Art and History are Made by Hand
Handmade objects hold power. They take me places I couldn't otherwise go. While I am now a Texas-based visual artist and educator, I was raised by women in midwestern rural communities in Kansas. My memories there are of the landscape, expansive prairies, plowed fields, outcroppings of limestone, vegetable gardens, and barbed wire fences. Planning for what the weather might bring was wise in that time- it meant a certain kind of resilience and being in control. It was a noble idea, as well, to grow food enough to feed the world. This frontier mentality helped weather the dust storms and blistering winds.
The weather in Houston, Texas, which I now call home, is known for its high heat and humidity and otherwise mild winters. But this year, seeing palm trees in snow has 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 neighborhoods are not fun. Rising street water eerily fills the night with the deep throated sounds of large bull frogs. This year we had an icy four-day freeze that caused the collapse of the Texas electrical grid. The leaves on my indoor African Violets suffered frostbite. The frequency of exposure to extreme weather, and the complicating factor of a world-wide health pandemic, has left me longing to travel, perhaps escape. This strong desire with which I am obsessed is why making game changing remote controllers appeal to me. In my hands, they hold possibilities.
I have an interdisciplinary MFA from the University of Houston, collecting graduate degree hours in Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Printmaking, Photography, and Art History. I attended Fort Hays Kansas State University for my undergraduate art degree. Moving from middle of Kansas to Wichita Falls, Texas, I took in two years of ceramics at Midwestern State University and became a production potter on arrival in Houston. As a studio potter I fired gas, electric, and raku kilns, and managed that studio as an artist cooperative for years. Today, I am a full-time faculty member at Houston Community College, teaching Art History, Studio Art, and visual culture to Houston's East End residents. On-campus I like working with artists to curate professional exhibitions and collaborate with my students for pop-up shows in hallways, elevators, bathrooms, and stairs. I'm married to an intelligent, witty, and wonderful man and together we raised two beautiful daughters, Senna and Laurel, productive members of society in a world in need of their wisdom and ingenuity.