Art Department: Faculty
My art is a mix of landscapes, soulscapes, and mythscapes.
I find inspiration for my art from many sources. One is my interest in the prehistoric cultures of Old Europe, Sumeria, and the Minoan civilization. It is my desire to give contemporary voice to the symbols of these past civilizations in order to speak to the future. Specifically, I employ the lifeaffirming and nature-centered symbology of these ancient cultures and place them in a postmodern context, not in an attempt to try to recreate prehistory, but rather to illustrate alternatives to the fragmentation and nihilism of modernity.
In addition to this inspiration, I am also influenced by more immediate visual experiences- -such as the forests and valleys of the Pacific Northwest, subjective states such as the cuts and scars of the emotional life. With all these sources, my work focuses less on realistic representation and more on expressive images. In my art I hope to capture the motion and force alive in both the source of inspiration and the process of artistic creation.
My primary medium is printmaking, specifically collagraphs, but I also use other media such as drawing, sculpture and installation pieces, to help articulate my ideas. In all media I'm interested in the rough edges of the subject, in its physicality, its texture. I want my work to appeal to the viewer physically and spiritually as well as conceptually.
Contemporary artists who have influenced my work because of their interest in the same sources of inspiration include Ana Mendieta. Mary Beth Edelson, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Simonds, Betsy Damon, and Carolee Schneeman. Other artists I feel have influenced me in a more formalistic way because of their use of materials and expressive images are Eva Hesse, Jackie Windsor, Helen Frankenthaler and Jim Dine.
My teaching philosophy centers around a cluster of ideas about both pedagogy and art. Pedagogically, I believe in the creating a classroom environment that encourages independent learning and individual responsibility. Within that context, I work to connect students to a personal enchantment with the visible world by giving them aesthetic, conceptual and technical guidance in the creation and appreciation of art. In addition, my teaching philosophy includes the belief that creativity--the ability to translate private and cultural perceptions and desires into form, color, image and texture-- is one of the most valuable faculties humans process, one that needs to be developed, cherished, and rewarded. And finally, I strive to show students how to value art produced throughout human history as treasures that can be shared between and within all cultures.
Through teaching the formal and creative aspects of art, I encourage my students to inquire and discover about themselves and their world. My teaching is based on a supportive atmosphere in which mutual respect, open-mindedness, flexibility, cooperation, and dedication are the norm. I have high expectations for all my students, yet I understand that not all of them are ready to learn the same things at the same time. Consequently, in order to respect a variety of learning styles, I provide a wide range of pedagogic opportunities. I want the students to leave my classes feeling that they have learned something worthwhile, and knowing have developed a better awareness of not only the visual world but also their relationship to it.
Within the photo gallery slideshow, you may click on small versions of the photos below to view a full size version of the same photo. When viewing a large sized image, you may return to the gallery by clicking outside the image.