UNbound! May 3-31 at The Garage Cultural Center, Montpelier VT
UNbound! is my first show since 2008, the year before I became ill.
Making sculpture had always been essential to me; my major in college and the basis of my career choices. But sculpture is expensive. You need equipment and space and time, none of which I could afford.
I found a painting mentor, Gema Phillips, and along with her students I learned painting and printmaking. Getting to art class became my purpose during the long and tedious struggle to regain my health.
She taught me to focus on what I love in making art. She taught me how to be kind as I learned new skills. Most importantly I learned that my inspiration and drive comes from working with other artists. Gema gave me my first viewfinder.
I met Sande Stockwell and Hasso Ewing when I taught a drawing class at the Hall Foundation in Reading VT in 2017. They then came to my plaster and mixed media skills class at AVA Gallery, and their incredible talents propelled them faster and farther than I knew was possible! They invited me to join them in a year-long course of critical arts study with Dr. Siouxsie Cooper.
Finally I had the kind of deeply analytical conversations about art that I’d been dreaming of since I left school. And in January 2018 I discovered Pal Tiya Premium, a sculpture medium that allows me to build the way I want to build at a price that I can afford.
Gema always said that artists need other artists. Discussions with Hasso and Sande, learning my new medium, and exploring new artists and art work has transformed how I approach the studio.
Ideas that I’d been working on for years began to crystallize: viewfinders and the frameworks we see through; how to express kindness in developing creativity; why making art matters so much to us. I realized how deeply every detail that I focused on informed other details.
In December 2018 I began working with Professor Denis Sweet of Bates College in Maine. I felt that I needed something in addition to Dr. Cooper’s critical analysis of art, I needed a way to pull all the details of my thinking together.
A Zen philosopher, Professor Sweet helped me change my focus from analytical to comprehensive inclusion. He taught that there is no one factor that matters most, but that the constellation of details that make up a work of art are part of a galaxy of intent and meaning and communication.
UNbound! marks the emergence of a new realm of possibilities in my life as an artist and teacher. I can’t wait to share this realm with others.