I currently live in Sarasota, Florida, teach at the Ringling College of Art and Design, and manage an art exhibition space that I founded, M. Chapel Projects Art Gallery. I am also active in my community, attending art openings and art events.
My current body of work is encaustic wax on panel or oil on canvas and is abstract in nature. I also make sculptural pieces from wood, found objects, encaustic wax and spray paint. This work stems from my personal history, an appreciation and understanding for architecture and city planning, and experiences of different city development and infrastructures around the world.
I love to travel and have done so extensively since 1998, however, in 2012 I decided to take time from teaching to explore certain parts of the world more in-depth. From 2012 to 2014, I spent long periods of time in Quebec, Panama, France, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. During that time, I also traveled throughout the United States and Europe. In all of these places, it was my pleasure to visit great art museums, and galleries large and small, as well as observe the sights, sounds, tastes, and everyday life of many diverse cultures.
These were extraordinary experiences and I am grateful for all of them. In the summer of 2014, I returned to Sarasota, Florida, opened a large studio space and began working.
I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Painting from Buffalo State College in 1997 and my Masters of Fine Arts Painting from Indiana University in 1999. While working towards my MFA, I traveled twice to Florence, Italy – first to study art and then returning the following summer to teach drawing for Indiana University.
I was the recipient of the Indiana University’s Graduate Studies Research Grant for Florence, Italy. I received the Charles Lanham Fellowship for Travel Abroad and was awarded a research grant for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. I also received a faculty grant from the Ringling School of Art and Design for the creation and exhibition of a series of life-size figurative works. From 1999 to 2013 , I enjoyed instructing Fine Art for Buffalo State College, The Ringling School of Art and Design, The University of Tampa, and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Series: Construction Reconstruction
I grew up exploring the city-like, low income housing development where I lived with my mom and four older sisters. The sprawling, identical, apartment buildings were built in three phases and covered ten acres. The boundaries I pushed and the buildings I hid behind became areas of special significance and limitation.
I ordered this world into a system of invisible linear diagrams and imaginary geometric shapes which marked areas of refuge, restrictions, safety and risk.
At home, I was obsessed with drawing made-up maps of unknown locations and well-organized house designs with intricate floor plans. I immersed myself in the challenge of combining the necessary rooms of a house in an efficient way, each rectangular space fitting together like a puzzle piece.
I am still fixated on housing restrictions and requirements, configurations and costs. I model my process and imagery from housing construction practices and large scale city planning and development.
My works are invented city maps and abstracted construction plans. They are descriptions of roads, plumbing, scaffolding, and lot lines. The body of work, “Construction Reconstruction,” is a wide-ranging exploration of modern issues in urban development relative to environmental, individual and societal requirements.
I refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and whether they are satisfied, or not, through architecture and infrastructure. I hope to bring to light the disparity in building advancements between populations of poverty and wealth in reference to safety, security, health and well being.