My first piece in which the human face is an important feature was a response to the Iranian hostage crisis. Since then many of my sculptures have become vehicles for political and humanitarian concerns.
This enduring concept is an ongoing series about us, the differences and commonalities of human beings. I pay tribute to world peoples, investigating their unique and often beautiful characteristics. For some, time is of the essence because they suffer from cultural dilution, adaptation, repression, discrimination, or simply from small and dwindling numbers, while others are part of the homogenization of humankind in which distinctive identities are put aside or lost.
I concentrate on what makes each group unique, but I sculpt the similarities as well. The reality for many small clusters of people is that they struggle to maintain the unique quality of their lives as they jockey to survive and to find a place in the world. For example, homogenization and cultural suppression were Soviet goals for decades. Yet only four years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Buryats, the indigenous people around Lake Baikal were working to rebuild their cultural patterns and teach them to their young. It is a difficult task with most of their elders gone. Worldwide and throughout time their story is shared.
My wish is that with exposure and education we could learn to appreciate the enormous diversity of people, recognize our similarities, make space for us all, and celebrate the details that make us different from each other.
Often those details are stunning artistically. Consider Himba skin coated with butterfat and ocher, a protection from desert insects and intent sun. Likewise, envision Malagasy cemetery sculpture, Saami clothing, and a Ndebele beadwork. Even the familiar New England stone walls are relevant, reminders of people who divided and controlled land for individual use. The list is endless.
The visual highlights may catch our attention, but the hard work is to learn about and to appreciate the diversity that humans exhibit worldwide. I also sculpt non-cultural pieces that emphasize gesture, expression, and design. Currently I am beginning a series of American workers of the northeast.
I live in Grantham, New Hampshire and Eastport, Maine. My formal education was from the University of Massachusetts, University of Rochester, and the School for American Craftsmen. Numerous master classes with the clay masters of this country started me on this road. I concentrated on the three dimensional arts during my career as a high school and adult education teacher, all of which further readied me for work as a clay sculptor and portrait artist.
Other than working, I have been knitting most of my life. I love to cook food and eat from the world over, hike, walk the dog, ski, do almost anything on the water, and of course travel.
I was undoubtedly the worst student in drawing class. Marine science was my heart until I took my very first art class, sophomore year at UMass. There was no teaching. We had to figure it out. But something captured me.
With spontaneity and no consideration of what I would do to make a living, I changed my major and then told my parents. Phew.
What I already knew: The competition is severe. Art is work, but it’s a place where you can lose yourself. It takes mastery of materials, a honed skill level, an eye, a mind, and if you are to make a living, business skills. A sense of humor helps, as does a good family, a cuddly dog, and time.”
- Tin Mountain Conservation Center, board member
- Eastman, NH Sustainable Eastman Committee, chair
- Eastman Energy, work on energy conservation and generation
- Pots for the soup fundraiser for Derby, NH food pantry
Volunteer work in Madagascar
There is no saving the island without helping its people as well.
I have been in Madagascar twice. Both times I volunteered in a small pottery village, Alasora. It is about 15 long and bumpy km from the capital, Antananarivo, which is near to the middle of the country. My work ties to the hopes that the island will some day reap the benefits of organized tourism. Read more.
Shows and Publications
One man show, 42 Maple Contemporary Art Center, Bethlehem, NH
New England Sculpture Association, Bridgewater State University,Panelist
Ava Gallery and Art Center’s Holiday Sale and Exhibition 2015
New England Sculpture Association juried show, The Gallery at 42 Maple
2013: New England Sculpture Association, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
Pawtucket Arts Festival, Exchange Street Show
Eastman, NH. Preserving Identities. One man show
2011: New England Sculpture Association. Massachusetts Transportation Pavilion
2008: All Creatures Great and Small. Gallery 205, Concord, NH.
2006: Preserving Identities. Gallery on the Plaza. University of Connecticut
2005: Unearth/Emerge, Works by New Hampshire’s Rising Potters. Frederick R. Mayer Art Center, Exeter, NH
Creative Hands III, Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery
Continuing the Tradition. Gallery 205, Concord, NH.
Yours, Mine and Ours. Gallery 205, Concord, NH
Ongoing: The Commons, Eastport, ME
New Hampshire Magazine. Diversity in Clay
Juried member of the New England Sculpture Association
Juried member of the New Hampshire Art Association
Juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen
AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH
Potters for Peace
Tin Mountain Conservation Center