Grad Portfolio

Illustration Portfolio

Upside Down
For Bread
The Good Shepherd and the Lost Sheep
Litmus
Throne
Fan
Prometheus in Glory
Icarus's Burden_Lifecircle
Awake
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Upside Down
For Bread
The Good Shepherd and the Lost Sheep
Litmus
Throne
Fan
Prometheus in Glory
Icarus's Burden_Lifecircle
Awake
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next arrow

Painting Portfolio

Iceberg
Mobile 05
Wall Mementos
Toys
New Mexico Lightbulb
Iconograph_LifeCircle
Arms
Big Red Legs
Penitent_pp36-61
Upsidedown_01
For Bread
Do You Want to Get Well?
Figure Study
The Sky is Falling on our Heads
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Iceberg
Mobile 05
Wall Mementos
Toys
New Mexico Lightbulb
Iconograph_LifeCircle
Arms
Big Red Legs
Penitent_pp36-61
Upsidedown_01
For Bread
Do You Want to Get Well?
Figure Study
The Sky is Falling on our Heads
previous arrow
next arrow

Art-making is a whole life pursuit—for me, sometimes fully, and sometimes tangentially. I received a BFA (Drawing/Painting) from the University of Iowa while competing for Iowa’s gymnastics team, participating in modern dance department class and production, and exploring work as a designer/photographer. After graduation I taught art in after-school programs, and illustrated as a media consultant for a clinic that served special needs patients in southwestern China. I studied Mandarin and taught freshman/sophomore drawing and painting in Guizhou University College of Art from 2006 to 2008. Before returning stateside in 2010, I produced design and illustrations, and pursued art through exhibition, music, and public and private murals. 

The last ten years, demands of family life created discontinuity in my art profession, but two critical lessons have sustained my art-making. The idea that craft can be renewed and refined keeps me in the posture of student. Concurrently, I have learned through “erasing and re-drawing” that life’s motion demands transformation. Many of my artworks happen on the same substrate, and I default to reworking. My work serves me experientially, philosophically, and spiritually, providing a language through which I make my way in and communicate with the world. Hans-Georg Gadamer described art as play, symbol, and festival. I hope my work can become a catalyst for community, a way to share the known and unknown, and a unique and serious kind of playground.

In college, observation based drawing maintained tension between process and product. Since then, my work employs the figure in empty or imagined environments, hovering between surface and story. Growing out of life-drawing process, I express presence through color, and a sense of time through the history of accumulated line. The hope of realizing an unanticipated visual resonance impels me both towards adding layers, and to subtractive research in the depth of the surface. When I deconstruct the figure, or avoid it altogether, I search for fitting symbols in its place. The weight of the body, its dynamic suspension, or ambiguous direction grows out of my experience of works by Georg Baselitz and Anselm Keifer that reflect communal experience. Kiki Smith’s body/nature relationship has helped me think about the body as a corporate archetype embodying a divine or spiritual presence. My process has been deeply influenced by post–abstract expressionism, such as Corinne Wasmuht’s accumulation and employment of culture tokens in developing personal iconography. Scaffolded buildings in urban landscapes—yet another corporation of the human body—dialogue with 恽本初 Yun Benchu, 刘小东 Liu Xiaodong and 艾未未 Ai Weiwei’s various use of the symbolically charged mundane, both in material or content. Impermanence and change of modern spaces is a continuum of organic deconstruction and renewal, where scaffolding references memory, the negative space of a future construct. Such poles—material surface and depth of illusion, perceptions of value and worthlessness, subjectivity and objectivity, identity imposed and reality observed, the painting as book and the book as object—resonate with me visually. I would like to grow in translating these concepts across other mediums and disciplines as well, through narrative and sequential elements that examine inherited stories in ways that enable a renewal in the experience of meaning, perceiving the poetry of multivalent life and the complexity of truth.


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