“I would fantasize how wonderful it would be to have the ability to create such works of art,” she said.
That fascination with sculpture and the human condition continues to this very day.
Her works have been seen in 14 different galleries and the same number of juried exhibitions in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.
HOW I GOT STARTED
At the age of 10, a friend’s mother invited me to attend an art class at the civic center. We were each given a small lump of clay and told to create whatever we chose with it. I had been fixated on becoming a nun, so I placed my hands at work molding my shapeless mass of clay into a small version of one.
The encouragement and praise I received from the instructor was exhilarating.
It was at that time that I first fell in love with the feel and texture of this fabulously tactile medium, though unfortunately it was the last of my experience with it until I was in my mid-30s.
THE STORY BEHIND MY ART, MY INSPIRATION
My inspirations for my art have mainly been drawn from my life’s experiences and of those which I have observed. Unfortunately, these same experiences have served to interrupt my creative process and ability to work on my art for long periods of time. Social issues have always greatly interested me and I attribute this toward my upbringing.
I was adopted and was the eldest of eight children who were also adopted. At the age of 12, there had also been 35 foster children of various ages. I believe my interest in social issues was peaked due to my heightened sensitivity to my family situation.
WORK I’M MOST PROUD OF
The piece that is nearest to my heart is a ceramic bust entitled ‘Burial Blanket.’ I created it while living in Alpena. It was designed after a photo I found of a mother somewhere near India holding the body of her dead child swaddled head to toe in a blanket. I was so touched by the photo that I prayed often while working on it to do justice to this woman through my artwork. I strongly feel it was divinely inspired.
My son Andre was born with the rare genetic disorder Galactosemia and lived life with multiple challenges, scoliosis, autism and severe neurological complications. Andre had a white blanket he loved and often begged me to wrap him in it. This provided him with a source of comfort and eased his nerves.
At his death I had his body cremated and requested that they wrap his body in the blanket beforehand. Three years later I was observing ‘Burial Blanket.’ At that moment, like a flash of lightning whipped through my soul, I connected the significance of the piece to my own life with my son. And so I wept!
MY FAVORITE ARTIST
I was most impressed as an adolescent by the Mexican artist Rivera’s fresco paintings at the DIA which portrayed the industrial and technological era of Detroit. The masterful works of Michelangelo and Rodin and others played a great part in my desire to sculpt.
One of my favorite modern sculptures is Arturo Di Modica’s ‘Raging Bull,’ also known as the Wall Street Bull across from the New York Stock Exchange.
ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS
I would tell you to first learn to deal with non-constructive criticism. If you’re able, just choose to ignore it. Try not to compare your work with others. Our works are all unique and that’s so wonderful. Know that you will be making errors in your work, since it’s all a learning process and will continue to be for life.
Don’t misunderstand though: learning technical skill is very important. Passionately pursue the type of art you enjoy creating, but be brave and experiment with other subject matters and with various mediums.
MY WORK CAN BE SEEN/PURCHASED
At 223 State Street Boutique and Compassion Center in Traverse City. I am available for commissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.