I am a photographer, mixed media artist and instructor. I received an MFA in Visual Design from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA in photography from Clemson University in South Carolina. My experience includes 15+ years as a graphic designer and 10 years of teaching. I have taught graphic design at Clemson University and Art Institute of Seattle as well as photography at Clemson University, Greenville Technical College and, currently, at Bellevue College. My pro bono work includes photographing people for Recovery Café, a place of transformation and recovery from homelessness, mental health issues and addiction. I live in Port Townsend.
Why are you an artist? I couldn’t imagine not being an artist. As a child, I had husband and wife teachers that were special to me. We worked with clay and made oil paintings referencing National Geographic photographs. The end result was always less than important than the action of making art. Of course, I had other art classes along the way but these were formative years for me. To me, art is a necessity. It has gotten me through difficult times and is a space within myself where I can retreat from the world and create images, mostly photographic as well as collage/assemblage.
Why is art important? Art is about personal expression. It is generated from and showcases an individual’s uniqueness. Without art, there would be fewer challenges, less heights to attain, less depths to fall. Art is about accessing a deep communal space that we all can draw from. I know for me when I haven’t done art in a while; my life is more bland and ordinary. Spending a day doing something artistic feeds my soul in a way that nothing else can. I know it is those days when I feel like I am a better person.
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