Handmade Objects Hold Power
I am a Texas-based visual artist and educator raised during my youth in central Kansas. My midwestern memories are of rural communities with expansive farmlands, outcroppings of limestone rock, vegetable gardens, and barbed wire fence rows. Planning for what the weather might bring was always wise- it meant a certain kind of resilience and being in control. Plus, it was a noble idea to grow food enough to feed the world. This frontier mentality weathered dust storms and blistering winds. The weather in Houston, Texas, where I live now has had its share of humid summers and mild winters. But this year, the palm trees in snow have left me breathless. Not long ago, a once-in-a-hundred year flood happened two years in a row and a five hundred year flood happened the year after that. The question remains whether getting in a car when it starts to rain is smart, because the bayou waters rise quickly in the freeway underpasses. Soaking rain and canoe rescues in neighborhood streets are not fun, no matter the sweet sound of crickets chirping after dark in the south. My indoor African Violets suffered frost bite this year when the Texas electric grid system shut down during freezing cold temperatures. For six days there was no electricity, so there was no water. Carrying buckets from the neighbor's swimming pool helped some. Add to this the complicating factors of a world-wide pandemic and it leaves me and others longing to travel, one way or the other,
I have an interdisciplinary MFA from the University of Houston, collecting extra graduate hours in Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Printmaking, Photography, and Art History. I attended Fort Hays Kansas State University for my undergraduate art degree. Moving from there to Wichita Falls, Texas, I studied ceramics at Midwestern State University and became a production potter on arrival in Houston. As a studio potter with gas, electric, and raku kilns, I also maintained the operation as a teaching studio for ceramics. Today, I am a full-time faculty member at Houston Community College, teaching Art History and Visual Culture to Houston's East End residents. On-campus I like to curate professional exhibitions and also collaborate with my students in hallways and elevators. I'm married to an intelligent, witty, and wonderful man and together we raised two beautiful daughters, Senna and Laurel, now very productive members of society in a world very much in need of their wonderful creativity and insight.