I went to college for a really long time and now am happily not putting any of my degrees to use for my day job. I taught art in a variety of different settings for about 10 years, but now work for a grant-based state program that encourages positive supports and interventions for all children while advocating for overall improvement of school climate. I create art at my kitchen table when I get home from work, and I relish every moment. I’m in a good place artistically!
1. What kind of art weapons do you use to CREATE?
I use watercolors. I use magazine pictures. Sometimes I use what might be considered as garbage: particles picked up by clear packing tape.
2. When was the moment you fell in love with ART?
I was a Junior in high school, and I started working for this city-run, job-training-in-the-arts summer program, called Gallery 37. One afternoon, our instructors set out all these art & art history books for us to look through to research a project. I found this book called “Pop Art” by Lucy R. Lippard, and it changed the way I thought the world defined art. I fell in love with Warhol & Oldenburg that day, and never looked back.
3. What is your purpose to CREATE?
My purpose to create is really just to take my mind off real life for a while. It’s an escape where I can process without being judged what’s right and wrong.
4. Is there a particular message you want to communicate through your artwork?
My artwork as of late is very personal, but I think it displays universal feelings of love and loss that resonates with any viewer who has experienced strong emotions. I’m not trying to make art to please other people – I make art as a way to communicate how I feel about a particular person or event. It just happens that some of my work is pleasing to the eye, and intriguing to viewers.
5. What is your meaning behind the word, “philARThropy?”
Everyone has personal philosophy, it’s opinions we’ve formed about life in general. I think philARThropy enhances the aesthetic qualities of those opinions.
6. How do you plan on using your creativity and imagination to give back to your community and make a difference?
I’m currently finishing up an Art Therapy certificate program at Northwestern University, and hope to utilize this knowledge to work in my community. Art as therapy comes so easy for some, and is difficult and painful for those who have experienced trauma. I’m excited about the future possibilities, especially collaboration with other therapists and educators.
7. What would be your contribution to the art community?
I believe incorporating art therapy techniques in the general art curriculum needs to happen for use on a daily basis in schools. Advancement in technology has proven to be a platform for bullying– freedom to say whatever-the-hell-you-want on the internet with little to no consequence at school. Young adults have lost a sense of respect for their peers and adults, and essentially themselves. Creating curricula that utilizes art therapy techniques combined with the positive technology tools our schools has to offer, would be my contribution to the art community. We cannot continue to ignore these issues in the classroom!
8. What message would you give to a young artist who is trying to find their place in the art world?
I say that your spot in the art world may not be as simple as being an artist (ie: painter, designer, sculptor, dancer, actress, etc..) because it’s such a vague term that carries a lot of stereotype. You can find your comfort as being an artist in the most unexpected places and times.
9. If you had the chance to collaborate with another artist, what would be the #1 thing on your art bucket list of creative projects you’d like to complete?
I’d love to experience creating an app with a teacher and his/her classroom! I recently heard about a teacher who created a playground blacktop mural with her students, then took the project indoors to create an app for their iPads. With the app, students were able to put themselves in the mural and explain why/how the specific portion of the mural was created. Can you even imagine what museums could be like in 10-20 years if we apply this type of technology with living artists today?
10. What kind of art legacy do you want to leave with the world?
Legacy is a big, fluffy word. I’m not sure I’m ready to answer this question. Ask me again when I’m 70 or 80- I’m not ready to think about what I’m leaving behind just yet. I’ve barely just begun!