.