I am an artist, craftsperson, and weaver. As an artist and an educator, I value teaching as much as I appreciate creating work. I earned a BFA in Crafts, a BA in Art Education, and a National Board Certification for teaching art. I have had the privilege to teach art to students who were incarcerated and on probation, and I am also grateful for my opportunities to teach courses at The Crucible and Penland School of Crafts. I have earned various scholarships and grants, including a Lenore G. Tawney Fiber Scholarship and the Personal Development Grant from the Surface Design Association. I enjoyed completing artist residencies and research at the Icelandic Textile Center [Textílsetur Íslands], The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, The Association of Icelandic Visual Arts [SÍM], Penland School of Crafts [Winter Residencies], Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts [Pentaculum], and The Arctic Circle.
I weave visualizations of environmental and human rights statistics using traditional craft techniques. I examine issues ranging from youth incarceration to our changing climate. I am particularly interested in the choices people make and how those conscious and unconscious decisions impact other individuals, the greater society, and our planet. I enjoy discovering how people think differently about the world, learning new perspectives on sustainability and social justice, and finding inspiration in varied natural environments. This research has led me to embed images and data about glaciers, declining ice masses, and the changing Arctic in my work as visual symbols of our warming planet. My newest series of woven work explores genetics and the implications of nature, nurture, and sheer happenstance.
As an artist creating at the intersection of fine art and craft, craftsmanship itself is as significant as the concepts, and the process of handweaving each piece on looms is integral to my practice. Originally a metalsmith, I discovered weaving is a more analogous way to explore these subjects, and sustainable fiber eliminates the disconnect between my once toxic materials and the content. Additionally, as a precursor to computers, looms are a fitting way to incorporate statistical information into my work. In a time of data detritus, I appreciate weaving as a method to create slower, thoughtful visual encapsulations of information while still relying on the binary 0’s and 1’s of looms. I enjoy the logic of handweaving and utilizing complex structures to determine which yarn is displayed – warp or weft – at each individual crossing of the threads; these carefully coordinated minuscule intersections come together much like pixels to form the larger image and statistical information of each woven piece.
Teaching is an essential part of my practice as an artist and weaver; empowering others to communicate artistically is as valuable as creating my own work. Working with youth who were incarcerated challenged me to become a better educator, and it continues to influence the work I create. Designed to be aesthetically simple and approachable, my pieces are embedded with subtle information viewers can choose to engage in or disregard, reflecting how we live our lives and make our choices. I aim to encourage others to be aware of these important subjects, which are often overlooked. Weaving data is not only a way for me to consider these issues while using consciously sourced materials, but I have also found that they are an accessible way to create interest in discussing societal and environmental topics.